It’s a shame that a channel with the name “DownToBuck” is forced to do endless highlights of Raptors role-players kicking the Bucks’ booty. I’ve had my share of fun this series, with George Hill and Ersan Ilyasova and Brook Lopez, but that fun is over now. This game was the game where all the Raptors’ marginal talent decided simultaneously that they weren’t going to let Kawhi Leonard and Pascal Siakam steal the show anymore.
The Bucks decided that too, in a way, because they were aggressively doubling Leonard seemingly every possession. This caused no end of trouble for Milwaukee; it seemed like every double let to a series of passes that eventually ended up in a bucket. New plan for game five: just let Leonard do whatever he wants every possession and hope that reduces the rest of the Raptors into background actors. It worked in games one and two, didn’t it?
Serge Ibaka, kind of like Kevon Looney in the last Warriors game, really helped out a lot in this game with his rebounding. His scoring was great, and also very helpful, but man. Ibaka was outworking people (Brook Lopez) on the glass, his star play being a series of rebounds that culminated in a rim-swinging dunk while the crowd drowned out whatever the commentators were trying to say.
Speaking of which, has anyone else noticed that TNT has really ramped up the crowd noise for this year’s playoffs? Like they’re trying to make the whole thing seem way more intense by turning up the sliders for that particular channel of audio. That’s fine by me, as long as this leads to a point where the commentators are literally unhearable and all you get is the ambient noise of the game. That is my dream.