The Raptors haven’t been on the court since Sunday, and, well, in that time some things have happened. To be clear: Toronto remains unchanged, except they’ve gotten a few days healthier. The rest of the league? Turmoil!
Where to begin? First, there’s the Anthony Davis imbroglio. Then there’s the currently trending topic that’s stirring up NBA Twitter right now: Kristaps Porzingis to the Mavericks. And then there’s... well that’s it for now. Let’s just talk about the Bucks visiting Toronto.
As you know, the season series between the Raptors and Bucks is now at 1-2 in favour of the latter, so this game is still something of a big deal. The first game was a star-less affair, the second game was a close disappointment, the third was a stirring proof of life for the Raps, and the fourth will clarify the tiebreaker picture. If the Raptors win, they give themselves a chance to secure homecourt advantage in the playoffs should these two teams end up entwined at the top of the conference by the end of the season. If they lose, I’d rather not think about it. Still, it will be instructive to see what the Raptors do in this game (and afterwards).
There’s some thinking here that suggests a big of a chess match going on between Toronto’s Nick Nurse and Milwaukee’s Mike Budenholzer. Both seem to sense that the road to the Finals will travel through their respective cities — even if they’ll never admit it — and as such, neither is tipping his hand just yet. It’s canny, but we’ll see what it costs each team in the regular season — and eventually, here’s hoping, in the playoffs too. For what it’s worth, Nurse says his Raptors are no no longer holding anything in reserve, but I have my doubts.
Where to Watch:
TSN, 8:00pm EST
Toronto – Kyle Lowry, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Pascal Siakam, Serge Ibaka
Milwaukee – Eric Bledsoe, Malcolm Brogdon, Khris Middleton, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Brook Lopez
Toronto - Jonas Valanciunas (Thumb - out; but almost back!)
Milwaukee – None.