We mentioned Norman Powell briefly in the takeaways after Game 4 because he started for the Raptors over big man Jonas Valanciunas, a surprising mid-series shake up for Toronto. Now it's starting to look like a brilliant move because the Raptors are 2-0 in the series with Powell in the starting lineup. He led Toronto in scoring with 25 points -- a career postseason best off a perfect 4-for-4 from the 3-point line. It was Powell's seventh 20-point game of the season, and four of those have occurred when he's in the starting lineup (Powell started 18 games in the regular season before Ibaka came to town and when guard Kyle Lowry was out with injury). He also helped shut down Khris Middleton the past two games (combined 7-of-21 shooting, 0 for 5 from 3). Do the Bucks have an answer for Powell's high energy on both ends of the court?
USA TODAY SportsNick Turchiaro
Raptors tame the Moose
Greg Monroe was a force to be reckoned with in all four previous games. In Game 5, however, Valanciunas and the Raptors were able to hold him in check. He still finished with a respectable 11 points, hitting 4 of 6 shots from the field, but Milwaukee's beloved Moose only grabbed two rebounds in 22 minutes. Monroe lost multiple battles inside to Valanciunas and let his frustration show. The two big men, who share similar 7-foot-ish, 265-pound frames and intimidating beards, got into a scuffle after Valanciunas boxed out Monroe and flipped him over while fighting for a rebound. Moose ran down the court after him, leading to a brief shoving match after Khris Middleton fouled the big Raptors center hard in the paint. The play, although insignificant in the box score, showed the mental and physical edge the Raptors have seemed to have over Milwaukee the past two games.
NBAE via Getty ImagesMark Blinch
During the regular season, the Bucks got to the free-throw line on average 22.4 times per game and made 76.8 percent of those shots. In this series, Milwaukee has gotten to the line 20 or more times just once -- and that was in Game 5, when the Bucks shot a pathetic 57.7 percent from the charity stripe. In Games 3 and 4 the Bucks made 73.7 percent and 61.1 percent of their free-throw shots. Not to point fingers, but well, the main offender here is Giannis Antetokounmpo, who has made just 18 of 33 free-throw attempts (54.5 percent). Is this the reason why the Bucks lost Game 5 (or Game 2 or Game 4)? No. But it hasn't helped. So this is a two-prong thing: 1. Giannis needs to get better from the line, period. 2. Pretty much everyone else (Michael Beasley is 0 for 4, but no one else is worse than 77.8 percent) needs to draw more fouls.
USA TODAY SportsNick Turchiaro
Bucks show their youth
Milwaukee found itself down 19 points in the middle of the second quarter. The Bucks brought it down to nine points to go into halftime, thanks to several commanding takes to the hoop from Giannis Antetokounmpo. Momentum was finally on Milwaukee's side. But the Bucks' youth was exposed to start the second half. Toronto's Serge Ibaka and DeMarre Carrol were given unnecessary "and-1s" after fouls from Thon Maker and Malcolm Brogdon, respectively, sent them to the line. Both plays energized the Toronto crowd, which had been taken out of the game towards the end of the first half. The two unnecessary fouls stretched Toronto's lead back up to 12 points, and the Bucks were never able to recover.
Associated PressNathan Denette
Who are the other guys?
Toronto got 18 points from DeMar DeRozan and 16 from Lowry in Game 2. But the Raptors have proven to be much more than a two-man team. We've mentioned Powell above, but Toronto is also getting solid, step-up performances from Serge Ibaka (19 points on 8-of-10 shooting), 6 rebounds, 3 blocks), DeMarre Carroll (12 points, 6 rebounds), Cory Joseph (10 points), Patrick Peterson and Valanciunas, all of whom shot 50 percent of better from the field in Game 5. Perhaps someday Antetokounmpo (who had 30 points on 12-of-19 shooting with 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals and 3 blocks) will be able to take over a game like LeBron, MJ, Magic, Bird, etc., but for now he needs help. Head coach Jason Kidd is obviously trying to find out who that will be. In Game 5, he brought out Mirza Teletovic, who sat out Game 4, and he hit his first shot, a 3, but that's the only one he made (and his defense has been suspect). Michael Beasley had a good outing in Game 3, but took two ill-advised shots in Game 5, missing them both. Matthew Dellavedova's shooting struggles continued and he played just 22 minutes. Jason Terry played only 5 minutes and missed an open 3. Thon Maker was a factor early in the series but has been largely neutralized while Monroe, as mentioned above, had his worst game of the series. Tony Snell played 35 minutes and took just five shots (making three). Malcolm Brogdon did finally emerge, scoring 19 points, but . . . Middleton has been struggling. The Bucks need players to step up.