Milwaukee Bucks vs. Toronto Raptors Game 5 Preview
Where: Air Canada Centre – Toronto, Canada
When: Monday, April 24, 2017, 7:00 PM ET
TV Broadcast: NBA TV
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Betting on the Milwaukee Bucks (+6)
The young Bucks were unable to make home-court advantage count as they fell, 87-76, in Game 4. Giannis Antetokounmpo had by far his worst game of the series. He finished with just 14 points on 6-of-19 shooting, and also committed 7 turnovers. Khris Middleton also struggled with his shot, going just 4-of-13 from the field. The Bucks as a team had 20 turnovers, and shot just 37 percent from the field.
One of the lone bright spots for the Bucks in Game 4 was Tony Snell. The 25-year-old swingman had a team-high 19 points as he went 5-of-10 from beyond the arc. Snell’s averaging 12 points per game and hitting 50 percent of his 3s in this series.
You’d figure Giannis and Middleton should be able to bounce back from their bad games; Giannis has alternated games of 30 percent shooting with games of 70 percent shooting in this series. Meanwhile, the Bucks defense continues to pose problems for the Raptors, who shot just 41 percent in Game 4. Milwaukee is holding Toronto to the worst offensive rating in the playoffs.
Betting on the Toronto Raptors (-6)
The Raptors had nowhere to go but up after the embarrassment that was Game 3, and they did just that in Game 4. DeMar DeRozan made up for his dismal 0-of-8 effort by going for 33 points on 12-of-22 shooting. Meanwhile, Kyle Lowry added 18 points.
Raptors head coach Dwane Casey made a pretty significant change to his starting lineup in Game 4 as he decided to take out center Jonas Valanciunas in favor of wing Norman Powell to provide more spacing. That move worked out well enough, as Powell had 12 points on 3-of-3 from beyond the arc and was a +15 in 34 minutes.
With Serge Ibaka struggling with his shot (just 4-of-16), Valanciunas was still able to make an impact off the bench with 12 points on 5-of-5 shooting, and 5 rebounds.
As has been their M.O. through the years, the Raptors have been pretty uneven offensively in these playoffs. But the insertion of Powell in the starting 5 has certainly helped, as should a return home.
Ibaka was much more effective in the first two games of the series at home (17.5 points, 10.5 rebounds) as opposed to on the last two on the road (8 points, 5.5 rebounds). A bounce-back effort from him will only help that offense in a critical Game 5.
The Raptors (-6) once again get separation on the Bucks as they win and cover Game 5 at home.
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