Toronto Raptors Successfully Defeat the Milwaukee Bucks in a Team Effort in Wisconsin
After Thursday’s embarrassing loss to the San Antonio Spurs, the Raptors came back to win on the road against the Milwaukee Bucks 123 – 116
Sunday, January 6, 2019
The Raptors were completely outplayed on Thursday evening vs. the San Antonio Spurs and were exposed offensively and defensively. They had many struggles due to the fact that it was an emotional game for the superstars of both teams. In July 2018, the blockbuster trade that sent Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green to the Raptors and future Raptors Hall of Famer Demar Derozan and Jakob Poeltl to the Spurs was the main focus of this matchup. The Spurs did a great job hustling, controlling the dynamic of the game and making all of their key shots. Demar Derozan put up his first triple double of his career and the Raptors lost 125 – 107. Tonight the Raptors seemed to have more poise and a sense of calmness towards their approach to the game.
Milwaukee opened up the scoring right from the tip off. Giannis Antetokounmpo was fouled and drew several fouls throughout the game. He scored an impressive 43 points, 18 rebounds and 6 assists while the offence ran through him all night as it has been all season so far. With a contribution of 40 minutes, the Greek Freak is warranting the MVP chants more than ever. He alongside his cast mates like Malcolm Brogdon, Eric Bledsoe and Kris Middleton played a pivotal role is stabilizing the offense with a contribution of 43 points combined. Milwaukee did a great job of running their drive kick offence very early on. They maximized in the first quarter by setting a strong lead and drawing the Raptors to foul in the paint as Giannis drove consecutively to the rim. The Bucks lead at the end of the 1stquarter 34 – 27.
Tonight the Raptors utilized a small rotation that did not include CJ Miles, Chris Boucher and Kyle Lowry who is still benched with a sore back. Fred Van Vleet appeared to be much more composed. He contributed early in the game with some deeps three’s and really utilized his court vision resulting in a team high of 8 assists with an additional 21 points. His confidence appeared to be in much better shape tonight and kept his tempo throughout the game. Although the Raptors tightened up on defence in the second quarter, the Bucks were able to contribute offensively and make the tough shots. The bucks lead 57-56 going into the half.
The Raptors won tonight’s game in the third quarter. Danny Green hit a huge 3 in the beginning of the 3rdto take the Raptors first lead of the game. Followed by an assist from Fred Van Vleet to Serge Ibaka who hit a nice shot. The Raptors had found their rhythm and got into their bag. Ibaka who scored 9 points at the end of the quarter was really hustling back on defence and hitting deep three’s that silenced the Milwaukee crowd. He finished with a strong 25 points, 9 defensive rebounds and 5 assists. The 9 defensive rebounds was a difference maker in tonight’s game as they let the defence set the tone for their offence. Although Milwaukee was forcing the outside shot, the Raptors moved the ball effectively to create the best-shot opportunity.
Pascal Siakam was the undeniable factor in helping to create the offence tonight. He made great passes, took the ball to the rim and finished with a career high of 30 points along with Kawhi Leonard. Leonard was a consistent thread throughout the game as he contributes on both ends of the court and can dependably drop shots especially when you need it.
Milwaukee attempted to come back in the 4thquarter in which they went on 13-4 run at one point but the Raptors scored back-to-back which basically ended the game for the Bucks. The Raps look forward to flying home and playing the Indiana Pacers Sunday. The last meet up against the Pacers was a comeback win in the 4thquarter but Serge Ibaka, Jonas Valunciunas and Kyle Lowry were all out of the rotation. As long as the Raptors can play in unison as they did vs. the Bucks, they should take a W.