Thanks to bouncer buzzer-beaters, a star player, a center of veterans, and a tenacious defence, this Raptors crew has shaken a lot of tired narratives about the franchise. That incorporates Game 1 losses, where the team as a rule takes an aggregate crap to lose against inferior teams. This loss isn’t one of those, incompletely in light of the fact that the Bucks are damn great, yet additionally as a result of something more baffling than a decade-long narrative — it was a winnable game.
After leading from the opening minutes until the final quarter, the Raptors lost 32-17 in the last final to drop Game 1 in Milwaukee, 108-100. In doing as such, they wasted one of the independently incredible Kyle Lowry post-season games.
Lowry wasn’t simply doing his silly, off the scoresheet stuff. (Try not to stress, he was doing that as well.) He was additionally scoring the ball, making 7-of-9 from three to tie a playoff career high and completion with 30, eight bounce back, and two helps.
In this game had gone in the Raptors support, it was the sort of tape you’d keep on your bookshelf to help you to remember the Lowry years. He was certain with his jumper, but at the same time was dangerously sharp on defence, understanding his rotations, and bouncing passing paths with regularity. He additionally had a flock of extraordinary goes on the move, ones that were just discontinuously wrapped up by his teammates.
To be sure, an absence of help was indeed the story for the Raptors, in a post-season where it’s been a struggle to get multiple players contributing in each game. Kawhi Leonard scored a considerable amount, leading the group with 31, however required 26 shots to arrive and submitted three turnovers. Pascal Siakam had 15, however was likewise inefficient going 6-for-20.
The remainder of the team? No one else had in excess of six points. Danny Green was 1-for-5 with three turnovers, while the seat mix of Fred VanVleet, Norman Powell, and Serge Ibaka completed 5-for-16 after a promising first half stretch. Marc Gasol was for the most part happened of the game in the second half gratitude to the distraught pace, hitting on 2-of-11 in the game and getting beat on the glass by Brook Lopez; the big man led Milwaukee with 29 points, making four timely threes. The Bucks certainly looked fresher as a whole in the fourth quarter, as the Raptors rode their starters for the final eight minutes while Milwaukee took and held on to the lead.
At an opportune time, however, the Raptors were making statements. Strong defence from the start constrained Giannis Antetokounmpo to score the initial six points for Milwaukee. The Greek Freak would finish with 24 points on 7-for-16 shooting, as Toronto’s defence completed a great occupation of falling and making life troublesome. After an 8-3 start, though, Milwaukee allowed Toronto’s shooting to give them the lead. Gasol and Green both hit threes to stretch a run to 16-0, as the Raptors would head into the second quarter up 34-23.
Some great seat minutes pursued, as both of Norman Powell’s threes in the game kept the Raptors lead at 12. The Bucks began to play with more vitality on the glass, however, as the game grabbed pace and the home group slice the lead to five. The Raptors starters returned, with the two teams looking irregularly strong and messy at the excited pace the Bucks favour. Two late Kawhi buckets and some free throws calmed things down, as the Raptors went into halftime up 59-51.
In the third, Eric Bledsoe scored seven straight to begin the quarter to recover the Bucks in it, yet Lowry truly began to force himself after that. A take and score stretched out the lead back to ten, while 14 from Kawhi in the quarter kept the Bucks under control while every other person on Toronto faded.
The start of the fourth was a sign of what might be on the horizon, as Powell missed a layup, VanVleet missed a jumper, and Powell missed a three — Milwaukee scoring the other method to take their first lead since the opening minutes at 84-83. A Lowry three quickly gave the Raptors the lead back, yet a 7-0 run put Milwaukee ahead for good. Other than one free toss from Pascal Siakam, just Lowry and Leonard scored for the Raptors in the fourth, with Gasol and Green missing three basic wide open shots in the last three minutes.
Thus, it feels like an open door lost for Toronto, as they’ll have, probably, three additional odds to get a success in Milwaukee. Past the absence of help, the reality the Bucks shot only 11-for-44 from separation feels like a touch of an exception — figured it may likewise be an indication of Milwaukee becoming acclimated to the Eastern Conference Final stage.
Regardless, how the Raptors bounce back in Game 2 on Friday will be key for how the rest of this series will go. Hopefully some other bodies can step up and support.