Can the Bucks cover at home vs. the Raptors? NBA Predictions 4/20/17

John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Recently, the Milwaukee Bucks stunned the basketball world, and specifically the Toronto Raptors.

"We got our (butts) bust", Lowry said after his Raptors' squad was blown out 104-77 by the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 3 of their first-round Eastern Conference playoff series at the Bradley Center. They haven't won a series in the playoffs since 2001.

Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks are proving that they're ready for the big stage. He's a fighter. I just knew he wasn't going to be satisfied the way he played in the first game. They are good and confident and didn't show any nerves in front of a sellout crowd of 18,717 that eclipsed in decibels anything the Air Canada Centre had to offer in Games 1 and 2. All in all, it was a forgettable performance on both ends of the floor for the Raptors, who were able to bounce back in game two and even the series before heading to the land of cheese.

Making this blowout even more impressive was that they barely needed Antetokounmpo.

The biggest adjustment by Toronto was their defense against the Greek Freak, who still managed to score 24 points and grab 15 rebounds with seven assists.

With raucous fans wearing black Bucks giveaway T-shirts to match the players' uniforms, Milwaukee put on a dominating display of basketball worthy of the team's "Fear the Deer" slogan. They would make just four of the 18 shots they would take in the first quarter.

"I thought our defense was active, and guys were picking each other up", coach Jason Kidd said. They went into the fourth quarter down 78-48, before a pair of Valanciunas free throws with 7:45 to play pulled them to within 23 points. The surreal evening gave the No. 6-seeded Bucks a 2-1 lead in their first-round playoff series.

Looking ahead to game three on Thursday, Milwaukee's gameplan should be similar to that of game two, as the Bucks will likely find a way to hit shots down the stretch, and can live with Toronto living or dying by the three ball.

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There was no lack of attention from the players, said coach Dwane Casey. Stealing game one was fun, but it means nothing if they let Toronto come into their house and steal one back.

Raptors: Toronto trailed 57-30 at the half, tying the team's regular-season low for scoring in a half.

Frustration was evident early in the game. The Raptors also got an uplifting performance from Serge Ibaka, who scored 16 points to go along with seven rebounds and six assists in 36 minutes after nearly being ruled out due to an ankle sprain he suffered in game one.

Casey began emptying his bench with about six minutes left in the game but he could have started midway through the third quarter. "Even if it's not with points, it's getting everybody involved ... rebounding the ball, pushing the tempo and putting us in the right positions out there on the floor". "Learning how to use our length and trying to play to our advantage more", said Middleton, who led the Bucks with 20 points. "Forcing DeRozan and Lowry into tough shots and try to make everybody else make plays", Middleton said.

The Raptors had brief stretches of better defence in the third, but it still wasn't almost enough and they went into the fourth quarter trailing 78-48. All around them are more young faces, and while this team isn't near their final form, they have time to develop into that.

Lowry scored just four points in Saturday's Game 1 loss, missing all six of his 3-point attempts. The Raptors shot a terrible 33.8 percent from the field. "It ain't over. It just sucks right now, it's a bad night right now, it's a awful feeling the way we just got our ass beat", said Lowry.

Lowry leaned forward and said: "We got our ass busted".

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