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Raptors at Bucks Preview

The Milwaukee Bucks play host to the Toronto Raptors in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals at Fiserv Forum on Wednesday.

The Raptors had trouble getting through the Eastern Conference Semis, as Philly gave them everything they could handle. In fact, it took seven games to determine a winner and a miracle shot from Kawhi Leonard decided that Game 7 at the buzzer. Picking up Leonard was one of the biggest moves of the offseason and it’s now starting to look like the biggest move in this franchise’s history. His play in these playoffs has been absolutely absurd, with Leonard averaging 32 points, 9.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.3 steals per game. That’s all you can ask for and he was even better in the last series against the Sixers. Getting that sort of production is especially imperative when you consider the breakout of Pascal Siakam, as he’s established himself as their second-best player and one of the most dynamic bigs in the league.

The Bucks appeared to be in trouble after a blowout loss to the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semis but that clearly lit a fire under Milwaukee. Not only did the Bucks win the next four games, they won by an average of 16 points per game. That’s the dominant Bucks team that we’ve all become accustomed to in the regular season and it’s clear that Game 1 was nothing more than a fluke. What makes this team so scary is their depth. The starting lineup of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Eric Bledsoe, Khris Middleton, Nikola Mirotic and Brook Lopez is stout enough but this is one of the best benches too. Players like Malcolm Brogdon, George Hill, Ersan Ilyasova and Pat Connaughton form one of the best benches in the league and that’s simply too much talent for anyone to match-up with. That’s why Milwaukee was the only team in the NBA who finished top-five in both offensive and defensive efficiency in the regular season and is a heavy favorite to advance to the NBA Finals.

Not only did Milwaukee win the season series, 3-1, the Bucks also won two of those games by double-digit margins.

Written by Joel Bartilotta at 5/15 5:39 AM IST

Star Player:

Giannis Antetokounmpo, MIL (23 credits): It’s strange that Antetokounmpo’s price has dropped, as he’s typically a 25-credit player. The simple fact is, this is the second-best player in fantasy basketball. Not only did he average close to 60 Dream11 points per game in the regular season, Antetokounmpo is also averaging 58.4 D11 points per game across his last six outings. In three regular season games against Toronto, he averaged 57 Dream11 points per game.

Value Plays:

Nikola Mirotic, MIL (8 credits): This is probably the best value on the board, as Mirotic should be closer to 12 credits. Not only has he started in four-straight games, Mirotic is also averaging 27 Dream11 points per game in that span. That’s all you can ask for from someone priced so cheaply.  

Kawhi Leonard, TOR (21 credits): The first thing you need to do is put in Antetokounmpo and then Leonard. These are simply the two-best players in the postseason right now and it’s impossible to fade them. In the last series, Leonard averaged 40 minutes and 23 shots per game en route to 54 Dream11 points per outing. Don’t fade that sort of role and production, especially when you consider the fact that Leonard averaged 44 fantasy points per game in the regular season against the Bucks.

Serge Ibaka, TOR (10 credits): Ibaka hasn’t been playing as much recently but he’s going to be needed against this lengthy Milwaukee team. In four games against the Bucks in the regular season, Ibaka scored at least 39 Dream11 points in each of them while averaging 44 fantasy points across 34 minutes of action. That’s obviously absurd production and it makes Ibaka hard to overlook at 10 credits.  

CLICK HERE: RotoWire.com Optimal Lineup

RotoWire.com Projections

Giannis Antetokounmpo, MIL – PF

  • Credits: 23
  • Proj. D11 Pts: 58.00
  • Proj. Minutes: 36

Kawhi Leonard, TOR – SF

  • Credits: 22
  • Proj. D11 Pts: 48.45
  • Proj. Minutes: 42

Pascal Siakam, TOR – PF

  • Credits: 16
  • Proj. D11 Pts: 30.91
  • Proj. Minutes: 34

Kyle Lowry, TOR – PG

  • Credits: 15
  • Proj. D11 Pts: 35.84
  • Proj. Minutes: 39

Khris Middleton, MIL – SF

  • Credits: 15
  • Proj. D11 Pts: 31.85
  • Proj. Minutes: 34

Eric Bledsoe, MIL – PG

  • Credits: 13.5
  • Proj. D11 Pts: 29.23
  • Proj. Minutes: 28

Marc Gasol, TOR – C

  • Credits: 12
  • Proj. D11 Pts: 31.52
  • Proj. Minutes: 36

Brook Lopez, MIL – C

  • Credits: 10
  • Proj. D11 Pts: 24.48
  • Proj. Minutes: 28

Serge Ibaka, TOR – C

  • Credits: 10
  • Proj. D11 Pts: 23.58
  • Proj. Minutes: 26

Danny Green, TOR – SG

  • Credits: 9
  • Proj. D11 Pts: 22.59
  • Proj. Minutes: 34

Malcolm Brogdon, MIL – SG

  • Credits: 9
  • Proj. D11 Pts: 18.09
  • Proj. Minutes: 25

Pat Connaughton, MIL – SG

  • Credits: 8.5
  • Proj. D11 Pts: 19.45
  • Proj. Minutes: 28

George Hill, MIL – PG

  • Credits: 8.5
  • Proj. D11 Pts: 16.74
  • Proj. Minutes: 23

Ersan Ilyasova, MIL – PF

  • Credits: 8
  • Proj. D11 Pts: 12.68
  • Proj. Minutes: 17

Nikola Mirotic, MIL – SF

  • Credits: 8
  • Proj. D11 Pts: 26.84
  • Proj. Minutes: 28

Donte DiVincenzo, MIL – SG

  • Credits: 5
  • Proj. D11 Pts: 0.00
  • Proj. Minutes: 0

Fred VanVleet, TOR – PG

  • Credits: 5
  • Proj. D11 Pts: 12.13
  • Proj. Minutes: 16

Norman Powell, TOR – SG

  • Credits: 5
  • Proj. D11 Pts: 7.10
  • Proj. Minutes: 10

D.J. Wilson, MIL – PF

  • Credits: 4.5
  • Proj. D11 Pts: 0.00
  • Proj. Minutes: 0

Sterling Brown, MIL – SG

  • Credits: 4.5
  • Proj. D11 Pts: 2.79
  • Proj. Minutes: 4

Bonzie Colson, MIL – SF

  • Credits: 4
  • Proj. D11 Pts: 0.00
  • Proj. Minutes: 0

Jeremy Lin, TOR – PG

  • Credits: 4
  • Proj. D11 Pts: 0.00
  • Proj. Minutes: 0

Patrick McCaw, TOR – SG

  • Credits: 4
  • Proj. D11 Pts: 1.84
  • Proj. Minutes: 4

Chris Boucher, TOR – PF

  • Credits: 4
  • Proj. D11 Pts: 0.00
  • Proj. Minutes: 0

Jordan Loyd, TOR – PG

  • Credits: 4
  • Proj. D11 Pts: 0.00
  • Proj. Minutes: 0

Pau Gasol, MIL – C

  • Credits: 4
  • Proj. D11 Pts: 0.00
  • Proj. Minutes: 0

Malcolm Miller, TOR – SF

  • Credits: 3.5
  • Proj. D11 Pts: 0.00
  • Proj. Minutes: 0

Tony Snell, MIL – SF

  • Credits: 3.5
  • Proj. D11 Pts: 0.93
  • Proj. Minutes: 2

Tim Frazier, MIL – PG

  • Credits: 3.5
  • Proj. D11 Pts: 0.00
  • Proj. Minutes: 0

Eric Moreland, TOR – C

  • Credits: 3.5
  • Proj. D11 Pts: 0.00
  • Proj. Minutes: 0

Injuries:

Milwaukee Bucks –

Donte DiVincenzo – OFS – Heel

3/27 10:09 AM IST – DiVincenzo (heel) has been ruled out for the remainder of the season, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports. Due to bilateral heel bursitis in his right foot, DiVincenzo will have his rookie season cut short. He appeared in 27 games, averaging 4.9 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.1 assists while shooting 40.3 percent from the field and 26.5 percent from distance. With Malcolm Brogdon (foot) out until, optimistically, late April, DiVincenzo’s presence would have been helpful for Milwaukee’s backcourt depth. Now, Tony Snell, Pat Connaughton and Sterling Brown will be relied upon even more in the postseason.

Pau Gasol – OFS – Ankle

5/10 9:21 PM IST – Gasol underwent surgery on his left foot Thursday and will miss the rest of the playoffs. There was never much optimism that Gasol would ever be healthy enough to play in the postseason after missing the last 23 games with the injury. Now, Gasol will have the opportunity to spend the summer rehabbing as he is expected to be ready to go for the start of the 2019-20 season.

D.J. Wilson – GTD – Ankle

5/9 12:17 AM IST – Wilson is out for Wednesday’s Game 5 against the Celtics due to a sprained left ankle. Wilson didn’t play in Game 3 or Game 4, so his lack of availability for Wednesday’s Game 5 shouldn’t matter much for the Bucks’ rotation.

Toronto Raptors –

OG Anunoby – Out – Abdomen

5/15 12:07 AM IST – Anunoby (abdomen) has been ruled out of Wednesday’s Game 1 against the Bucks, Tim Bontemps of ESPN reports. No surprise here, considering Anunoby hasn’t played at all in the postseason, but the Raptors did get some encouraging news when the second-year forward was able to go through some light drills at Tuesday’s practice. Still, it remains unclear as to whether Anunoby will have a legitimate chance to return at some point during Round 3.

Chris Boucher – GTD – Back

5/13 5:03 AM IST – Boucher (back) won’t play in Game 7 on Sunday against Philadelphia. Boucher will unsurprisingly remain out for the last contest of the series. He hasn’t taken the court since April 9 due to back spasms.

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