While all eyes were on Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo, who had a strong performance against the Raptors, there was one undisputed hero for Milwaukee, and that could become a problem for Toronto down the road.
We're talking about Brook Lopez.
In 34 minutes, Lopez scored 29 points (a career-high for the 11-year veteran), hauled in 11 rebounds, and unleashed four blocks. Oh, and 12 of those points came from four successful three-point shots.
Lopez stepped up for Milwaukee when they needed him most. While Khris Middleton would only score 11 points (4-for-12 from the field) in the same span that Lopez was on the court, the shooting guard made up for it with 11 rebounds.
Point guard Eric Bledsoe was essentially nonexistent, scoring just nine points (3-for-12 from the field, 0-for-6 from behind the arc) in 29 minutes.
Nikola Mirotic : 13 points on 3-9 shooting, 6-6 from the FT line & 6 rebounds in 25 minutes— Lee Harvey (@MusikFan4Life25) May 16, 2019
Khris Middleton : 11 points (4-12 shooting & 1-6 from 3), 11 rebounds & 4 assists in 35 minutes
Eric Bledsoe : 9 points (All in the 2nd half) on 3-12 shooting & 5 rebounds in 30 minutes
This was the opportunity for the Raptors to strike and take Game 1 from the top seed in the East. Kawhi Leonard (31 points) had his usual playoff performance, and Kyle Lowry lit up the stat sheet (30 points, 8 rebounds). They even had luck on their side, scoring several haphazard hauls at the buzzer. Yet, less than ideal performances from Pascal Siakam and Danny Green doomed Toronto.
Raptors in the second half:— Dan Feldman (@DanFeldmanNBA) May 16, 2019
Kyle Lowry: 21 points (7-of-9)
Kawhi Leonard: 16 points (5-of-15)
Pascal Siakam: 4 points (1-of-8)
Other Raptors: 0 points (0-of-15)
The Bucks have been criticized for their supposed lack of depth entering the Eastern Conference Finals. Brook Lopez made those doubters eat their own words, and he could prove to be troublesome for the Raptors moving forward.
If you can't win this road game, in which almost no non-Lopez Buck could figure out how to shoot from range, then which one can you win?