It’s an unfortunate reality for the Raptors, but this likely represents their very best chance to get to the NBA Finals. They have a 3-2 lead on the Milwaukee Bucks, they’re coming off a huge Game 5 win on the road, and they’ve got an insane number of fans in Toronto ready to cheer them on to a win. I don’t want to lead with the negative here, but somehow ending up back in Milwaukee for a Game 7 would — and let’s not sugarcoat things here — be bad.
Fortunately, all of the energy and momentum is heading in Toronto’s direction right now. It’s said a playoff series doesn’t truly begin until one team wins on the road, and the Raptors decisively struck first. It’s how they find themselves in this situation, despite being down 0-2 off the jump. Ironically, while it was once felt that the Bucks’ depth would be the key to burning the Raptors out, it is now Toronto’s newfound confidence up and down the bench that has turned things in their favour.
That’s not to say Giannis Antetokounmpo won’t do everything he can now to defeat the Raptors. An extended run from him, plus the usual cast of Toronto terrorizers (Khris Middleton, Malcolm Brogdon, Brook Lopez, and George Hill) could be enough to undo all of the goodwill in Toronto right now. Then again, the Bucks may lean on Eric Bledsoe again, or give minutes to Nikola Mirotic, or try to see what Ersan Ilyasova has left — and they could find themselves on vacation.
Who wins tonight? My brain and heart says the Raptors. A biased opinion, sure, but it just feels like the right call to make. In any case, there are no other game updates to make. There is only Zakaria Abdulle’s full Game 6 preview here. Now, let’s..... watch.
Where to Watch:
Sportsnet, 8:30pm EST
Toronto – Kyle Lowry, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Pascal Siakam, Marc Gasol
Milwaukee – Eric Bledsoe, Malcolm Brogdon, Khris Middleton, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Brook Lopez
Toronto – OG Anunoby (abdomen – OUT), Patrick McCaw (personal – OUT)
Milwaukee – Donte DiVincenzo (heel – OUT), Pau Gasol (foot – OUT)