Milwaukee Bucks vs Toronto Raptors Preview and Predictions -02-25-2020
NBA: Tuesday, February 25, Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, Ontario, 7:30 PM ET
Tuesday night brings a marquee Eastern Conference clash at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto where the reigning NBA champs Raptors welcome the league leaders Milwaukee Bucks. These two foes meet for the second time this season, and the Bucks defeated the Raptors 115-105 as 6.5-point home favorites with a total of 227.0 points back in November.
The Bucks will play without rest here after visiting the Washington Wizards on Monday night. On the other side, the Raptors had one day to rest after humiliating the Indiana Pacers at Scotiabank Arena on Sunday night.
The Bucks had an easy job in a home clash against the Sixers
Before they visited D.C. on Monday night, the Bucks thrashed off the Philadelphia 76ers 119-98 as 9.5-point home favorites to record their second straight win. Giannis Antetokounmpo led the way for Milwaukee, dropping 31 points on the Sixers to go with 17 rebounds and eight assists. Khris Middleton had 25 points and nine boards, while Eric Bledsoe added 12 points and eight dimes.
“We came out the third quarter and played fast,” Antetokounmpo said. “We were able to rebound the ball and just attack them. Joel had four fouls. That worked in our favor. We tried to be aggressive in the third quarter and set the tone.”
The Bucks have won seven of their last nine games, losing only at the Indiana Pacers just before the break, but they’ve been playing without Giannis Antetokounmpo in that game. The Greek Freak has been unstoppable over his last seven outings, averaging 30.4 points, 17.6 rebounds, and 7.3 assists per game. The Bucks score 113.7 points per 100 possessions (3rd in the league) on 48.2% shooting from the field (2nd), allowing only 101.9 points in a return (1st) on 41.1% shooting from the field (also 1st). They are topping the Eastern Conference, six and a half games ahead of the second-seeded Raptors while leading the NBA four and a half games ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Raptors sent the message with the largest winning margin in their history
Toronto is coming off a 127-81 home victory over the Indiana Pacers, setting the franchise record for the most lopsided victory. The Raptors limited the Pacers on terrible 32.6% shooting from the field while making 51.1% of their field goals and 38.6% of their 3-pointers. Pascal Siakam led the way for the reigning champions, accounting for 21 points on 8-for-12 shooting, while Kyle Lowry tallied his sixth straight double-double with 16 points and 11 assists.
“I’ve never coached or seen anybody that plays as hard in basketball as that guy,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said on Kyle Lowry.
The Raptors have won 17 of their last 18 games overall, playing in an incredible form. They are still without Marc Gasol (hamstring) and Norman Powell (shoulder), but all other players have been doing a wonderful job lately. The Raptors are the second-best team in the East, two and a half games ahead of their division rivals Boston Celtics. They score 111.8 points per 100 possessions (13th in the league) on 46.2% shooting from the field (14th), surrendering 104.7 points in a return (2nd) on 42.7% shooting from the field (also 7th).
The Milwaukee Bucks are an American professional basketball team based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
The Bucks compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league’s Eastern Conference Central Division. The team was founded in 1968 as an expansion team, and play at the Fiserv Forum. Former U.S. Senator Herb Kohl was the long-time owner of the team, but on April 16, 2014, a group led by billionaire hedge fund managers Wes Edens and Marc Lasry agreed to purchase a majority interest in the team from Kohl, a sale which was approved by the owners of the NBA and its Board of Governors one month later on May 16. The team is managed by Jon Horst, the team’s former director of basketball operations, who took over for John Hammond in May 2017.
The Bucks have won one league title (1971), two conference titles (1971 and 1974), and 14 division titles (1971–1974, 1976, 1980–1986, 2001, 2019). They have featured such notable players as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Sidney Moncrief, Oscar Robertson, Bob Dandridge, Bob Lanier, Glenn Robinson, Ray Allen, Sam Cassell, Junior Bridgeman, Michael Redd, Terry Cummings, Vin Baker, Jon McGlocklin, Marques Johnson, and Brian Winters. Abdul-Jabbar and Giannis Antetokounmpo have been named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player while playing for the Bucks, for a total of four MVP awards.