TORONTO — The Toronto Raptors and the Milwaukee Bucks shall be going with their finest this time — Kawhi Leonard and Giannis Antetokounmpo, respectively.
The primary time the groups met in Milwaukee on Oct. 29, neither performed because the Bucks defeated to Raptors 124-109 to win their seventh straight sport to open the season.
The groups meet once more Sunday in Toronto, and each are anticipated to play.
“I believe it is intriguing on the whole simply because they’re each going to need to go at one another just a little bit,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse stated Saturday. “Guard one another and go at one another and, whereas we do not need it to be a private battle, I am assuming there shall be just a little personal-ness happening between them.
“I’d think about each of them are going to be excited to play and play with a variety of vitality and pressure and attempt to get a variety of issues carried out. They’re each talked about (as being) among the many finest gamers within the East, each are in MVP talks now, so I believe it is a sport for them to see what occurs.”
Each groups are coming off losses. The Raptors fell 106-105 in time beyond regulation on Friday night time at Brooklyn to the Nets, who ended an eight-game shedding streak.
“We put ourselves in a troublesome place within the first place,” stated Raptors level guard Kyle Lowry, who had three factors on 1-of-Eight taking pictures and 11 assists. “Not rebounding, they outrebounded us (60-41). Everyone was lacking pictures.
“However we simply should hold enjoying onerous. I believe we are able to do some bit higher job of coverages and we have to play just a little bit more durable.”
The Bucks misplaced 105-95 at dwelling Friday to the Golden State Warriors.
“Offensively, I believe we might be higher,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer stated. “We did not transfer very nicely or play with very a lot pressure. Simply we weren’t excellent tonight offensively. However I believe you need to give their protection credit score. They make issues troublesome on you. I believe we’ll study from each ends of the courtroom.”
The Bucks added two gamers, guard George Hill and heart Jason Smith in trades involving the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Washington Wizards.
Milwaukee traded level guard Matthew Dellavedova and heart John Henson together with their 2021 first- and second-round draft picks to Cleveland for Hill and Sam Dekker. Then Dekker was traded to the Wizards for Smith and a 2021 second-round decide. The brand new Bucks will not be anticipated to play Sunday.
Budenholzer was an assistant coach with the San Antonio Spurs whereas Hill, 32, performed there from 2008 to 2011.
“We’re actually enthusiastic about including him,” Budenholzer stated. “Simply one other guard that may sort of play each positions. Assault off the dribble. Shoots the Three-pointer at a excessive proportion. Defensively, I believe he can guard a number of positions. I have been round him quite a bit. So there’s a fantastic consolation degree with me. The human is off the charts.”
Antetokounmpo stated, “He is a fantastic level guard, he can discover guys. I do not assume he is scared — he is been within the league for therefore lengthy. … I do know he is a superb individual, additionally, so it is good to have a crew with a variety of expertise and good folks round. It is going to be good attending to know George Hill much more and enjoying with him.”
As for Smith, 32, Budenholzer stated he’s “anyone who has carried out a variety of good issues within the league and matches how we play.”
Antetokounmpo, who missed the primary sport in opposition to Toronto due to concussion protocol, scored 22 factors on Eight-of-13 (.615) taking pictures Friday, grabbed 15 rebounds and added 5 assists. It was his 10th sport this season with 20 or extra factors and 15 or extra rebounds, which tops the NBA.
Leonard scored 32 factors Friday on 10-of-21 (.476) taking pictures. He has scored 30 or extra factors in 4 of his previous 5 video games and 30 or extra factors in eight video games this season total.
Leonard, who was rested Oct. 29 for the primary sport of a back-to-back set, is averaging 33.2 factors and taking pictures .532 (58 of 109) from the sphere, together with .500 (17 of 34) from Three-point vary in his previous 5 video games.
In the meantime, Lowry, who has been an essential a part of Toronto’s early-season success, is taking pictures solely 5 of 27 (.185) from Three-point vary in his previous 5 video games.
“Lacking pictures; should play higher,” Lowry stated. “I do not make excuses and I haven’t got any excuses to make. I am simply not enjoying nicely. So it is so simple as that. I’ve to play higher.
“I maintain myself to a excessive customary and I’ve to play higher. Because the chief of this crew, I’ve to determine the right way to play quite a bit higher offensively.”