The Milwaukee Bucks and Toronto Raptors face off in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals on Tuesday. After it looked like Milwaukee may run away with the series, Toronto put together a statement win, defeating the Bucks by a 118-112 score. Heading into Game 4, the Bucks hold the advantage for the spread at -2.5.
Bucks Bench Needs To Keep It Up
I touched on this a little bit in my last preview, but the Bucks’ bench is key to a Milwaukee victory in Game 4. They certainly were a huge part of the Game 2 victory on Friday. In particular, Malcolm Brogdon and George Hill carried the day for Milwaukee in Game 3.
Brogdon finished with 21 points on seven-of-nine shooting from the field and three-of-four shooting from the three-point line. Hill did his part as well. In 37 minutes of action, he scored 24 points on seven-of-nine shooting from the field and three-of-four shooting from behind the three-point line. In particular, he made seven-of-eight free throws, putting in good work from the charity stripe.
If Milwaukee wants to win, they need to rely on their bench to help them along the way. They have shown that they can dictate the pace of the game, and they need to do that again on Tuesday.
Raptors Must Stick With What Works
For Toronto, they just need to stick with what worked for them on Sunday. Three players, in particular, got involved. Kawhi Leonard was perhaps the biggest playmaker of them all, as he scored 36 points, grabbed nine rebounds, and had a block in 52 minutes of action.
Leonard was efficient as well, going 11-of-25 from the field and 12-of-13 from the free-throw line. Toronto needs him to keep up that level of play as they want to avoid Milwaukee taking a stronghold on the series.
Pascal Siakam provided tremendous complementary scoring for the Raptors In 51 minutes of play, he scored 25 points, tallied 10 rebounds, and recorded three steals. Leonard cannot do it all by himself, and Siakam provided a nice lift for the team.
Speaking of providing nice lifts, Marc Gasol did his part as well. He scored 16 points and pulled in 12 rebounds in 45 minutes of play. In particular, he was active in setting his teammates up, tallying seven assists. Toronto needs him to provide that big boost once again.
Milwaukee Winning The Board Battle
If Milwaukee wants to win on Tuesday, they need to keep crashing the boards. They outrebounded Toronto 63-55 in Game 3. Giannis Antetokounmpo had 23 of those rebounds, and his presence was definitely felt in the paint.
For Toronto, Siakam and Gasol had 11 and 12 rebounds, respectively. They need to be the leaders and crash the boards whenever possible. Getting those boards could make the difference between winning and losing the game.
Playing at home, I would feel comfortable betting Toronto. They should have momentum in their favor. I would take the Raptors +2.5 in this one.