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 Stacy Revere/Getty Images
Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images /

1. Make Kawhi Leonard fight for every possession

This season, the Toronto Raptors have something they have not had during their past half-decade of postseason runs: an alpha scorer. Kawhi Leonard is a player who will take the ball every play and make something happen. What DeMar DeRozan did not have the size or ability to do, Leonard did in multiple games to get the Raptors to the Eastern Conference Finals.

What Philadelphia showed, however, is that you can throw enough bodies and size and blood and sweat at Leonard to make him inefficient. Milwaukee picked up that strategy and ran with it in Game 1, throwing a variety of bodies at Leonard. Through three quarters he had 29 points, but by the fourth quarter an exhausted Leonard managed just two more.

The final line was 31 points on 31 shooting possessions, a performance the Bucks will live with. Khris Middleton and Malcolm Brogdon took turns denying Leonard and making him fight just to receive the ball. Then help defenders stunted and rotated with little fear of a role player beating them.

That will be the key in Game 2, even if (when) other players step up. Whether it is Pascal Siakam, Marc Gasol, Danny Green or Fred VanVleet, the Raptors will have other players take shots, and the Bucks need to prioritize making sure Leonard does not beat them with efficient play. Harrying him before he receives the ball and every moment that he is holding it will wear Leonard out.

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Milwaukee has a number of defenders to throw at Leonard in waves, and has the ultimate trump card of Giannis Antetokounmpo in reserve. If the Bucks can stretch out Leonard to the point of exhaustion and inefficiency, they will win Game 2 and the series.