Frankly, it could be worse for the Raptors. Tonight is Game 4, and Toronto is down 2-1 in their Eastern Conference Finals series against the Milwaukee Bucks; this, despite a knock-down, drag-it-out fight in Game 3 that took two overtimes to resolve and may or may not have undid all of Toronto’s load management schemes with their star Kawhi Leonard. Still, still, the Raptors could be down 3-0. Silver linings, and all that.
In more positive news, this is just about the largest amount of media attention the Raptors have ever garnered in their franchise’s history. Think about it: since the Warriors just wiped out the Blazers in four straight, there is literally no other NBA game, or even series, happening right now or tomorrow — or maybe even this week. Wild times if you’re a Raptors fan. The whole NBA world, including the likes of Stephen A. Smith, Michael Wilbon, Zach Lowe, and more (and that’s just who I saw pre-game in the arena), is watching... this.
Getting my skinny pop popcorn ready for Milwaukee versus Toronto! I think I’m going to go with sea salt & pepper.— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) May 21, 2019
Now, that’s not to bring any additional pressure to the Raptors. If you think about it, there really should be less pressure on the team. For one, Toronto has long been thought of as the underdog in this series. For two, it’s actually been the Bucks who have played well below their potential through large chunks of two of the series’ games. For three, what do the Raptors have to lose? If they fall short, it’s expected; if they come back and win, it’s the greatest turn of events in franchise history. May as well go down swinging.
As has been the case for much of these playoffs, there are not a ton of other updates to provide right now (still, see below). There is also the full Game 4 preview to read here from Ben Scott.
And now, let’s watch.
Where to Watch:
TSN, 8:30pm EST
Toronto - Kyle Lowry, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Pascal Siakam, Marc Gasol
Milwaukee - Eric Bledsoe, Khris Middleton, Nikola Mirotic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Brook Lopez
Toronto - OG Anunoby (appendectomy - out), Patrick McCaw (personal - out)
Milwaukee - Donte DiVincenzo (heel - out), Pau Gasol (foot - out), D.J. Wilson (ankle - questionable)