His physical traits make him a large player on court, especially his speed and athleticism which for sure will give the Raptors a run for their money.
FILE - In this February 13, 2017, file photo, New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday (11) drives on Phoenix Suns guard Eric Bledsoe during an NBA basketball game in Phoenix. Giannis Antetokounmpo finished with career highs in every major stat: points (22.9), rebounds (8.8), assists (5.4), steals (1.6) and blocks (1.9).
Antetokounmpo and the Bucks will take on the Raptors in Toronto starting with Game 1 on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. on ESPN.
"It's not going to be a one-man job". "But him in transition, it's not a dream, it's a nightmare". DeRozan will try to play through a web of defensive schemes that Bucks coach Jason Kidd always plans for him. The athletic player known as "The Greek Freak" leads the Bucks in five statistical categories.
What kind of expectations do Raptors fans have for this team after making the Eastern Conference Finals previous year for the first time and adding significant upgrades during the trade deadline?
Toronto was the only Eastern Conference team to demonstrate any measure of success against the Cavaliers in last year's playoffs, pushing Cleveland to a sixth game by wining twice on their own home floor. "We didn't really know what to expect", head coach Dwane Casey said.
"In Phoenix, we would come in at halftime and we would be getting ready to go into the locker room to talk to guys about stuff, and you could hear P.J.", said Jeff Hornacek, the current New York Knicks coach who had Tucker with the Suns.
If they are going to continue that trend in the playoffs, they will have to stop DeMar DeRozan. Demps also hopes 7-foot center Omer Asik, who struggled to earn playing time early in the season, can get back in shape after his season ended early because of a stomach virus that caused him to drop weight.
The Raptors made two moves near the trade deadline to bolster their roster, adding Serge Ibaka and P.J. Tucker in two separate moves that solidified their power forward position while giving the team a premier perimeter defender for the postseason.
"That's one guy I don't worry about", Raptors coach Dwane Casey said of Tucker, entering his first post-season after 418 National Basketball Association regular-season contests.
Toronto was slotted into the 12:30 p.m. matinee game in five straight playoff appearances before this year. These aren't last year's Raptors - they have not just a defense but a defensive identity now, and it seems to have re-galvanized the team in entirety.
Patrick Patterson scored 14 points with 4-for-4 shooting from 3-point range.
Toronto's Kyle Lowry (22.4 points, 7.0 assists) and DeMar DeRozan (27.3 points) form one of the toughest backcourts in the National Basketball Association. The "Greek Freak" is revolutionizing basketball in a way because at almost 7-foot tall, he's the team's point guard. Brogdon, a rookie, will be tested by Lowry at point guard. While most never gave Toronto the slightest chance in that series last year, the additions of Tucker and Ibaka (not to mention the late-season slide of Cleveland) make it far more intriguing this year.
And as NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said at the All-Star break, the league expects the worldwide players to keep coming.
The Mavericks fell four games behind Denver for the final playoff spot in the West. Dallas has made the playoffs in 15 of the past 16 seasons.
Utah's Rudy Gobert and San Antonio's Tony Parker are two of the six French-born players in this postseason, and they'll be asked to carry big roles. Khris Middleton missed the first 50 games of the season after injuring his left hamstring in the preseason. "Let's take it one game at a time and with that understand what we've got to do to get there and how hard it is". His first game out of the chute saw him drop 27 points while hitting 2-of-5 from deep and a ideal 7-of-7 at the line, with his first shot of the game coming in the form of a patented pull-up three around a screen.