A great battle will be taking place in Tampa Bay as the Bucks travel to face the Raptors. Milwaukee is at 10-6 thus far, while Toronto is sitting at 7-10. Even with the record where it is, they have been better of late, slowly but surely beginning to turn things around.
Giannis has not been as effective as the past two seasons where he won the MVP, but his averages have still been solid. The addition of Jrue Holiday has not made them a dominant team, but they are nearly unbeatable when Khris Middleton goes off. He is the ultimate key to the team’s wins, as his shooting is what makes them so tough. They could use a little more production from the bench, which isn’t always there.
The Raptors have shuffled through several starting centers this year before ultimately going back to Aron Baynes. The losses of Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol in free agency hurt their ability to protect the rim and have size at the position. Chris Boucher has emerged as a terrific option off the bench, but it still isn’t the same as last season. They miss those guys.
The spread for this matchup is set at Bucks -5.5. The over/under is 223.5.
Milwaukee Seeks 11th Win
At the end of the day, the Bucks regular season record will mean nothing. They fell short of the Finals in each of the past two seasons despite having the most wins in the East in both. The Cavs never won more than 53 games during LeBron’s four years there from 2014-18 and still went to four NBA Finals. It’s all about what happens during the postseason.
Obviously, a higher seed would help the Bucks out and give them an easier path, though the conference is much improved this year. The big thing has been Giannis’ inability to make three throws. They lost their season-opener due to a missed FT from the Greek Freak. He had a game where he was just 1-10 at the line. He has got to be better.
The team has a good chance to win tonight if they can just sink their threes.
Raptors Seeking Eighth Win
At 7-10, the Raptors are in a place we didn’t expect them to be through 17 games. They have been better of late, but a losing record is a big surprise. Last season, they won games despite injuries throughout the lineup all season long. Anything can happen there, and the wins will likely start to stockpile.
Fred VanVleet clearly made an excellent decision to stay in free agency, as he has continued to put up good numbers. They have gotten nice bench contributions from Stanley Johnson, who did very little for the team last season. Norman Powell has also continued to make shots left and right.
The title window for these guys was really only open for one year when they had Kawhi. And they went out and won the whole thing. They’re still a strong group, though.
Raptors Surprise the Bucks
Sorry, Milwaukee, but not this time. The Raptors are ready for a signature win.
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