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.

Related items

  • How does Sarri compare to Chelsea bosses under Abramovich? How does Sarri compare to Chelsea bosses under Abramovich?

    Chelsea are seeking yet another manager in the Roman Abramovich era following Maurizio Sarri's switch to Serie A champions Juventus.

    Frank Lampard is widely reported to be first choice to take charge at Stamford Bridge, with the former Chelsea midfielder set to return after a single season gathering managerial experience in the Championship with Derby County.

    Sarri was far from universally popular with Chelsea fans despite winning the Europa League, reaching the EFL Cup final and finishing third in the Premier League.

    But how does he compare with Chelsea's many other managers under Russian billionaire Abramovich? Omnisport crunches the Opta numbers to find out.


    CLAUDIO RANIERI

    When Abramovich bought Chelsea in 2003, Ranieri was the man in the Stamford Bridge dugout - but he left the following year. The genial Italian won 61 per cent of his matches in charge under Abramovich as Chelsea - who bought players including Damien Duff, Joe Cole, Claude Makelele, Juan Sebastian Veron and Hernan Crespo in a spending spree - finished second in the Premier League behind Arsenal's Invincibles. Chelsea also reached the semi-finals of the Champions League that year but Ranieri's decisions in a defeat to Monaco were questioned.


    JOSE MOURINHO

    Announcing himself as a "special one" on his arrival, Mourinho justified his own lofty billing by leading the club to the Premier League title, as well as the EFL Cup. They got to the last four of the Champions League again only to be beaten by Liverpool thanks to a controversial Luis Garcia goal. The Blues defended their Premier League title the next season but were unseated by Manchester United in 2006-07, although Mourinho led them to triumphs in both domestic cups. A poor start to 2007-08, including a Champions League draw at home to Rosenborg, saw Mourinho leave the club.

    He returned in 2013 and Chelsea won the Premier League again in his second season in charge, as well as collecting another EFL Cup. But he left once more in December 2015, with his win ratio across both spells at the club, in all competitions, standing at an excellent 63.6 per cent.


    AVRAM GRANT

    In Mourinho's first spell at Stamford Bridge, Abramovich's appointment of Grant in a technical role reportedly led to tensions and the Israeli was then installed in the dugout. Despite being unpopular with fans, Grant steered Chelsea to the final of the EFL Cup, when they were beaten by Tottenham, and they finished second in the Premier League. Somewhat improbably, Grant's Chelsea also reached the Champions League final but they lost to Manchester United on penalties after John Terry's slip.


    LUIZ FELIPE SCOLARI

    Former Brazil boss Scolari, who led them to World Cup glory, failed to complete a single season at Chelsea as they sacked him in February 2009 citing "deteriorating" results. Scolari won just 55.6 per cent of his games in charge of Chelsea.


    GUUS HIDDINK

    Then-Russia coach Hiddink arrived as a temporary successor to Scolari and took Chelsea to the semi-finals of the Champions League, where they lost to Barcelona. They won the FA Cup final in his last game in charge but despite being popular with fans and players, he did not stay on.

    Hiddink was a natural choice to return when Mourinho left a second time and a 12-game unbeaten run helped the Blues finish in the top half of the Premier League. Despite this, his win ratio across his two periods at Chelsea stands at just 53.1 per cent.


    CARLO ANCELOTTI

    Ancelotti arrived in 2009 and Chelsea pipped United to the Premier League title in his first season, adding the FA Cup to seal a domestic double. But United beat Chelsea in Europe and the Premier League in the following campaign and Ancelotti was dismissed even though his 61.5 per cent win ratio in all competitions was admirable.


    ANDRE VILLAS-BOAS

    Like Mourinho, Villas-Boas joined from Porto but he could not match his compatriot's success. With Chelsea outside the top four in the Premier League, he was sacked in March 2012 with a win ratio of 47.5 per cent - the lowest of any Blues boss in the Abramovich era.


    ROBERTO DI MATTEO

    Another temporary manager, Di Matteo moved up from being assistant to Villas-Boas and the Italian oversaw victory in the FA Cup final against Liverpool. Di Matteo also managed Chelsea to a remarkable defeat of Barcelona in the semi-finals of the Champions League, then Didier Drogba's penalty in the shoot-out saw them beat Bayern Munich at their Allianz Arena home and claim the club's first European Cup.

    Di Matteo was rewarded with a permanent contract but was dismissed after a Champions League group-stage loss to Juventus. His eight months in charge, while delivering two major trophies, yielded a win ratio of 57.1 per cent.


    RAFAEL BENITEZ

    Former Liverpool manager Benitez, whose win ratio was 58.3 per cent at Stamford Bridge, was another appointment that was unpopular with fans. But he secured Champions League qualification and more European silverware, with the Blues beating Benfica 2-1 in the Europa League final. 


    ANTONIO CONTE

    Another Italian, Conte took charge after successful periods at Juventus and Italy. They won the Premier League title in style in his first season but Conte left despite beating United in the FA Cup final in the following campaign. Conte's win ratio of 65.1 per cent at the club is second only to Grant and he will be a Serie A rival for Sarri next term as he has been appointed by Inter.


    MAURIZIO SARRI

    Sarri's style never won fans over but third place in the Premier League, coupled with an appearance in the EFL Cup final - overshadowed by Kepa Arrizabalaga refusing to be substituted - and Europa League glory marked a successful single season. Sarri's 61.9 per cent win ratio at the club narrowly pips fellow Italian Ancelotti, who replaced him at Napoli last year.

  • LeBron James reacts to Anthony Davis trade: Just the beginning LeBron James reacts to Anthony Davis trade: Just the beginning

    LeBron James welcomed Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers, warning NBA rivals it is "just the beginning" after reports broke of a blockbuster trade with the New Orleans Pelicans.

    The Lakers acquired All-Star center Davis from the Pelicans for Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and three first-round picks – including this year's fourth selection, according to ESPN.

    While the trade is yet to be officially announced, Lakers superstar could not hide his excitement via social media.

    "AD on da way!! @antdavis23 [Rolling on the floor laughing emoji]," James wrote on Instagram with a picture of the pair in Lakers jerseys together.

    "Let's get it bro! Just the beginning..."

    Davis' agent Rich Paul told ESPN in January his client did not want to re-sign with the Pelicans and would prefer to be traded.

    The Lakers were among his preferred destinations, however, Los Angeles were unable to strike a deal prior to the deadline.

    James now has a second star to play alongside in Los Angeles, but that does not mean the Lakers are content with adding just one piece.

    The Lakers now plan to pursue free agent point guard and Charlotte Hornets star Kemba Walker, according to reports.

    They could also still pursue any and all of the other big-name free agents on the market like Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving and Jimmy Butler.

    James has reportedly already been in contact with Toronto Raptors star Leonard and Butler of the Philadelphia 76ers.

  • Magic Johnson congratulates Lakers over reported Davis trade Magic Johnson congratulates Lakers over reported Davis trade

    Magic Johnson congratulated the Los Angeles Lakers on their reported deal for New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis.

    According to ESPN, the Lakers have acquired All-Star center Davis from the Pelicans for Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and three first-round NBA draft picks – including this year's fourth selection.

    Johnson, the former president of basketball operations for the Lakers, congratulated the team, but he took some time to mention general manager Rob Pelinka.

    "Great job by Owner Jeanie Buss bringing Anthony Davis to the Lakers!" Johnson wrote on Twitter. "Laker Nation, the Lakers are back in a championship hunt! Congratulations to the entire organization. I know LeBron James has a big smile on his face. I’m loving this!!

    "Laker Nation, you wanted the great Jeanie Buss to step up and bring a championship team back to LA and she's doing just that!

    "And the Lakers still have over $30 million of cap space to spend on free agents starting June 30th.

    "Great trade Rob Pelinka! Job well done."

    Johnson – a five-time NBA champion with the team – resigned from his position with the Lakers on the final day of the regular season before accusing Pelinka of backstabbing him.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.