The Milwaukee Bucks are on a 2-win streak (12-18) as they hosted the Toronto Raptors (18-12) at the Bradley Center. Even though head coach Jason Kidd has been out after undergoing hip surgery, the Deers had a near-perfect night against the Sixers, thanks to Giannis Antetokounmpo, Michael Carter-Williams, Khris Middleton and Jabari Parker, who shot 36/45 from the field combined (80%). The Raptors were still missing Jonas Valanciunas, which meant that Bismack Biyombo started his 17th game this season.
As the game started, Raptors‘ coach Dwane Casey didn’t the notice the difference under the rim because Bismack Biyombo dominated the paint in the first quarter, grabbing 9 rebounds, achieving and eventually acheiving a double-double in less than half-a-game. On the offensive side, the Raptors had a great look with DeMar DeRozan‘s 9 points, while Terrence Ross came off the bench hot for 10 points. Both teams, though, had a slow start shooting 30% (Bucks) and 37% (Raptors). In the second quarter, John Henson kept the Bucks in the game by scoring a great 3/4 from the field and blocking 3 shots. The Raptors still managed to build up the biggest lead of the first half (+12), mostly because of Milwaukee‘s poor defense rather than Toronto‘s offense. Eventually, a 14-6 run for the Deers in the last minutes cut the deficit to 4 going back to the locker rooms for the half.
A great effort by former-Piston Greg Monroe (19 points, 11 rebounds in the game) gave Milwaukee its first lead of the game halfway into the third (67-68). The Bucks reached also a game-high 7-point advantage, but then the Raptors managed a 41-13 run through the last 14 minutes of the game. Toronto began sinking buckets from downtown (Scola went 3/4, Ross 4/7, Lowry 2/6, Carroll 1/2, Joseph 1/1) and sealed the win in Wisconsin.
It’s the long-distance shot that’s the biggest deficiency of Jason Kidd‘s roster: only Khris Middleton (5/8) and Rashad Vaughn (1/2) hit 3 pointers in the game and made it easy for the Raptors to stay in the paint and defend on Jabari’s and Giannis‘ penetrations. A lot of work has to be done by the youngsters in Milwaukee, if they want to take part in the playoffs for the second consecutive season.