The Milwaukee Bucks and Toronto Raptors are now tied at 2-2 following Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals. Subsequently, this marked just the second time the Bucks have lost consecutive games this season.
Although the Milwaukee Bucks haven’t played their best basketball as of late, all hope is not lost. With that being said, here are three key factors they need to focus on to regain control of the series.
3. Bucks’ bench must play better. The Bucks got huge games from their top stars. Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 25 points, collected 10 rebounds and handed out five assists. Khris Middleton led the Bucks with 30 points to go along with seven assists and six rebounds.
However, the Bucks’ bench production left a lot to be desired. In Game 3, the Bucks’ second unit contributed 54 points in a losing cause. But in Game 4, the reserves contributed just 23 points. Simply put, this will not get it done. If the Bucks are going to win this series, the bench must play well on a consistent basis going forward.
2. Limit production of Raptors’ role players. Although the Raptors top two scorers in this series — Kawhi Leonard and Pascal Siakam — had subpar performances in Game 4. However, the solid play of the Raptors’ role players helped the Raptors come out on top. Serge Ibaka, Normal Powell and Fred VanVleet rose to the occasion, to say the least. In fact, the trio contributed a total of 48 points, 19 rebounds and 11 assists.
Let’s also not forget about Marc Gasol. After scoring just eight points in the first two games of the series, he has averaged. 16.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and seven assists over the last two contests. In other words, the Bucks must keep the other Raptors players in check to win Game 5.
1..Bucks must remain confident. While the Bucks have not played very well recently, the good news the next game is on their home court. This is a great thing, by the way. The Bucks had the second-best home record in the NBA this season, for instance.
Secondly, the Bucks have only lost just one time at Fiserv Forum during their postseason run. Even more important, in the home games they’ve won, the margin of victory was no less than eight points.
This should give the Bucks a certain level of mental confidence with the series shifting back to Milwaukee. In conclusion, if Bucks get solid play from their bench and limit the Raptors’ role players, they will be able to regain control of the series.