BTBP Roundtable: How Can The Bucks Beat The Raptors?

Apr 30, 2015; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks fans hold up a sign during the game against the Chicago Bulls in game six of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Chicago won 120-66. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 30, 2015; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks fans hold up a sign during the game against the Chicago Bulls in game six of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Chicago won 120-66. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /

What is it going to take for the Bucks to overcome the Raptors?

Schlepp: To beat the Raptors the Bucks are going to need their shooters to make shots. The Bucks rebounding woes are going to be exasperated by a Toronto team that has two to three bullies in the front court. To counter this, the Bucks need to make shots from beyond the arc. If Middleton, Snell, Brogdon, Teletovic, Terry and Dellavedova can all avoid simultaneous shooting slumps they have a chance. But they also need to defend the arc. The Bucks will have to survive giving up inside buckets to Valanciunas and the guaranteed 12 or so mid-range shots DeRozan is going to take/make. If they can limit the amount of threes the Raptors make, if Brogdon can stay in front of his man and if playoff Delly rises once again they might make this an interesting series.

HarkinsGiannis Antetokounmpo is the best player in this series and if the Bucks want to win this series, it will be up to him. He is the type of player who can win at least one game all by himself, and this could be the start of “Playoff Giannis.” In addition to Giannis, though, the shooters around him need to knock down shots, especially Teletovic. I have said this time and time again over the past couple of weeks, but Teletovic is the type of guy who can be a difference maker just by making five or six three-pointers in one game. He is a high volume shooter and if the shot is falling, then good things will happen for the Bucks.

On the defensive end, it will be up to Delly, Brogdon, Snell, and Middleton to do their best controlling DeRozan and Lowry. The Raptors have one of the best guard duos in the NBA and they need to be kept somewhat in check.

Treske: Much like my recurring nightmare, the Bucks are going to need a lot of firepower if they want to overcome the Raptors (ah, the second Wednesday of every month).

Echoing what Lukas and Travis said, the Bucks will need their three-point specialists to rise to the occasion throughout the series. If that breaks their way, the Bucks can play that to their advantage by rolling out a center-less lineup with Giannis Antetokounmpo at the 5 to either match the Raptors for when they go small or catch them off guard completely.

With that said, none of that matters without an incredible series from Giannis. He’s far from the player he was the last time he played in a playoff series, for the better obviously, and a lot falls on his shoulders if the Bucks want to make things remotely interesting in this series. For that very reason, all eyes will be on him to see what he can do (not like that isn’t the norm, of course).

Spanbauer: There are two things that will lead the Bucks to victory in their first round series with the Raptors: three-point shooting and the birth of playoff-Giannis.

The Bucks will need all of their shooters in this series. Toronto can put the ball in the hoop like almost no other team. Being able to keep up with their offensive output will be nearly impossible if the Bucks can’t shoot closer to 15-20 three-pointers per game. Starters like Tony Snell, Khris Middleton and Malcolm Brogdon should be more aggressive in looking for open threes. Getting Telly and Jet some open looks will be crucial, as well. Both of these guys were brought in to shoot the ball — help them do it.

In regards to Giannis: let’s just see what happens. The Bucks’ leader in points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks, Giannis has spent the year doing literally everything for the Bucks, and that will have to continue in the playoffs. Giannis’ ability to take over games on both ends of the floor will be necessary in a series where the Bucks, as a whole, are overmatched. Everyone is watching this series to see what Giannis can do as the “number one option”; I’m just as excited to see it, as well.

CoffmanAlthough they might have dispelled their demons last year, the Raptors have been notorious in the past for disappointing in the playoffs. They’ll need to take a dive for the Bucks to have a chance, but Milwaukee will also need top contributions from all their assets. They can’t afford a night off from any of their main scorers, and they’ll likely need at least a game or two of break-out star flashes from Mirza Teletovic or Michael Beasley. Matthew Dellavedova might be overmatched, but he does have playoff experience over the past few years, so I wouldn’t sleep on him keying the Bucks to a win.

Wallace: Giannis Antetokounmpo is going to have to have a ridiculous series. If the Bucks win, he will be the main reason. We know the Raptors will pack it in on him and try to force him to shoot jumpers, but he has to find a way to make plays. He needs to get transition points, offensive rebounds, block shots, and wreak havoc on the Raptors offense. However, he can’t have this type of series without help. If Middleton, Snell, Brogdon, etc. aren’t knocking enough shots down to keep every Raptor from collapsing on Giannis, he will simply see too many bodies, and the Bucks will struggle to score.

I think another key will be defending Jonas Valanciunas and Serge Ibaka. The Bucks do not have a ton of size down low. They have length but not a lot of strength. Valanciunas had a monster playoff series last year, and I suspect they will try to take advantage of him again. The Bucks will have their hands full with Lowry and DeRozan but may can survive a big game from one of those guys as it is expected. However, if they allow Ibaka to hit four to five threes or Valanciunas to have a 20/10 game, I don’t see any way the Bucks can overcome that.

McGee: To keep it very simple, they’ll need Giannis to deliver as the best player on the floor, good contributions from Middleton and Monroe, and everyone else to make a high percentage of the inevitable opportunities that come their way.

That might sound like a lot that needs to go Milwaukee’s way, but if they could find a way to grind out a win in the first two on the road, it could easily fall into place from there. If the Bucks come home from Toronto empty-handed, the odds will be stacked very, very heavily against them.

Osterndorf: The Bucks need to tighten down their rotations. If we see Vaughn, Henson, or Payton play serious minutes, this team will have lost. The Bucks have players that definitely deserve minutes, their starters, Jet, Moose, Telly (despite being vastly overpaid for how little he’s done this season), Delly, and maybe Beasley.

Other than that, I fully expect Giannis to play his heart out, so two others are going to have to step up. Khris needs to be online every night if they want to win. Other than those two, one other guy has to bring it on any of their games, and then they’ll stand a chance.