MILWAUKEE – The moment Kawhi shocked Leonard Khris Middleton with a backdoor cut during the third quarter of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference final on Wednesday night, the Toronto Raptors looked like their best selves.  The Raptors had only five shot attempts in the first half, but here was a beautiful set that showed how brutally efficient the Raptors can be if they maximize their strengths: Leonard and Kyle Lowry separate from Marc Gasoline in the high post – Lowry fanning in the left corner and Leonard runs around behind Middleton. This was Toronto's High-IQ basketball in its best shape, and the bucket brought the Raptors a 10-point lead of 5 minutes and 50 seconds in the third period.
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In many ways, the Raptors have shown a solid performance on Wednesday night. They carried out their defensive play plan, enthusiastically took many of the open shots they had rejected in the first two rounds of postseason, and found opportunities in transition. Wednesday night was for a Bucks team for a full week No longer playing, another hawking in Game 1. As a unit that relies on cadence and timing, the bucks could not handle most of the game. Capitals like Middleton initially struggled to find shots against Toronto's roadmaps, an irregular report for Toronto. Giannis Antetokounmpo, the ultimate rhythm player, was not particularly successful in the long break.
Despite the absence of 29 of the first 35 attempts from the 3-point area and their unforgettable field goal percentage of 45.7 percent, the Bucks was successful with the series opener. If Game 1 is proof of anything, then Milwaukee Bucks is and remains an exceptionally difficult team to beat at all costs.
"I think we did a great job just by sticking to what we have. I've been working the whole off-season," said Brook Lopez, who led the Bucks with 29 points. "The shots did not come in early, but we did a great job, made a great defense and just stuck with it, then things started in our direction." Ability to win difficult games against tough opponents despite underperforming top players, low defensive strategy and bad shooting. At this level, the Bucks, who are now 9-1 in the postseason, dominate, even though the end result in Game 1 was not an exhibition of their best choreography.
When he docked his Disney Signature gear on his locker before heading to the postgame podium, Lopez discussed one of the big postseason puzzles for a team that came up with a change of defense as it was made in Toronto on Wednesday night. Should an offensive team respond to this by chasing existing inconsistencies halfway, or should it ignore the advantage it might or may not have and just keep working?
"Someone will say," Why do not you just go downstairs in the post office? "But that's not who we are," said Lopez. "We do not want to change who we are."
While there are many NBA coaches who believe it's not worth attacking disagreements to leave money on the NBA hardwood, Lopez's position was the consistent attitude of Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer. Although the bucks in Game 1 never cracked the code offensively, they experienced a timely breakout by Lopez in the fourth quarter as he emptied three of his five attempts from beyond the arc. "This is the stream that we all know and we all love," said Antetokounmpo, who stated that gasoline to guard Lopez has been instructed to be an active defender of help in this series, which Lopez often openly admits leaves.
Lopez's heroics all over the floor was crucial for Milwaukee's win Wednesday night, but the game was won on the defensive – with Lopez in turn as the catalyst. With rare exceptions, the Raptors in Game 1 just could not reach the edge, and they only tried a fifth of their shots up close, a very low frequency. With all the offensive capabilities of Antetokounmpo and the ground clearance the bucks have, their ability to wall off the basket area is their most consistent attribute as a team. Toronto seldom marginalized, and the Raptors were meager 9-to-17.
"You can defend yourself every night, and that's what we expect," said Budenholzer. "There will be nights when you do not shoot, and you just have to keep going or play defensively, and if you do, you can break through and find a way to win in one night." if you really do not shoot very well offensively or play so well offensively. "
This idea is in Milwaukee under Budenholzer Gospel: In a league where games are increasingly won and lost through the vagaries of streaky perimeter shooting, defense is the ultimate insurance policy in the first 36 minutes of basketball from the 3-point Going 6-for-35 Certainly not ideal, but no one tries to miss it, but if the defense contracts like a vise and the defenders crawl out right away, and the rotators are keen in anticipation, cold spells can be endured – and Big Games Can Be Won.
Here's the Challenge For any team that has to defeat the dollar in a seven-game series, what do you do if Milwaukee has a towering superstar and capable shooters – much less variable – Is it so stubborn to deny you what you most want and need?