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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Milwaukee Bucks
Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports /

Bucks in Six?

Schlepp: The Toronto Raptors present possibly the worst-case scenario for this young Bucks team. They play consistent, aggressive defense. They have shot blockers and rebounders. They have a mid-range and an outside game. And they have a bunch of crafty veterans who have been here before and are hungry for a title. DeMar DeRozen is going to get buckets regardless of who’s guarding him and Kyle Lowry is still one of the most underrated players in the league. The addition of PJ Tucker gave the Raptors a fire they desperately needed and Serge Ibaka is the upgrade at the 4 position they’ve needed for years. The Raptors might be the most complete team in the Eastern Conference Finals, but I still have hope the Bucks can take a few at home. If I’ve learned anything this season, it’s this: Never discount the Greek Freak. He is truly capable of anything.

Prediction: Raptors in six. That felt wrong to type out.

Harkins: The Raptors are not a good matchup for the Bucks and will likely take the series, but I think the outbreak of “Playoff Giannis” could account for two wins by the Bucks. Because of this, I am going to say that Raptors will win the series in six games, 4-2. One thing that everybody is looking past however, is that Matthew Dellavedova is a playoff legend. Delly has made the playoffs twice so far in his career, and made the NBA Finals in both of those two trips. Watch out for Outback Jesus to go off for averaging at least 50 points per game.

In all seriousness though, the key for the Bucks will be controlling the Toronto guards and taking one of the first two games on the road. This will be a difficult task, but if the Bucks can return to Milwaukee tied in the series, then their odds of winning the entire series will definitely go up.

Treske: As much as I’d like to see the Bucks, say, WIN IN 6 (#ad), I’m following Lukas and Travis’ lead and going with the Raptors in six (by that math, that means the six will win in six, huh?).

As I mentioned earlier, the Raptors have great balance within their roster and their midseason acquisitions this year will make a difference as they hope to repeat their playoff run from last year. While it’s fair to wonder whether they have the best player in the series, Kyle Lowry is a player the Bucks have no match for in particular, even when taking into account his playoff struggles historically.

Facing a team with that roster, playoff experience and type of playoff setting/atmosphere, I think it’s fair to say the Bucks have no real advantage to rely on heading into the series, other having Giannis and Middleton. That doesn’t mean they can make things interesting and extend the series to five or six games, but that would require them to play to their most idealized selves.

But hey, here’s to hoping that will happen! Oh, and if I can quote the immortal Samuel L. Jackson from ‘Jurassic Park’ to officially usher in this series, hold onto your butts, everybody.

Spanbauer: Toronto comes into this series as the clear favorites. They are the superior offensive unit, and the trade deadline saw them bolster their defense with the additions of Serge Ibaka and P.J. Tucker. With Kyle Lowry seemingly healthy, and DeMar DeRozan throwing up 30 a night with ease, the Bucks have a lot of work to do

However, the Bucks will go into the series with likely the best player on the floor in Giannis. No one can say they know what Giannis can do in the course of this series, so we’ll all have to wait to see what kind of magic the Greak Freak can create. In addition to Giannis being amazing, the Bucks will need solid offense from their more reliable scorers – Middleton and Monroe – and will need continued strong play from Brogdon.

The series will likely come down to offense, and if it does, it’s hard to bet against the backcourt of Lowry and DeRozan. The Bucks will need a lot of hot hands to keep up.

Prediction: Raptors in six (ugh)

Coffman: The Raptors got noticeably better at the trade deadline by adding Tucker and Ibaka, but those additions flew under the radar when it came to their record due to Lowry’s absence over the latter half of the season. As mentioned above, he presents a huge problem for the Bucks, but there’s always the chance he’s still a bit hampered or rusty from missing so many games. PJ Tucker is about the best guy opposing teams could hope for in stopping Giannis — a veteran who knows all the tricks, has a strong frame, and can make Antetokounmpo finish over him from farther away rather than through him in the paint. Given how well the Raptors play defense, the Bucks will need to play some great D of their own to stay competitive. The difference, I think, will come down to DeMar DeRozan’s ability to create shots out of nothing when play bogs down. The Bucks don’t have that sort of option, but they’ll get one victory at home.

Raptors in 5. I hope I’m wrong.

Wallace: The Raptors feel like the better team, but I question how this series will play out because we have yet to see these two teams play a game with all the players that will be involved in this series. The playoffs will slow the game down. The Bucks have actually been playing better of late when the pace of the game has slowed. I think the Bucks give the Raptors fits and I really want to pick them in 6. Actually, you know what….


McGee: I’m going to say Raptors in six, but there’s a big but and it’s not the type of butt Jordan was just quoting in that Sam Jackson reference.

The Bucks are the rightful underdogs here, but the Raptors have a history of nervy, post-season struggles. If the Bucks can somehow win Game 1 and get the players and fans uneasy in Toronto, they’ll have a very real chance to take this series. This is an excellent Raptors team who could go on to make the Finals, but they are not infallible, and the Bucks have just enough talent to take advantage if they show any signs of vulnerability. I’m going to assume the Raptors have learned from past experience, but hope desperately that they haven’t.

Osterndorf: I strongly believe the Raptors are the second best and most talented team in the East. They have also owned the Bucks for a long time. This playoff scenario is awful, and I don’t trust Jason Kidd to play rotations that make any sense. So my brain and my heart are going two separate ways. My heart says Bucks in six, but of course my brain says Raptors in six. Either way, it’s going to six games.

Next: Milwaukee Bucks: 5 Key Stats Ahead of Toronto Raptors Series

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