2. Limit Kawhi Leonard‘s supporting cast
It is no secret that Kawhi Leonard has been a force to be reckoned with during the Raptors’ postseason run. In the opening round of the playoffs, he averaged 27.8 points per game on 56.6 percent shooting from the field.
Against the Philadelphia 76ers, Leonard’s averages included 34.7 points, 9.9 rebounds and 4.0 assists per contest on 54 percent shooting from the field. With a 36-point outing in Game 3, he has now scored at least 30 points in each of the last four games. The dude has been virtually unstoppable.
Bearing that in mind, the Bucks must limit the production of Leonard’s supporting cast. For instance, let’s start with Pascal Siakam. In the first two games of the series, he scored a total of 29 points while shooting 10-for-29 from the field (34.5 percent) and had seven rebounds. In Game 3, he went off for 25 points (on 9-for-18 shooting) to go along with 11 rebounds.
Another Raptors player who showed up in Game 3 was Marc Gasol. In Games 1 and 2, he scored a total of just eight points on 3-for-20 shooting and went 2-for-9 from beyond the arc. In Game 3, Gasol scored 16 points on 5-for-10 shooting and was an impressive 4-of-8 from 3-point range. He also collected 12 rebounds, handed out seven assists and recorded five blocked shots. Talk about an impact performance.
Meanwhile, reserve forward Norman Powell, who scored 20 points in the first two games, nearly equaled his scoring output from the previous two contests in Game 3, as he chipped in 19 points (including 10 in the opening quarter) to go along with four rebounds and three dimes.
Yes, the Bucks should continue to throw different looks at Leonard to make his life as difficult as possible. However, being that no one has had any success defending him in the postseason, it is imperative that Milwaukee keeps the other role players in check.