NBA Starting Lineups and Match Prediction - Milwaukee Bucks vs Toronto Raptors - Game 4
Game 4 of the NBA’s Eastern Conference Finals will take place on Tuesday, May 21st, 2019 at the Scotia Bank Arena in Toronto. The Raptors got back into the series with a thrilling 118-112 double-overtime victory over the Milwaukee Bucks Sunday night in game 3.
The Raptors had an 8-point lead at half time and ultimately found themselves tied at 96-96 at the end of regulation on Sunday night. However, the Raptors got the usual contribution from Kawhi Leonard with 36 points and enough secondary scoring to survive the Bucks in what is now a 2-1 series lead for Milwaukee.
Marc Gasol who has been awol in this series had a significant impact in game 3 with a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Pascal Siakam also had a good game as well with 25 points and 12 rebounds also recording a double-double. Norman Powell getting 30 minutes off of the bench produced 19 points for the Raptors.
The Milwaukee Bucks got a herculean effort from League MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo with 23 rebounds but he only managed 12 points. It was the play of guard duo Malcolm Brogdon and George Hill, off of the bench, who kept Milwaukee close in game three with 20 and 24 points respectively. Bucks’ center, Brook Lopez, managed 16 points in the loss.
Game 4 Starters: Milwaukee Bucks
Milwaukee Bucks head coach and potential 2019 head coach of the year candidate, Mike Budenholzer, will like start Giannis Atetokounmpo, Brook Lopez, Nikola Mirotic, Khris Middleton, and Eric Bledsoe.
Toronto Raptors Game 4 Starters
Toronto’s head coach Nick Nurse is likely to start Kyle Lowry, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Pascal Siakam, and Marc Gasol.
Expectation and Prediction
The Toronto Raptors finally got the secondary scoring to support Kawhi Leonard’s efforts in the series. Marc Gasol, whose offence has been non-existent all series finally made some shots early, was aggressive and once he drew defensive attention, he was able to rely on his basketball IQ and distribute 7 assists. Gasol also had 16 points on 5/10 shooting and 12 rebounds. This is the Marc Gasol the Raptors need to see in the rest of this series.
It also really helped that head coach Nick Nurse, who has been exhausting his main players, finally let his bench players get some playing time. While Fred Vanvleet only had 3 points in 31 minutes, Norman Powell had 19 points in 30 minutes off the bench.
The Raptors have struggled somewhat offensively since round two against the Philadelphia 76ers in this year's playoffs. They have survived this long because of a superior defensive strength that keeps them in games. On Sunday night they shot just 39.2% from the field but held the Bucks to 37.3%. Also, the Raptors forced the Bucks into 20 turnovers. They must continue to defend well to have a shot at winning game 4.
Giannis Antetokounmpo has been kept quiet by the Toronto Raptors through the first 3 games of this series. While he had 24 and 30 points in games 1 and 2 in Milwaukee, he had just 12 points in game three in Toronto. Antetokounmpo was not effective in the 4th quarter of game 1 which Milwaukee won by just 8 points. Sunday night, in Toronto, he was held to 5/16 shooting for 12 points and he committed 8 turnovers fouling out in 45 mins. Antetokounmpo must play better.
When comparing these two rosters, the two best teams in the NBA’s Eastern Conference, the Milwaukee Bucks do not have the same experience as the Toronto Raptors. The Raptors roster has amassed over 600 playoff games and owns two NBA Championship rings. The Bucks are a great team but they are going to have to work hard to beat an experienced Raptors squad.
Game 4 is another game that the Toronto Raptors will need to win desperately to avoid a 3-1 deficit in the series against the Bucks. The Bucks will want to avoid returning to Milwaukee in a 2-2 series tie. Both teams must be exhausted after game three.
The Raptors need to find ways to get their bench some minutes and get Danny Green and Marc Gasol involved consistently in their offence. The Bucks have won two of the three games without Antetokounmpo’s best efforts in games 1 and 3. Expect another close affair in game 4 with the Raptors winning by 3 possessions.