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1) Milwaukee Bucks
2) Toronto Raptors
After gutting out a tough double-overtime win in Game 3, does the Toronto Raptors have anything left in the tank for Game 4? Kawhi Leonard led the charge with another 30-plus point game but he had plenty of help with four other players in double digits. The Milwaukee Bucks helped out the Raptors with their overall worst game played this postseason.
Keys to the game
On offense, Milwaukee must take better shots (especially from three-point range) and like real estate, shot selection is paramount. Get away from one-on-one attacking and more ball movement to put Toronto’s defense in a pickle. The Bucks should attack the basket to get to the free throw line but have to take advantage of them to make it count, to either extend a lead or cut into a deficit.
On defense, the Bucks need to sure up their rotation due to the fact they can’t afford to give up open shots. Keeping players in front of them to prevent lazy reaching and causing the defense to scramble around is needed. Milwaukee has to create turnovers with pressure on the ball, making the Raptors ball handlers uncomfortable.
Offensively, Toronto’s others must pitch in and help Leonard keep the Bucks defense honest. When attacking the basket, opportunities to get to the free throw line where they have cashed in at a high percentage will be plenty. The Raptors must capitalize on open looks as well as making timely baskets.
Defensively, the Raptors have to compete on the boards, not necessarily to win but stay close. Making the Bucks score as individuals and not allow easy ball movement will assist in low percentage shots. Toronto must protect the paint at all cost, forcing the Bucks to be primarily jump shooters.
The x-factor for Milwaukee will be their starters. They establish the tone and tempo for this team. Even the bench feeds off the starters’ energy.
The x-factor for Toronto will be their supporting cast. Kawhi Leonard can’t win it by himself and needs others to show up. Strength in numbers should be their mantra.
Prediction- Milwaukee takes better shots, cut down the turnovers and Giannis Antetokounmpo plays like himself as the Bucks rebound to win Game 4.