Good morning, folks. Eric Bledsoe is shooting under 25 percent from the field in this series. Let’s talk NBA Playoffs.
(1) Bucks – 102 @ (2) Raptors – 120 (Tied 2-2)
- And just like that, WE HAVE A SERIES. What felt like it was going to be a four-game, demoralizing sweep has morphed into the most compelling Eastern Conference Finals since before LeBron James held a death grip on the entire conference. The Toronto Raptors have crawled back with the help of its home fans to recover from down 0-2 to tie the series up at 2-2. Game 5 will shift back to Milwaukee where the Bucks will look to maintain home court advantage.
- But if they want to do so, they’re going to need to show a little bit more effort than Game 4. Milwaukee was outscored in every quarter by the Raptors and trailed for the entirety of the final three periods. With a double-digit lead throughout the fourth quarter, the game was never in doubt for the Raptors, even as superstar Kawhi Leonard was playing while obviously in pain. Leonard finished with 19 points but on an uncharacteristic (yet still efficient? this dude is literally a robot) 6-13 shooting from the field. After he dunked all over Giannis Antetokounmpo in the third quarter, he immediately started to limp after his initial landing. But this is playoff time, folks. “Everyone is injured”. Kyle Lowry led the Raptors with 25 points, five rebounds, and six assists while Serge Ibaka contributed 17 points and 13 rebounds. Marc Gasol, Norman Powell, and Fred VanVleet all combined to add 48 points for Toronto.
- Antetokounmpo posted 25 points and 10 rebounds in the loss alongside Khris Middleton’s 30 points, six rebounds, and seven assists. The Greek Freak began the game shooting 5-8 and the Bucks were rolling through the first quarter. However, a dreadful start to the third quarter for Milwaukee allowed Toronto to build a sizable lead that the Bucks could never overcome.
- Now let’s discuss Eric Bledsoe, who continues to struggle in this series. After playing some of the best basketball of his season against the Boston Celtics in the previous round, the former Kentucky guard has been completely ignored by the Toronto defense. Bledsoe finished with five points, three rebounds, and two assists on 2-7 shooting in only 20 minutes on Tuesday night. Through four games against the Raptors, he’s averaged 8.3 points on 24.4 percent (11-45) shooting from the field and 10.5 percent from three (2-19). Please read those numbers again. We saw in Game 3 when Bledsoe was literally thanking the high heavens anytime the ball went in – even after made layups. Toronto has put him so far out of his comfort zone that he hasn’t been able to make any sort of considerable impact. They dare him to shoot threes and he obliges. Milwaukee needs the aggressive Bledsoe back; The one that burned the Celtics for five games. His defense and playmaking have been mediocre and he refuses to get to the rim, the same spot on the floor where he shot over 72 percent from in the regular season. Game 5 needs the bulldog mentality from Bledsoe that Lowry plays with every game. Even when Lowry’s shots aren’t falling, he always impacts the game in other ways.
- Also, do the Raptors just let Drake do whatever he wants?
Drake had a little shoulder rub for Nick Nurse ?? pic.twitter.com/WVdlaTv3sq
— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) May 22, 2019
|Eric Bledsoe (MIL)||102-120 L @ TOR||5||2-7 (0-2)||3||2||0||0||0||-8||20|
|Jodie Meeks (TOR)||120-102 W vs. MIL||0||0-2 (0-1)||1||0||0||0||0||-3||3|