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The Toronto Raptors are 2-0 vs. the Milwaukee Bucks this season but Giannis Antetokounmpo didn't play in either of those games and Scottie Barnes and Gary Trent Jr. haven't been cleared to return to the lineup yet.
IMMAN ADAN: I don't know. Forget about that. Talk about a team who does have an endgame, the Milwaukee Bucks! They are coming back up on the schedule. It feels like the Raptors just played them, because they did.
And this time, they're going to be playing them again, and more than likely, Jrue Holiday will be out of that lineup. It kind of feels like, for the Bucks, they can never get a game with their big three of Jrue Holiday, Khris Middleton, and Giannis Antetokounmpo all playing together. But, I mean, unless Giannis dodges the Raptors again, he should be available for Saturday's game. What are your thoughts about that?
ASAD ALVI: Well, it's going to be interesting. Again, the Raptors are playing the Bucks again on the second night of a back-to-back. So it's really going to depend. Like, how bad will the Raptors, you know, be able to finally beat Dwane Casey and take care of that stupid Detroit Pistons team the night before? And, you know--
IMMAN ADAN: Is that the bigger match-up?
ASAD ALVI: --be [INAUDIBLE]? Honestly, it's kind of hilarious. Like, the Pistons have been losing and losing badly for the last, like, week and a half. So who knows? The Raptors--
IMMAN ADAN: They beat the Bucks. They beat the Bucks.
ASAD ALVI: --which is-- which is really surprising because, like, again, the Pistons are, like-- they're the worst team in basketball.
IMMAN ADAN: Well, the Bucks cannot win.
ASAD ALVI: And then--
IMMAN ADAN: The Bucks have lost four of their last five games.
ASAD ALVI: [? They ?] beat the Raptors.
IMMAN ADAN: The Bucks have lost four of their last [? games. ?]
ASAD ALVI: The Bucks have-- and which is a little terrifying because the Bucks are probably going to be wanting to pack up some wins. And honestly, Giannis is going to be a tough match-up for the Raptors, especially if they're not healthy. They're going to need all of Scottie, Pascal, OG, Khem. They're going to need all of these guys available because the one thing Giannis does is he draws a ton of fouls.
And if the Raptors are coming in there with tired legs, Giannis is going to push that ball straight down their throat. And they have to be ready to kind of wall up and defend that. Less worried about Khris Middleton for obvious reasons, but the Bucks do lack depth.
When they don't have their big three, they don't really have the depth or the bench to kind of carry them through games. We saw the last time we played the Bucks, we got DeMarcus Cousins dropped from the team, so-- like literally three quarters in the game. So we'll see how it goes.
IMMAN ADAN: Donte DiVincenzo should be-- I think is back for them already. So he should be playing in that one.
ASAD ALVI: So it should be interesting. I think, again, if the Raptors are healthy, they're always going to have a good shot. As long as they don't let that Detroit game go on a little bit too long or play too many minutes in that game, they should be in OK shape.
Again, you're on the road, so you never know what's going to happen. But I think the way that the Raptors are playing in general, the way Pascal Siakam's been playing, the way Fred VanVleet's been playing, the way OG Anunoby's starting to come on a little bit-- I think they can give any team in the league a good fight. And if the Bucks come in, and they wobble a bit-- it's a regular season game for them, they don't take it as seriously, the Raptors can definitely put a whooping on them as need be.
So that should be fun. I think this weekend, if the Raptors can win that game convincingly, they'll more or less solidify themselves in that [? seven, ?] [? six ?] range away from some of the other playing teams. And that'll do some good going into the last couple of weekends of all-star.