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Toronto Raptors vs Milwaukee Bucks Prediction: Combined starting 5 featuring Kyle Lowry and Giannis Antetokounmpo

Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks shoots a free throw during a game against the Toronto Raptors at Amalie Arena on January 27, 2021
Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks shoots a free throw during a game against the Toronto Raptors at Amalie Arena on January 27, 2021
ANALYST
Modified 16 Feb 2021
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The 12-15 Toronto Raptors will face a difficult task when they visit the Fiserv Forum to face the Milwaukee Bucks, the second seed in the Eastern Conference.

Of course, the Bucks have been underwhelming compared to what we saw in last year's regular season, especially on defense, however, the Raptors will need to be on their A-game to handle them and two-time reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo.

The game between these two rivals from the East should be highly entertaining and competitive. Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam are the Toronto Raptors' trio of best players. Meanwhile, the Milwaukee Bucks have Giannis, Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday (who is currently out due to health and safety protocols).

Toronto Raptors vs Milwaukee Bucks Prediction: Combined starting 5

The Toronto Raptors are coming off consecutive losses to the Boston Celtics and Minnesota Timberwolves. They will now face the Milwaukee Bucks twice in a row on the road.

The Raptors hosted the Milwaukee Bucks on January 27th, and the visitors won 115-108 on the back of Antetokounmpo's 24 points, 18 rebounds and nine assists.

The Milwaukee Bucks are also on a losing streak (three consecutive losses) and are 5-5 in their last 10 games. The Bucks are coming off a six-game road trip that ended with three consecutive losses against Western Conference teams - the Phoenix Suns, Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder.

Milwaukee's issue has been the defense. The Milwaukee Bucks ranked first last year in Defensive Rating with 102.9 points allowed per 100 possessions, but are 11th this season with 110.8.

Without further ado, let us put together a combined starting five featuring the best players from the Toronto Raptors and Milwaukee Bucks.

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Guard - Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors)

Payton Pritchard #11 of the Boston Celtics defends Kyle Lowry #7 of the Toronto Raptors during the second quarter at TD Garden on February 11, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts.
Payton Pritchard #11 of the Boston Celtics defends Kyle Lowry #7 of the Toronto Raptors during the second quarter at TD Garden on February 11, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts.

Kyle Lowry is the undisputed leader of the Toronto Raptors and the six-time All-Star remains a vital piece on Nick Nurse's team even at age 34 and in his 16th NBA season.

Lowry is performing at a solid level in the 2020-21 NBA campaign. He is averaging 17 points, 6.5 assists, and 5.4 rebounds per game. Moreover, he is putting up 45/38/87 shooting split, which is one of the best in his career.

Against the Milwaukee Bucks on January 27th, Lowry scored 21 points, grabbed six rebounds and dished out three assists in Toronto's loss.


Guard - Fred VanVleet (Toronto Raptors)

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Fred VanVleet #23 of the Toronto Raptors.
Fred VanVleet #23 of the Toronto Raptors.

With Jrue Holiday out indefinitely due to health and safety protocols, Fred VanVleet earns a place in this combined lineup as the other guard. VanVleet has been tremendous in the 2020-21 NBA season and has had the best of his career so far.

VanVleet has had a solid year and is posting many career highs in several statistical departments. He is putting up career highs in points per game (19.9), rebounds per game (4.2), assists per game (6.6) and free-throw percentage (91%).

He had a bad outing against the Milwaukee Bucks in the previous matchup, as he went 3-17 from the field and scored just 10 points. He gave 10 assists, but the Toronto Raptors fell by seven points to the Milwaukee Bucks.

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Published 16 Feb 2021, 06:15 IST
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