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Raptors’ Pascal Siakam wary of Bucks, says Giannis Antetokounmpo is a ‘better passer than before’

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Pascal Siakam

The matchup between the Milwaukee Bucks and Toronto Raptors promises to be among the most tightly-contested Eastern Conference Finals series in recent memory. Though regular-season numbers paint Milwaukee as a clear favorite, many nevertheless believe that Toronto will be the team ultimately left standing in the East.

One thing’s for sure, though: The Raptors definitely aren’t taking the Bucks for granted. Asked for his thoughts on Giannis Antetokounmpo and company ahead of Game 1, Toronto forward Pascal Siakam made it abundantly clear that his team knows the challenge it faces for the Eastern Conference crown.

“Physically he’s really talented and definitely a better passer than before and I think they have the right players around too,” Siakam said of Antetokounmpo and his teammates, per Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun. “So it’s not like 5 people can just guard him and then you’ll be OK. You have to worry about all the other guys too.”

Indeed, as utterly dominant as Giannis Antetokounmpo has been throughout the regular season and playoffs, Milwaukee is hardly a one-man band.

Khris Middleton is one of the most gifted shot-makers in all of basketball, and can get hot in a hurry from deep. Eric Bledsoe is extra dangerous with the ball in his hands in transition, and an imminent threat in the half court once he gets a head of steam going downhill. The Bucks always dot the floor with shooters, too, an especially tough dynamic for defenses to deal with given the long-range shooting ability of big men Brook Lopez, Nikola Mirotic, Ersan Ilyasova, and D.J. Wilson.

Then there’s, you know, Antetokounmpo, who’s in the midst of a meteoric rise to the top of the basketball world the likes of which we haven’t seen since Kevin Durant’s several years ago, or perhaps even LeBron James’ at the turn of the decade.

Yes, the Bucks are really, really good. We’ll finally begin to find out if the Raptors are better come tip off of Game 1.