Guarding Bucks' Giannis presents Raptors a playoff puzzle

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After making it to the Eastern Conference final previous year - where they were outplayed by LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers - the Raps wanted to add more defensive toughness before the playoffs.

Milwaukee will host games 3 and 4 at the BMO Harris Bradley Center on Thursday, April 20 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, April 22 and 2 p.m. We are the only station in Milwaukee to provide the latest news, weather and sports on the device.

The silver lining for the Bucks is DeRozan's desire to get to the free throw line does not play as well in the postseason when the defense ramps up and referees keep their whistles in their pockets.

The 22-year-old Greek has emerged as a force this season, becoming the first player in National Basketball Association history to finish a campaign in the top 20 in total points, rebounds, assists, blocks and steals. Milwaukee might be the future of the East, but I think it's a year too soon for an upset pick. He might win NBA Most Improved Player. Giannis will need lots of help to beat a deep Raptors team four times, but he should be the best player in the series, and if he is, that will be a good start. The Bucks are a horrendous defensive rebounding squad, 27th in the league. They are a long, athletic bunch. DeRozan is shooting a career-high 47 percent from the field, and while he isn't much of a three-point shooter or a passer, his ability to simply put the ball in the basket makes him one of the most risky offensive players in the league. Halfway through that series, after IN had drilled Toronto IN Game 4 to even it at 2-2, the Raptors were shooting 25 per cent on wide-open threes - those with a defender no closer than six feet away.

Yes, there are still elements of the team he has put together that are developing, but those are the pieces at the end of the bench. Instead, Gentry has overseen a roster plagued by prolonged injuries, illness, infections and even a a href='https://apnews.com/b352e3f65e434095ae68a9c876e236d5/Ex-soccer-star-Holiday-faces-tumor-with-husband-Jrue's-help'delicate family matter/a that caused Holiday miss the past preseason and first 12 regular-season games. "A lot of time Kyle doesn't have to get it going to will us to victory".

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Kyle Lowry had been feeling under the weather on Thursday, while DeMar DeRozan was ill last week. Lowry was at 39.7 and 30.4 percent, respectively. Addressing the crowd in Maple Leaf Square once again, he said: "People want me to say something about Paul Pierce but, we don't give a (expletive) about 'it'".

DeMar DeRozan was asked what his Toronto Raptors had gotten out of their playoff experiences so far, on the eve of their fourth crack at it. Toronto won the first three but lost the most recent 101-94 in Wisconsin on March 4. But Saturday they scored the first seven points and never trailed in dealing the Mavericks' playoff hopes a damaging blow.

On the season, Lowry averaged 23.0 points and 6.3 assists vs. Milwaukee, missing the lone loss. As the point guard, he is able to facilitate and also alleviate some of the offensive pressure from DeRozan. Ibaka has essentially filled Terrence Ross's vacated role as the team's predominant three-point gunner, while Tucker has drained about 40% of his corner threes on a low usage rate.

The Bucks may neither be an attractive nor the team one would follow closely on the NBA League Game Pass, but they have made progress from the previous years. While the Greek Freak may lead statistically in every category, they still have many risky pieces that could make them a threat to make a decent run in the playoffs. On the interior, this looks to be a mismatch in Toronto's favour.

"For those (six) weeks were in must-win games", forward Khris Middleton said Friday.

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