Minutes, injury concerns piling up for Raptors ahead of pivotal Game 4 vs. Bucks

TORONTO – The minutes and injury concerns are piling up for the Toronto Raptors.

Following a grueling seven-game series against Philadelphia in the Eastern Conference semifinals and a double-overtime game against Milwaukee in the conference finals on Sunday, do the Raptors have enough energy, and are they healthy enough, to beat the Bucks?

Toronto’s three main players – Kawhi Leonard, Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakam – are averaging more than 36 minutes in the playoffs. Leonard and Siakam are at 44.1 and 39.8 minutes per game in the conference finals, respectively, which the Bucks lead 2-1.

“No one this time of the season is at 100%, but you get to a point where you feel good and go into the next game,” Lowry said. “At the end of the day, the adrenaline takes over. Your job is your job, and adrenaline takes over. Your preparation takes over so you'll be ready to go for (Game 4).”

Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard. (Photo: Frank Gunn, AP)


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Lowry came to Monday’s news conference with reporters wearing a brace to cover his injured left thumb. It looked like he had on an oven mitt.

“Try not to think about it," he said. "I mean, it is what it is. It's going to hurt. It's going to be sore, but you got to push through. At this time of year, you've just got to push through no matter what you're going to go through. Just got to make things happen however you can.”

He is in discomfort.

“When it hurts every time I do something, yeah, you notice it," he said. "You hit it, stuff like that. … You've got to be mind over matter, man.”

Leonard appeared to have tweaked his left leg in Game 3, but he said he will be fine for Game 4.

“The consensus (Monday) is he's tired,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said. “He's got two days and will be ready to go. Those are kind of the words coming out of his mouth. He's a little tired, but he'll get his rest."

For now, the Raptors are talking about the importance of rest and recovery. 

“It's just staying hydrated, resting, staying off my feet as much as I can,” Siakam said. “The body does its work. We're athletes. We prepare ourselves to sometimes be in these type of conditions and to be tired. I know it's different, but there's not really much you can do to prepare yourself for that type of intensity. We'll be ready. I'm ready. My body needs a little time to recover, but when it's game time, I'm sure I'm going to be 100%."

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