May 23, 2019, 11:30 pmPascal Siakam - F - Toronto Raptors
Pascal Siakam played 36 minutes, scoring 14 points (on 15 field goal attempts) with 13 rebounds and four defensive counters on Thursday night.
Siakam wasn't efficient on the offensive side including a sequence of three missed 3-pointers on the same possession during the Raptors' sluggish start. He was pivotal to the fourth quarter defensive effort especially when protecting the rim against Giannis late in the game.
May 23, 2019, 11:25 pmFred VanVleet - G - Toronto Raptors
Fred VanVleet was on fire again in Thursday's Game 5, scoring 21 points with all his points coming from seven 3-pointers.
The distance shooting was huge for the Raptors as VanVleet outscored the Bucks' bench by six by himself. VanVleet could definitely be the key to the Raps' efforts to close this series out on Saturday. We'll see if he can keep finding his shooting stroke.
May 23, 2019, 11:19 pmKyle Lowry - G - Toronto Raptors
Kyle Lowry played 39 minutes on Thursday, scoring 17 points to go along with seven rebounds and six assists.
Lowry has been dealing with a thumb injury which may be part of the reason he's struggled with his shot at times in the postseason. Still, most guys are banged up at this point in the season and he's just going to continue to tough it out with the NBA Finals on the horizon.
May 23, 2019, 11:12 pmKawhi Leonard - F - Toronto Raptors
Kawhi Leonard was something else on Thursday night, leading the Raptors with 35 points, seven boards and nine assists despite not being 100 percent in Game 5.
It was Leonard's show in this one and he really took control of this game down the stretch. The Raptors have a chance to close this out on Saturday and earn a trip to the NBA Finals with Leonard leading from the front.
May 23, 2019, 12:43 pmKyle Lowry - G - Toronto Raptors
Kyle Lowry said that his injured thumb hurts "pretty bad," and isn't going to improve until he can take care of it after the playoffs.
Well, that sure sounds like he'll need an operation to take care of his ailing thumb or at the very least a long rest period followed by an intense physical therapy strengthening. Either way, Lowry plans to play through the pain for however long the Raptors season lasts. Lowry and the Raptors will be on the road for Game 5 on Thursday.
Source: Josh Lewenberg on Twitter
May 23, 2019, 12:33 pmKawhi Leonard - F - Toronto Raptors
When speaking to reporters, coach Nick Nurse didn’t sound overly concerned about Kawhi Leonard having his regular impact saying, “I don’t think Kawhi is in a position where if you don’t double-team him, he’s not going to make baskets. I think he’s fine.”
In what was at the center of a high profile he-said-she-said debate with the Spurs and members of Leonard’s camp last year, Leonard’s thigh issues are cropping up again this series. Anyone watching the series can see that Leonard is playing at less than 100 percent, but he’s going to continue battling through the issue with a trip to the Finals on the line.
Source: Mike Ganter on Twitter
May 23, 2019, 11:40 amFred VanVleet - G - Toronto Raptors
Fred VanVleet (personal) will be available for Game 5 against the Bucks on Thursday.
FVV was in Rockford, Illinois to be with his family as they welcomed their second child, Fred Jr., who was born on Monday night. As expected, VanVleet will play in Game 5.
Source: Tim Bontemps on Twitter
May 23, 2019, 9:46 amKyle Lowry - G - Toronto Raptors
Coach Nick Nurse said Kyle Lowry is playing through a lot of pain in his left thumb.
"Kyle's hand is not great," Nurse said, "it's hurt and it's sore and it causes him a lot of pain." Lowry hurt the thumb in the series against Philadelphia and has been wearing a protective mitt on it since. He's not on the injury report and is in no danger of missing games, which speaks to his toughness.
Source: Tim Bontemps on ESPN
May 23, 2019, 8:45 amFred VanVleet - G - Toronto Raptors
Fred VanVleet credited the birth of his son, Fred Jr., on Monday night for his turnaround in Game 4.
FVV said regarding his shooting woes, "Obviously it's been rough shooting the ball. I had a pretty bad stretch, so it was good to see one go in." It would make sense that he could relax mentally now that his son, his second child, was born. A big congrats to the VanVleet family on the birth of their second child; we'll see if FVV can keep the strong play going in a pivotal Game 5 in Milwaukee.
Source: Blake Murphy on Twitter
May 22, 2019, 5:09 pmOG Anunoby - F - Toronto Raptors
Head coach Nick Nurse told the media that OG Anunoby (appendectomy) is still without a timetable to return but said that he's doing more every day.
Anunoby has missed the entire playoffs after suffering an emergency appendectomy. Now that Game 6 is necessary and there is a greater likelihood that there will be a Game 7, the chances improve that we see Anunoby return to the court to face the Bucks. The Raptors could use another long versatile defender to throw at the Greek Freak and his teammates. Continue to stay tuned to how Anunoby continues to progress on the court to see if he will be able to return this series.
Source: Michael Grange on Twitter
May 22, 2019, 11:41 amKawhi Leonard - F - Toronto Raptors
Danny Green never believed Kawhi Leonard was anything but legitimately hurt last year and back-to-back brilliant performances the last two games reinforces how serious the injury was.
“He’s playing through pain,” Danny Green said to a handful of reporters, long after Leonard left the locker room. “He can’t even celebrate baskets because of how painful it is.” For the last couple games Kawhi has dragged around his right leg like there was a nail hammered into it while the Raptors won’t admit there is a problem. Toronto’s bench was brilliant yesterday carrying the team to a victory and with Game 5 set to take place on Thursday Leonard won’t have much time to rest.
Source: Sports Illustrated
May 22, 2019, 12:27 amKyle Lowry - G - Toronto Raptors
Kyle Lowry went for 25 points (6-of-11 FGs, 10-of-10 FTs), five rebounds, six assists, three 3-pointers and just one turnover in 34 minutes in Tuesday's 120-102 win over the Bucks.
Lowry was feeling it and getting wherever he wanted most of the night. He's had a couple huge games in this series now and the Raptors will likely need another one if they're going to pull out a series win. Their next shot at the Bucks will come in Thursday night's Game 5 in Milwaukee.
May 22, 2019, 12:19 amSerge Ibaka - F/C - Toronto Raptors
Serge Ibaka double-doubled with 17 points (7-of-12 FGs, 3-of-3 FTs) and 13 rebounds in 24 minutes on Tuesday as the Raptors evened the series with a Game 4 home victory over the Bucks.
Ibaka provided some energy with some early dunks in traffic. This was his best game of the series by far, and it'll be interesting to see how the Bucks try to slow the Raptor's big men in Game 5 on Thursday.
May 22, 2019, 12:12 amMarc Gasol - C - Toronto Raptors
Marc Gasol had a great all-around performance with 17 points (6-of-11 FGs, 2-of-2 FTs), five rebounds, seven assists, one steal, two blocks, three treys, zero turnovers and some excellent defense over 31 minutes in Tuesday's win over the Bucks.
Gasol looked great out there, making life in the lane tough for Giannis Antetokounmpo and causing Bucks turnovers on the perimeter. That's two straight quality performances from Gasol after two duds to begin the series. We'll see if he can keep it up as the Raptors return to Milwaukee on Thursday night.