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Raptors aren't dark horse Finals team. They might not make it out of the 1st round.

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Toronto won Game 2, but it’s in a dogfight and headed to Milwaukee.

NBA: Playoffs-Milwaukee Bucks at Toronto Raptors Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Raptors adverted crisis and narrowly won Game 2, tying up the series at a game apiece against the Milwaukee Bucks. But for a team we thought might challenge for the Eastern Conference championship, this isn’t exactly a confidence builder.

Let’s look where this leaves the Raptors now, where it puts them in their short-term future, and how it positions them headed further into the postseason.

Right now: Toronto had to win this game.

Basketball is more than wins or losses, but a single game can be viewed in binary terms. The Raptors were either going to beat the Bucks on Tuesday, or they were going to lose. They desperately needed a win, and they got that in a 106-100 victory.

If the Raptors had fallen down 2-0 in their opening two home games headed to Milwaukee, the series would slant dramatically in the Bucks’ favor. They have essentially set up a five-game series where the Bucks now hold home court advantage, but in this situation, that is all you can ask from Toronto.

Kyle Lowry, whose postseason struggles have been well documented, was excellent on Tuesday. He scored 22 points on 6-of-12 shooting, plus a dagger stepback jumper despite excellent Malcolm Brogdon defense. That’s a great sign for Toronto fans — outside of those silly enough to bring a “Trade Lowry” sign to a postgame show.

The rest of the series: Toronto is in for a fight

If Milwaukee has shown anything in these first two games, though, it’s that it isn’t going down easily. Even this game could have swung their way — look how open Matthew Dellavedova was on these two late jumpers, and how the first shot only rattled out at the final possible moment.

It felt like Giannis Antetokounmpo had a “bad” game, despite the fact that he still dropped 24 points, 15 rebounds, seven assists, and two steals. (He did shoot only 9-of-24 and committed four turnovers.) While the Bucks shot 11-of-23 on threes, they were only 41 percent from the floor in general. You’d guess their two-point shooting will bounce back once they’re in Milwaukee.

The Bucks cause problems for Toronto, with their absurd wingspan that can swallow up opponents defensively. Milwaukee stole a game in Toronto and now look to defend home court. If nothing else, they’ve certainly proven they can hang with the Raptors the whole way.

Further into the playoffs: Could Toronto really upset Cleveland?

Let’s say Toronto does get by Milwaukee. The Raptors have been a trendy upset pick against the Cleveland Cavaliers this year, a team they will presumably play in the second round. It makes sense on paper — adding P.J. Tucker and Serge Ibaka to a team that took Cleveland to six games last year seems to ideally set them up as an upset candidate.

In practice, Toronto still looks shaky. Maybe they can close out this series convincingly and start playing towards their ceiling, but it hasn’t happened yet. It’s not up to the Raptors to validate the media’s high expectations for them, but they surely have the same ideas for what this team can do.

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. (Yes, I’m mostly talking to myself — I posed the question, after all.) Giannis and the Bucks are waiting in Game 3.