2019 NBA Playoffs: Bucks are halfway to the Finals

Eastern Conference Finals: Game 2 (Bucks lead 2-0)

2. Toronto Raptors (103) – 1. Milwaukee Bucks (125)

The Bucks just flexed on the Raptors in Game 2.

In Game 1, Milwaukee needed the heroics of Brook Lopez to pull out the win. In Game 2, they started out on fire and never let go. They built a big lead which they held on to for most of the game and when the Raptors tried to fight back, Antetokounmpo stomped them back down.

Antetokounmpo opened the game with a put back dunk, a block on Marc Gasol, a two-handed throw down and an assist to Nikola Mirotic. Milwaukee jumped out to a 9-0 run, setting the tone for the rest of the game. Danny Green finally got the Raps on the board with a three-pointer but that was just a drop in the bucket. Mirotic scored on a floater and Khris Middleton pulled up for a three-pointer to build a double-digit lead.

The rampage continued all the way to halftime. Malcolm Brogdon found his range, Mirotic and Ersan Ilyasova got going, and Middleton looked confident. Milwaukee took a 29-point lead heading to the half. They exploded for 64 points while limiting Toronto to just 35 points.

In the third period, Kawhi Leonard started to heat up. He carved up the Milwaukee defense, scoring 10 of the team’s 13 points in the first five minutes of the game. The Raptors got all the way to within 13 points, as the rest of Leonard’s teammates joined in on the run.

With less than three minutes left in the game, Antetokounmpo checked into the game and ended the Raptors’ run. In the fourth quarter, the Greek Freak had another flurry where he nailed a three-pointer, got a dunk inside and and screened for an Eric Bledsoe three. The Bucks restored order and never looked back.

The Bucks don’t look like pretenders. They look like legit title contenders with how they’re playing. They easily took down the talented Celtics and are capably handling this deep Raptors squad.

An interesting thing about blowouts like these is how much rest Antetokounmpo gets. He finished with 30 points, 17 rebounds and five assists in only 35 minutes. Less than the 38 minutes Leonard played today. Antetokounmpo is averaging only 32 minutes a game in these playoffs. That’s slightly less than he averaged all season long. The Bucks have only played 11 games, less than any other Playoff team still playing.

Antetokounmpo could possibly be heading to the Finals fresh and that should be a scary thing for all the other teams still left standing in the Playoffs.

Photo from Getty Images