NBA

Three takeaways from Raptors' historic win over Bucks

By Sports Desk May 25, 2019

The Toronto Raptors are headed to their first NBA Finals after overcoming the Milwaukee Bucks.

Toronto's 100-94 Game 6 win over the Bucks on Saturday secured their move to the biggest stage, where the Golden State Warriors await.

Here are three takeaways from the Raptors' historic win.

 

The "others" made all the difference

Toronto's bench outscored Milwaukee's in three consecutive games during their four-game winning streak in the Eastern Conference Finals.

The Raptors got valuable contributions from a variety of role players throughout the series. Among them were Fred VanVleet, Norman Powell and Serge Ibaka.

The Bucks did not have the luxury of a new face showing up each game, and it led to their downfall.

Kawhi Leonard's will to win is unrivalled

Leonard did everything possible to elevate his team's play against the Bucks. 

The Raptors superstar finished with a game-high 27 points on nine-of-22 shooting, but also grabbed a game-high 17 rebounds – 12 more than any of his team-mates.

Leonard logged 41 minutes and carried his team through critical moments down the stretch, like he has all postseason.

One of his more notable plays was a poster dunk on defensive player of the year candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo.

The Bucks' free-throw struggles came back to bite them again

Toronto's crowd seemed to have a serious effect on Milwaukee at the line.

The Bucks fell short by six points and left nine at the charity stripe. Antetokounmpo clanged five of his 10 attempts which clearly changed the outcome of the game.

But you have to give credit to the Raptors for their swarming defensive tactics and aggressiveness, forcing their opponents to earn their scoring the hard way in Scotiabank Arena.

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    CA said Smith "passed the CogSport and SCAT5 assessments" when he came off the pitch at Lord's, so why was the concussion not spotted then?

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    DAVID WARNER

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    CAMERON BANCROFT

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    TIM PAINE

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    SOMEONE ELSE...

    It was Smith's direct replacement Marnus Labuschagne, the concussion substitute, who stepped up in his absence at Lord's, contributing a vital 100-ball 59.

    Labuschagne will surely get the opportunity to impress again in Leeds, but Australia really should have enough batting talent in their ranks without needing to call on a deputy.

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    Matthew Wade's series has been ludicrously inconsistent: one, 110, six and one. More single-figures will be damaging next time out.

    There are plenty of men capable of stepping into the void, but that might be easier said than done when Smith is gone and Jofra Archer is hitting his stride.

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