How the Milwaukee Bucks and Toronto Raptors match up in the Eastern Conference finals that open on Wednesday:
1. Milwaukee Bucks
60-22 (Home 33-8, Road 27-14)
First round: Defeated Detroit 4-0
Second round: Defeated Boston 4-1
No. 2 Toronto Raptors 58-24 (Home 32-9, Road 26-15)
First round: Defeated Orlando 4-1
Second round: Defeated Philadelphia 4-3
Season series: Milwaukee won 3-1
Key stats: The Bucks have rebuilt their offense around the three-point shot, and it’s opened opportunities near the basket. No team converted a better percentage of two-point shots this season than Milwaukee (56.5 %). … Among active players with at least 200 attempted three-pointers in the NBA playoffs, no one has made a higher percentage than Kawhi Leonard (42.3 %). … Giannis Antetokounmpo had 279 dunks this season, second to Rudy Gobert’s 306. Antetokounmpo played in 12 fewer games. … The Bucks have played only 432 minutes this postseason, 144 fewer than Toronto. … The Bucks and Raptors are the first and second-best defenses in the playoffs, respectively. … Toronto has been one of the most methodical teams this postseason, getting an estimated 95.58 possessions per game, third fewest out of the 16 qualifiers.
Outlook: While it’s natural to view this series as Antetokounmpo against Leonard, things probably will tip depending on each team’s role players. In Toronto’s Game 7 win, Leonard’s miracle shot never happens without Kyle Lowry’s offensive rebounding or some big-time shots from Serge Ibaka. For the Bucks, Khris Middleton, not Antetokounmpo, likely will check Leonard and still be called upon to make shots. These teams have been the most title-worthy in the East all season. It should be a great series.
Dan Woike’s prediction: Toronto Raptors in 7
Gm 1: Wednesday at Milwaukee, TNT, 5:30 p.m.
Gm 2: Friday at Milwaukee, TNT, 5:30 p.m.
Gm 3: Sunday at Toronto TNT, 4 p.m.
Gm 4: Tuesday at Toronto, TNT, 5:30 p.m.
*Gm 5 May 23 at Milwaukee, TNT, 5:30 p.m.
*Gm 6: May 25 at Toronto, TNT, 5:30 p.m.
*Gm 7: May 27 at Milwaukee, TNT, 5:30 p.m.