Who’s ready for an Eastern Conference Finals rematch? Toronto managed to close out the Bucks in six on the road but in true Raptors fashion allowed the home team to go on a run completely erasing the deficit going on a 34-7 run. At times I caught myself yelling at the screen it seemed like the Raptors forgot how to rebound at one point. The play of the Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo was reminiscent of MVP candidate Russell Westbrook in that you can see he left everything he had on the court for his team and was visibly running on fumes. Had it not been for a late run of their own notably a big three from Corey Joseph with under two minutes left of play and a resounding dunk by DeMar Derozan to put the nail in the coffin.
Now that the Raptors have rightly moved on to the next round they have to get rid of whatever black cloud is holding them back mentally, they can’t afford to waste home court like they did with the young Bucks team . Round two is where you get it together they aren’t playing ghost of stronger teams as they did in their 2016 post-season campaign with Miami and Indiana with both going the distance in seven games a piece . If the Raptors want to make it out of the semis they have to take down Cleveland and to do that it means protecting the series at home, it means offensive consistency from Kyle Lowry, and it means perimeter defense and finally someone to contain Lebron no further explanation needed on why that is a concern.
Toronto isn’t out of the woods but they can at least rely on the fact that they play in the jurassic park a little wilder than the woods and no matter the trip to Cleveland they can use the home to boost morale in a pinch. Raptors play the Monday, May 1 on TNT, tip-off at 7 pm EST.