The Raptors head to Milwaukee to face the team with the 2X reigning MVP in Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Bucks enter action at 16-11, a bit further down than most of us would have initially anticipated. But they are still a dangerous team and thus need to be treated like the hardest matchup of the year.
The Raptors sit at 12-15 during what has been a weird year for them. Their home stadium is in Tampa Bay this year, and none of them have been able to get back home to Toronto. This has taken away any bit of normalcy that might have still remained, and it’s like they’re still acclimating. It might be viewed as an excuse, but it is extremely valid if so. Imagine the Lakers playing all of their games in Winnipeg.
Milwaukee is looking for win #17 as they gear up to host the Raptors. On the bright side, Giannis has been playing some incredible basketball of late. Jrue Holiday is expected to remain out as he deals with health and safety protocols, though, which pushes Bryn Forbes into the starting lineup. He and Middleton can shoot the lights out in any gymnasium.
The Bucks come into this one as -5.5 favorites. The over/under is set at 234.5 points.
Raptors Seek to Surprise
Even though they sit at just 12-15, Toronto is still a very dangerous team. Fred VanVleet dropped 54 in a win over Orlando a few weeks ago. Kyle Lowry has had some extraordinary performances in the year. And, of course, Pascal Siakam is still an All-Star, as he has continued to play like it. The team just doesn’t have the center presence that existed for the prior several seasons.
Aron Baynes is a tough, hard-nosed guy, and Chris Boucher is extremely athletic. But, neither of them brings what Gasol and Ibaka had. And so, it’s made it a bit tougher, as the identity of a team can often lie with what they get or don’t get from the five spot. Toronto is, in fact, involved in the Andre Drummond sweepstakes, so if he comes, it would be a welcome upgrade.
Bucks Looking for 17th Victory
Most bettors will be taking Milwaukee tonight, and for good measure. Giannis is probably going to explode on Pascal Siakam, continuing the hot streak that has been propelling the team of late. While they will greatly miss Jrue Holiday, they have been getting improvement out of Donte DiVincenzo.
Just imagine if that Bogdan Bogdanovic trade had happened in the offseason. He’d be here instead of Donte still sticking around. He’d likely be hurt and would cost a lot more money. The team may have actually dodged a bullet with their mistake over the summer. Still, they have productivity out of the SG spot, and that is what matters.
Look for Khris Middleton to have a big night, as Toronto may struggle to stop him.
Bucks Come Away with the Win
Sorry Raptors, but this isn’t your night to taste Victory. Milwaukee will get it done at home.