Milwaukee Bucks: 3 keys for Game 2 vs. Raptors

Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images /
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Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images /

2. Identify and smother the hot shooter

Kyle Lowry had the hot hand Wednesday, pouring in 30 points on 10-of-15 shooting, including 7-of-9 shooting from 3-point range. Yet the rest of the team let him down in the fourth quarter, going 0-for-15 in the final frame. Overall, non-Lowry Raptors shot just 31.1 percent from the floor and 24.2 percent from long range for the game.

This continues a trend of the past few games for the Raptors, where one of their supporting players steps up while the rest struggle to put the ball through the hoop. In Game 7 against the Philadelphia 76ers, Serge Ibaka shot 6-for-10 and 3-for-5 from deep; the rest of the team shot 35.4 percent from the floor and 16 percent from deep. In Game 6, it was Pascal Siakam making it to 50 percent from the field.

The one blemish on Milwaukee’s defense Wednesday night was not bottling up Kyle Lowry after it was obvious he was cooking, and despite his teammates’ ice-cold shooting, the point guard almost won the game for Toronto anyway. Adjusting to the rhythm of that particular game will be important given the “your turn, my turn” shooting the Raptors are employing.

Milwaukee has the versatile defenders to make such an adjustment, and Giannis Antetokounmpo can provide help defense off of whichever frontcourt player doesn’t have it that night. This sort of approach will put all of the pressure on Toronto to have someone step up and make a shot when the teams’ best options are smothered.