Milwaukee Bucks coach Jason Kidd has showered praise on Australians Matthew Dellavedova and Thon Maker after they played key roles in dismantling the Toronto Raptors to take a 2-1 lead in their National Basketball Association playoff series.
A hostile crowd and a Bucks team playing with confidence, made it easy to see why Milwaukee would position itself early to regain the series lead.
Milwaukee's core, meanwhile, was on fire.
Four other Bucks registered double figures in points - Greg Monroe (16), Michael Beasley (13) Ton Maker (11) and Matthew Delavedova (10). Giannis Antetokounmpo added 19 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocks and 2 steals. The last time DeRozan didn't make a field goal in a game was in January of 2015 against the Bucks in Milwaukee. The Raptors bench of Patrick Patterson, P.J. Tucker and Corey Joseph played a combined 72 minutes while accounting for just 13 points on 4-15 shooting.
"Once we get that figured out, I think we can take it up another couple notches". All around them are more young faces, and while this team isn't near their final form, they have time to develop into that. That's back-to-back 20-plus scoring games for the first time since his hamstring tear. "He's making threes. That's something we've got to make sure we understand, and not let someone else have a big night".
Stackhouse, a defence-first coach like the man he worked under in Toronto in Dwane Casey, led the 905s to a 39-11 mark and the first Central Division title for the team in only its second year of existence. Milwaukee has not won a playoff series since knocking off Charlotte in the 2001 Eastern Conference semifinals.
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When the few open looks were provided, Toronto's shots hit iron, came up short or had virtually no chance of falling.
What makes it even more intriguing is that no matter what the coaches devise - and the changes are so subtle they are hard to discern - the familiarity among the players often trumps them. Teams are going to take away your first option and probably your second option.
While the Bucks don't have veterans such as Ibaka and Cory Joseph, who've both been in the National Basketball Association final, and Lowry and DeRozan, who got to the Eastern Conference final a year ago, it's not like they've been cowering or unable to make the right, instinctive play at the right time.
"We turned it over twice to start the minute like we were out on a picnic some place", Popovich said. At home, they do better, but the profit lied in the over, where the Bucks were 23-17 this season. If the Raptors will have to win the series, Lowry must produce like they he used to.
According to oddsmakers at BetDSI, the Bucks are the slim favorite at home, as they are getting odds of -1.5 points against the Raptors.