Marc: "Now we have to maintain the same energy and aggressiveness"

For his part, Nikola Mirotic pointed to the defense, "we have to defend better to win the Raptors" as the key to reach the final.


The Spanish center of the Toronto Raptors, Marc Gasol, said today that his team has to "maintain the same energy" and aggressiveness that showed on Tuesday night in the fourth game of the Eastern Conference final against Milwaukee Bucks and that they won by 120-108. Gasol was one of the most prominent players of the match along with his teammate, also Spanish Serge Ibaka, to make 17 points, collect 5 rebounds and provide 7 assists. Gasol was also key to defensively holding Bucks star, Giannis Antetokounmpo.

When a three minutes from the end, and with everything already decided, Raptors coach Nick Nurse decided to sit on the bench to reserve to the pivot, Gasol was fired at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto with the public standing and a standing ovation.

The player, who arrived in Toronto in February from the Memphis Grizzlies, declared after the game that he was happy for the victory, which equals to 2 the tie, but that the Raptors can not relax. "Now we have to maintain the same energy and try to play with the same aggressiveness in attack as in defense, not allowing them to take the pace in transition because it is a very dangerous team" , Gasol explained. The Catalan player blamed the defeat that the Raptors suffered in the first game of the series, played in Milwaukee, for a series of "mental errors" .

"They made us pay because it is a very disciplined team that always finds the shot that they want, "he said. Gasol also praised the work done by the bench of the Raptors, as the work done by the Spanish also Serge Ibaka, who scored 17 points and captured 13 rebounds. "The bench was splendid, they are players who are on the bench but for me they are holders, we have a group that we are lucky enough to have players with a lot of confidence, a lot of experience" , declared.

"And new players that better not have so much experience but like Freddy (VanVleet) has a heart that does not fit in his chest, "added.

Mirotic:" We have to defend better "

The Spanish power forward of the Milwaukee Bucks, Nikola Mirotic said today that his team has to "defend better" if he wants to defeat the Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference finals that the two teams are playing.

Today, the Raptors, where the Spaniards Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka are playing, won 120- 102 to the Milwaukee team at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, which equals the tie 2-2. The next game will be played in Milwaukee on Thursday, May 23. Mirotic, who scored 11 points, got a rebound and provided 2 assists after playing 25 minutes, told Efe questions after the game, that his team has to "defend better" .

"We are a team that defends well , normally the attack comes out because we got out much more quickly in the transition and put in easier baskets ", he said. "With Giannis (Antetokounmpo), (Eric) Bledsoe, Khris (Middleton) attacking, it has allowed us to be that team too, which is what we did in Milwaukee in the first two games. That free play and score in transition, so we'll try to do better there, "he explained.

Earlier, Mirotic acknowledged that the Raptors, as in the third game of the series also played in Toronto, were more physical than the Bucks. "Again, they have been tougher than us, although we started well playing the first few minutes of the game, we had energy, but we lost many points in the first quarter, something that does not happen in our basketball", recognized "We have not played a full game, we have not had that continuity of 48 minutes that we usually have, we have missed the three shots, and is difficult, when you play against a good defense and you do not shoot well, it is very difficult to win" , explained the player of Montenegrin origin.

Mirotic also stated that at these moments of the competition, all players are necessary to get the victory. "At this point in the conference finals, we need everyone, everybody has to be right, everybody has to be very good defensively, knowing that he has to do in defense" , he said. "We have not been very active, we have not helped as we have to help, as we have helped in the rest of the games and I think we lacked a little energy, but to win we need everyone, that is the key ", he ended up declaring.



Photos from as.com

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