The Milwaukee Bucks delivered a statement win in Game 2, leading from wire-to-wire and delivering a blowout over the Raptors.
The Bucks came prepared to play in Game 2, roaring out of the gates and never looking back. Milwaukee led by 14 at the end of the first quarter, 25 at the half, and never let the Raptors get close enough in the second half to really threaten them. The final result was a 22-point win, a 2-0 series lead and a thoroughly demoralized Raptors’ team scrambling for answers as we look ahead to Game 3.
The Bucks are so balanced. They used nine different players in pre-garbage time minutes in Game 2, eight of whom played at least 20 minutes and none of whom played more than the 34 minutes Giannis played. Six different players scored in double figures. Seven different players hit a 3-pointer and eight different players recorded an assist. This offense is obviously built around Giannis but it’s looking more and more like a self-sustaining organism, capable of adapting and evolving on a game-by-game basis. Brook Lopez isn’t hitting tonight? Alright, here’s a little extra Ersan Ilyasova and Nikola Mirotic to compensate. Another rough shooting performance for Eric Bledsoe? No worries, Malcolm Brogdon and George Hill can pick up the slack. The irony is that this is the ceiling for the Raptors as well, with so many permutations of shooters, facilitators and finishers. But it’s working for Milwaukee and it’s decidedly not for Toronto.
Time to move on from Marc Gasol? The big man makes so much sense for Toronto on paper, but he’s been a big problem in reality. Gasol is now 3-of-20 from the field and 2-of-9 on 3-pointers. He hasn’t been able to punish the Bucks for keeping Brook Lopez dropping into the paint on drives and while he’s contributing, to some degree, on defense, the offensive shortcomings are a much bigger problem right now. Serge Ibaka hasn’t been much better and there aren’t a ton of other options available to Nick Nurse but it might be time to really get creative.
The Bucks offense hasn’t been shooting exceptionally but they’re getting shots. The Bucks shot just 46.7 percent from the field in this game and only made 31.7 percent of their 41 3-point attempts. But they had five more field goal attempts than Toronto and 10 extra free throw attempts. Milwaukee had 11 offensive rebounds to Toronto’s 6 and just turned the ball over 7 times. Making sure you got a shot on every possession can really help overcome the misses.