2019 NBA Playoffs
2019 NBA Playoffs

Numbers preview: Milwaukee Bucks (1) vs. Toronto Raptors (2)

John Schuhmann

John Schuhmann NBA.com

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May 14, 2019 11:45 PM ET

The Bucks and the Raptors offer a tantalizing matchup for East supremacy.

For the first time in nine years, LeBron James is not in the Eastern Conference finals. In his place are two potential heirs to James' "Best player in the world" title.

Giannis Antetokounmpo will likely be named the regular season MVP. Kawhi Leonard is arguably the postseason MVP through two rounds. Now, they will go head-to-head with a trip to The Finals on the line.

The Milwaukee Bucks and Toronto Raptors have been the two best teams in the East all season. The Bucks, of course, have been a step ahead. They had both the league's best record and its best point differential in the regular season. And through two rounds, they have both the postseason's best record and its best point differential.

The Raptors have seemingly played the tougher competition on their way to the conference finals. Or maybe the Bucks have been too good to have seem threatened. The next two weeks will whether it's better to have been tested or to have been dominant.

Here are some statistical notes to get you ready for the Eastern Conference finals, with links to let you dive in and explore more. Game 1 is Wednesday at 8:30 ET (TNT).

Pace = Possessions per 48 minutes
OffRtg = Points scored per 100 possessions
DefRtg = Points allowed per 100 possessions
NetRtg = Point differential per 100 possessions

Milwaukee Bucks (60-22, 8-1)

First round: Beat Detroit in four games.
Conf. semis: Beat Boston in five games.
Pace: 103.3 (2)
OffRtg: 113.4 (2)
DefRtg: 98.2 (1)
NetRtg: +15.2 (1)

Regular season: Team stats | Advanced splits | Player stats | Player shooting | Lineups
vs. Toronto: Team stats | Advanced splits | Player stats | Player shooting | Lineups
Playoffs: Team stats | Advanced splits | Player stats | Player shooting | Lineups

Bucks efficiency by round
RoundOpp.OffRtgRankAdjODefRtgRankAdjD
First roundDET120.22+11.696.83-11.5
Conf. semisBOS108.05+1.099.21-12.0
AdjO = OffRtg - opponent's regular-season DefRtg
AdjD = DefRtg - opponent's regular-season OffRtg

Bucks postseason notes - General:

  1. Only team that's undefeated on the road (4-0) in the playoffs. No team is undefeated at home.
     
  2. Have outscored their opponents by 36.7 points per 100 possessions in the third quarter, the best mark for any team in any quarter in the playoffs.
     
  3. Have outscored their opponents by 7.3 points per game from 3-point range, the second best mark in the playoffs (best among the four teams remaining).
     
  4. Are 3-1 in games they've trailed by double-digits.
     
  5. Only one of their nine games (Game 3 in Boston) has been within five points in the last five minutes, though that was only when the Celtics got to within five with just 11 seconds left. Seven of their eight wins have been by double-digits and five of the eight have been by 21 points or more.
Bucks playoffs shot profile
AreaFGMFGAFG%Rank%FGARank
Restricted area19327470.4%234%4
Other paint289031.1%1511%15
Mid-range329334.4%1412%13
Corner 3236933.3%139%9
Above-break 39827236.0%434%2
%FGA = Percentage of total shots

Bucks postseason notes - Offense:

  1. Saw the biggest drop in points scored per 100 possessions from the first round (120.2) to the conference semis (108.0).
     
  2. Rank ninth in the playoffs in ball movement (314 passes per 24 minutes of possessions) and third in player movement (11.3 miles traveled per 24 minutes of possession), according to Second Spectrum tracking.
     
  3. Lead the playoffs with 20.6 fast break points per game. Have averaged just 5.9 shots per game in the last four seconds of the shot clock, fewest among the four teams remaining.
     
  4. Have averaged just 11.2 points per game from pick-and-roll ball-handlers, fewest in the postseason.
     
  5. One of two teams (Houston was the other) that have shot better from 3-point range in the playoffs (35.4 percent) than they did in the regular season (35.3 percent). Have averaged 9.3 catch-and-shoot 3-pointers per game, most in the playoffs. Their 20 3-pointers in Game 2 vs. Boston are the most made in the playoffs.
Bucks efficiency and four factors - Offense
SeasonOffRtgRankeFG%RankOREB%RankTO%RankFTA RateRank
Reg. season113.5455.0%225.0%2613.3%70.25518
Playoffs113.4254.4%224.9%1212.9%70.3133
OffRtg = Points scored per 100 possessions
eFG% = (FGM + (0.5 * 3PM)) / FGA
OREB% = Percentage of available offensive rebounds obtained.
TO% = Turnovers per 100 possessions.
FTA Rate = FTA/FGA

Bucks postseason notes - Defense:

  1. Were the best defensive team in the regular season and have been the most improved defensive team in the playoffs, having allowed 6.7 fewer points per 100 possessions than they did in the regular season. But the Raptors will be the highest ranked offensive team (from the regular season) that they've faced.
     
  2. Have averaged 6.7 blocks per game, most in the playoffs. Opponents have shot 51 percent at the rim when a Bucks player has been there to protect it. That's the best rim protection mark in the playoffs.
     
  3. Have seen the biggest drop in opponent 3-point percentage from the regular season (36.1 percent - 22nd) to the playoffs (31.7 percent - fourth).
     
  4. Have allowed just 0.66 points per possession on isolations, the best mark in the postseason.
Bucks efficiency and four factors - Defense
SeasonDefRtgRankeFG%RankDREB%RankTO%RankFTA RateRank
Reg. season104.9150.3%175.7%212.8%250.2211
Playoffs98.2145.9%177.5%311.9%140.2392
DefRtg = Points allowed per 100 possessions
DREB% = Percentage of available defensive rebounds obtained.

Bucks postseason notes - Lineups:

  1. Most-used lineup - Bledsoe, Brown, Middleton, Antetokounmpo and Lopez - has played just 52 minutes together. The other three remaining teams have lineups that have played at least three times as many minutes.
     
  2. The Bucks have outscored their opponents by 22.0 points per 100 possessions with George Hill on the floor. That's the best on-court NetRtg among 104 players who have averaged at least 20 minutes in four or more playoff games.
     
  3. Allowed Boston to score just 91.3 points per 100 possessions with Eric Bledsoe on the floor. That was the best on-court DefRtg mark among 58 players who averaged at least 15 minutes in three games or more in the conference semifinals. 
     
  4. Khris Middleton was a plus-44 against Boston, the best mark in the conference semifinals among players that advanced to the conference finals.
     
  5. Best on-court NetRtg among two-man combinations (minimum 100 minutes together): Middleton and Ilyasova. The Bucks have outscored their opponents by 33.2 points per 100 possessions in 105 minutes with the pair on the floor together.

Bucks postseason notes - Individuals:

  1. Giannis Antetokounmpo leads the postseason with 15.1 points in the paint per game and 7.4 fast break points per game.
     
  2. Antetokounmpo has grabbed 24.6 percent of available defensive rebounds, the third highest rate among players that have averaged at least 15 minutes in three or more playoff games. 
     
  3. Antetokounmpo has a free throw rate of 69.2 attempts per 100 shots from the field, the highest mark (by a wide margin) among 79 players with at least 50 field goal attempts in the playoffs. Joel Embiid (56.6) is the only other player with a rate higher than 50 per 100. Antetokounmpo has shot 72-for-108 (66.7 percent) from the line, the worst mark among 11 players with at least 50 free throw attempts in the playoffs. 
     
  4. Eric Bledsoe has shot 35-for-44 (80 percent) in the restricted area, the fourth best mark among players with at least 25 restricted-area attempts in the playoffs. 
     
  5. Bledsoe has shot 4-for-21 (19 percent) on pull-up 3-pointers, the third worst mark among 20 players who have attempted at least 20. 
     
  6. Pat Connaughton has averaged 28.2 minutes off the bench, second most among players that advanced past the first round. 
     
  7. Connaughton has averaged 7.9 rebounds per game, most among reserves in the playoffs. He has grabbed 11.9 percent of available rebounds while he's been on the floor. That's the second-highest rate among players shorter than 6-7 who have averaged at least 15 minutes in the playoffs. 
     
  8. Connaughton has a free throw rate of just 9.4 attempts per 100 shots from the field, the third lowest rate among 79 players with at least 50 field goal attempts in the playoffs.
     
  9. George Hill has an assist/turnover ratio of 6.75, the best mark among players who have averaged at least 15 minutes in eight or more playoff games. He had 13 assists and just one turnover in the conference semis.
     
  10. Ersan Ilyasova has grabbed 14.1 percent of available rebounds, the best mark among players who have averaged at least 15 minutes off the bench in the playoffs. 
     
  11. Brook Lopez has defended 7.4 shots at the rim per game, most among players that advanced out of the first round. Opponents have shot 40.3 percent at the rim when he's been there to protect it. That's the second best rim protection mark among at least 18 players who have defended at least 4.5 shots at the rim per game. 
     
  12. Khris Middleton has shot 14-for-30 (47 percent) on pull-up 3-pointers, the best mark among 20 players who have attempted at least 20. 
     
  13. Middleton has taken only 10 percent of his postseason shots in the restricted area. That's the second lowest rate (higher than only that of J.J. Redick) among 79 players with at least 50 total field goal attempts in the playoffs.
     
  14. Middleton has shot 36-for-39 (92.3 percent) from the free throw line, the second best mark among 54 players with at least 20 free throw attempts in the playoffs.
     
  15. Nikola Mirotic has taken 88 percent of his postseason shots from the restricted area (26 percent) or 3-point range (62 percent). That's the third highest rate among 79 players with at least 50 total field goal attempts in the playoffs.

Toronto Raptors (58-24, 8-4)

First round: Beat Orlando in five games.
Conf. semis: Beat Philadelphia in seven games.
Pace: 95.6 (14)
OffRtg: 108.5 (9)
DefRtg: 100.3 (2)
NetRtg: +8.1 (2)

Regular season: Team stats | Advanced splits | Player stats | Player shooting | Lineups
vs. Milwaukee: Team stats | Advanced splits | Player stats | Player shooting | Lineups
Playoffs: Team stats | Advanced splits | Player stats | Player shooting | Lineups

Raptors efficiency by round
RoundOpp.OffRtgRankAdjODefRtgRankAdjD
First roundORL111.55+4.095.82-12.3
Conf. semisPHI106.36-2.6103.62-7.9
AdjO = OffRtg - opponent's regular-season DefRtg
AdjD = DefRtg - opponent's regular-season OffRtg

Raptors postseason notes - General:

  1. Worst rebounding team among those remaining, having grabbed just 48.2 percent of available rebounds.
     
  2. Have been the best team in the first six minutes of the first quarter, outscoring their opponents by an average of 3.6 points per game in the first half of the opening period.
     
  3. Have led by double-digits for 180 minutes, most in the postseason. But are the only of the four remaining teams that hasn't won a game (they're 0-4) after trailing by double-digits.
     
  4. Have averaged 5.0 fewer possessions per 48 minutes in the playoffs (95.6 - 14th) than they did in the regular season (100.6 - 15th). That's the second biggest drop in pace from the regular season to the postseason (smaller than only that of San Antonio).
Raptors playoffs shot profile
AreaFGMFGAFG%Rank%FGARank
Restricted area19030063.3%530%10
Other paint6715044.7%315%12
Mid-range7016143.5%316%10
Corner 33610534.3%1110%6
Above-break 39228532.3%1228%9
%FGA = Percentage of total shots

Raptors postseason notes - Offense:

  1. Rank fourth in the playoffs in ball movement (337 passes per 24 minutes of possessions) and 12th in player movement (10.8 miles traveled per 24 minutes of possession), according to Second Spectrum tracking. Rank second in the postseason with 4.0 secondary assists per game.
     
  2. Have shot 32.7 percent from 3-point range, the worst mark among the four teams remaining.
     
  3. Lead the playoffs in free throw percentage (82.3 percent).
     
  4. Have shot 2-for-10 from 3-point range and have twice as many turnovers (eight) as assists (four) with the score within five points in the last five minutes of the fourth quarter.
Raptors efficiency and four factors - Offense
SeasonOffRtgRankeFG%RankOREB%RankTO%RankFTA RateRank
Reg. season112.5554.3%326.5%1913.8%140.24721
Playoffs108.5951.8%422.5%1512.4%50.24814
OffRtg = Points scored per 100 possessions
eFG% = (FGM + (0.5 * 3PM)) / FGA
OREB% = Percentage of available offensive rebounds obtained.
TO% = Turnovers per 100 possessions.
FTA Rate = FTA/FGA

Raptors postseason notes - Defense:

  1. Have been the second most improved defensive team in the playoffs, having allowed 6.5 fewer points per 100 possessions than they did in the regular season.
     
  2. Lead the playoffs (by a wide margin) with 15.3 deflections per game.
     
  3. Have allowed just 0.75 points per possession on pick-and-roll ball-handler possessions, the second best mark in the postseason.
     
  4. Opponents have an effective field goal percentage of 44.0 percent on shots from outside the paint, the lowest opponent mark in the postseason.
     
  5. Have allowed just 10.3 second chance points per game, second fewest in the playoffs.
Raptors efficiency and four factors - Defense
SeasonDefRtgRankeFG%RankDREB%RankTO%RankFTA RateRank
Reg. season106.8550.9%472.5%1814.7%90.24912
Playoffs100.3247.4%272.3%916.9%10.2889
DefRtg = Points allowed per 100 possessions
DREB% = Percentage of available defensive rebounds obtained.

Raptors postseason notes - Lineups:

  1. Starting lineup - Lowry, Green, Leonard, Siakam and Gasol - leads the postseason in total minutes played (233) and ranks second cumulative plus-minus, having outscored its opponents by 94 points. It's forced 18.2 turnovers per 100 possessions, the highest rate among 15 lineups that have played at least 50 minutes together. 
     
  2. The Raptors have outscored their opponents by 150 points with both Kyle Lowry and Kawhi Leonard on the floor. That's the best cumulative plus-minus among two-man combinations. Lowry (plus-137) and Leonard (plus-128) rank second and third, respectively, in individual plus-minus.
     
  3. The Raptors have been 30.1 points per 100 possessions better offensively with Leonard on the floor (scoring 113.2 per 100) than they've been with him off the floor (scoring 96.4). That's the biggest on-off OffRtg differential among 62 players that advanced out of the first round and have played at least 150 postseason minutes.
     
  4. Allowed Philadelphia to score just 94.2 points per 100 possessions with Serge Ibaka on the floor. That was the third best on-court DefRtg mark among 58 players who have averaged at least 15 minutes in three games or more in the conference semis. 
     
  5. Ibaka has played 80 postseason minutes with Marc Gasol (with 77 of those coming in Games 4-7 of the conference semis), almost twice as many minutes as he played in the regular season with either Gasol (31) or Jonas Valanciunas (13).

Raptors postseason notes - Individuals:

  1. Marc Gasol has recorded assists on 26.7 percent of his possessions, the highest rate among centers who have averaged at least 15 minutes in the playoffs. He also has the second-lowest turnover rate (5.3 per 100 possessions) among that same group. 
     
  2. Danny Green has taken 77 percent of his postseason shots from 3-point range. That's the highest rate among 79 players with at least 50 total field goal attempts in the playoffs.
     
  3. Green has shot just 8-for-25 (32 percent) on corner threes, the worst mark among six players who have attempted at least 20 in the playoffs. He's shot better (15-for-38 - 40 percent) on above-the-break threes.
     
  4. Serge Ibaka has shot 22-for-29 (76 percent) in the restricted area, the fifth best mark among players with at least 25 restricted-area attempts in the playoffs. 
     
  5. Kawhi Leonard ranks second in the playoffs in scoring at 31.8 points per game. He's been both the postseason's leading first-quarter scorer (8.4 points per game) and its leading third-quarter scorer (10.7 points per game).
     
  6. Leonard has averaged 0.509 points per touch, most among players with at least 100 touches in the playoffs. He has an true shooting percentage of 65.0 percent, the second-highest mark among players with at least 100 postseason field goal attempts. 
     
  7. Leonard has scored 1.09 points per possession as a pick-and-roll ball-handler, the best mark among 14 players with at least 50 ball-handler possessions in the playoffs. 
     
  8. Leonard has shot 34-for-60 (57 percent) from mid-range, the best mark among seven players with at least 50 mid-range attempts in the playoffs.
     
  9. Leonard has averaged 17.7 drives per game, second most among players who advanced out of the first round.
     
  10. Kyle Lowry has recorded assists on 33.5 percent of his possessions, the second-highest rate among players that have averaged at least 15 minutes in eight or more playoff games. Fred VanVleet has the fifth highest rate (28.3 percent).
     
  11. Lowry ranks third in total deflections (37) and first in total charges drawn (10) in the playoffs.
     
  12. Norman Powell has a free throw rate of just 5.4 attempts per 100 shots from the field, the lowest rate among 79 players with at least 50 field goal attempts in the playoffs.
     
  13. Pascal Siakam had a free throw rate of 34.2 attempts per 100 shots from the field in the conference semis, up from 11.1 in the first round. That was the biggest increase among 26 players with at least 50 field goal attempts in each round. He had seen the biggest drop in free throw rate from the regular season (32.0) to the first round.
     
  14. Siakam ranks second in the postseason with 12 corner 3-pointers, though he shot just 5-for-18 (28 percent) on corner 3s in the conference semis.
     
  15. VanVleet has an effective field goal percentage of 32.8 percent in the playoffs, down from 50.3 percent in the regular season. That's the second biggest drop among players with at least 500 field goal attempts in the regular season and 50 in the postseason.

Regular season matchup

Bucks won, 3-1 (1-1 in Milwaukee)
Oct. 29 @ Milwaukee - Bucks 124, Raptors 109
Dec. 9 @ Toronto - Bucks 104, Raptors 99
Jan. 5 @ Milwaukee - Raptors 123, Bucks 116
Jan. 31 @ Toronto - Bucks 105, Raptors 92

Pace: 100.6 possessions (per team) per 48 minutes
Milwaukee OffRtg: 111.7 (7th vs. Toronto)
Toronto OffRtg: 105.0 (16th vs. Milwaukee)

Individual matchups: MIL offense vs. TOR defense | TOR offense vs. MIL defense

Matchup notes:

  1. All four games took place before the Raptors acquired Marc Gasol and the Bucks acquired Nikola Mirotic. George Hill was with the Bucks for the two January games. Both Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kawhi Leonard missed the first meeting. Kyle Lowry missed the Jan. 5 meeting (the Raptors' only win).
     
  2. The Bucks were one of two teams to beat the Raptors three times in the regular season. The Raptors' three losses were three of their 19 worst offensive games of the regular season (less than 104.5 points scored per 100 possessions).
     
  3. The Dec. 9 meeting was the only of the four that was within five points in the last five minutes. The teams combined to shoot 9-for-16 in the clutch, though Leonard missed a long 3 for the tie with nine seconds left.
     
  4. The Bucks were outscored in the paint in just seven of Antetokounmpo's 72 regular season games. One of those was the Jan. 31 game in Toronto, when the Raptors outscored them, 54-36, in the paint. But the Bucks outscored the Raptors, 56-27, from outside the paint (including 42-21, from 3-point range).
     
  5. Over the four games, the Bucks outscored the Raptors by 12.8 points per game from 3-point range, making at least 14 3s in all four meetings. The 19 3-pointers they made in the first meeting were tied for the third most they made in the regular season.
     
  6. The Bucks committed 16.4 turnovers per 100 possessions, their second-highest rate vs. any opponent in the regular season. Leonard's 3.3 steals were the most any player averaged against Milwaukee.
     
  7. Though the Bucks won two of the three games in which the two stars played, the Raptors outscored the Bucks by 19 points in 84 total minutes with both Antetokounmpo and Leonard on the floor, with Toronto scoring 116.5 points per 100 possessions in those minutes.
     
  8. Leonard's usage rate of 26.2 percent was his second-lowest mark against any Eastern Conference opponent. He was the Raptors' third-leading scorer in the season series, with Pascal Siakam (24.3 points per game) and Serge Ibaka (22.3) the top two. Ibaka's 74 field goal attempts against Milwaukee were 17 more than he attempted against any other team and his 24 3-point attempts were more than twice as many as he had against any other team. 
     
  9. The 16.7 points per game Fred VanVleet averaged were tied for his highest average against any Eastern Conference opponent. His 12 3-pointers (on 19 attempts) were tied for the third most against the Bucks this season. 
     
  10. Lowry's effective field goal percentage of 25 percent was the worst mark among 118 players with at least 25 field goal attempts against the Bucks. He shot 1-for-20 from 3-point range, though he had 15 assists in the Oct. 29 meeting. Eric Bledsoe was his primary defender.
     
  11. The Bucks outscored the Raptors by 26.9 points per 100 possessions with Malcolm Brogdon on the floor. That was the second best on-court NetRtg among 191 players who averaged at least 20 minutes in two or more games against Toronto. 
     
  12. Siakam was the Raptors' primary defender (93 possessions) on Antetokounmpo, who shot 15-for-27 (and more often than usual) on those possessions. The Raptors were more successful defensively (allowing 31 points on 31 possessions) when Leonard defended Antetokounmpo.
     
  13. Khris Middleton was the primary defender on Leonard and suppressed his shooting/scoring quite a bit.

* * *

John Schuhmann is a senior stats analyst for NBA.com. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter.

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