Bucks guard Roko Ukic, playing against his former team for the first time, scored 17 points — which was more than anyone on the Raps with the exception of Chris Bosh.
He has to be better
Hedo Turkoglu, that is.
That was exactly the kind of game he had to take over and he didn’t and unless they start getting more and getting it more often from him, there’s no way they do anything other than muddle through.
Now, you know I never think one game’s entirely on one guy but, c’mon man, do something.
Go off for 30. Get a bit selfish. Take 20 shots.
The big free agent signing’s been good some nights but never really great and it’s time he has one of those great games everyone’s expecting.
I know it’s not lost on his coaches, and I’m sure it’s not lost on his teammates. They are disappointed and know he can do so much more. A couple people with titles are already making mention of it in private conversations; nothing too harsh but the criticisms are there. And they might get louder.
Turkoglu, who took only eight shots, was on the court when the Raptors made their lone run, carving a 20-point deficit to eight in the third quarter, but he wasn't about to go all selfish on his teammates.
"We just have to realize sometimes during the game how we get back (into it)," he said. "We were moving the ball, everybody was touching the ball and at that time they couldn't guard us. I don't know what happened. In the fourth quarter we stopped doing that and everyone tried to do it on their own and you can't win like that.
"As long as we do that kind of thing, we're going to see this kind of situation a lot."
The matter of space was easy to explain. Point guard Jose Calderon missed his second-straight game because of a hip injury; he did not even travel with the team. Starting centre Andrea Bargnani was in Wisconsin, but could not play because of a lingering ankle injury. That is an average of 28.8 points and almost three made three-pointers per game between the two players that the Raptors had to replace.
Simply put, they could not. Toronto struggled against Minnesota on Tuesday, shooting just 32% from the floor and 2-for-21 from three-point range. The Raptors improved from the field in Milwaukee, shooting a deceptive 49%, but they shot just 4-for-14 from behind the arc. It is not just the points made off those shots that the Raptors missed, but also the space that the threat of those shots creates.
Bucks top Raptors, 117-95
Skiles, saying he hadn't been pleased with the off-the-bench energy, gave backup point guard Roko Ukic 25 minutes and he responded with 17 points. Ersan Ilyasova also scored 17 and Luke Ridnour, playing with a dislocated left elbow, scored 15.
"There's an awful lot of guys in the NBA (in Ridnour's condition) who wouldn't have played in tonight's game," said Skiles.
Carlos Delfino (14 points), Bogut (12 points) and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (16 points) also contributed to the Bucks' balanced attack.
"We were good offensively," said Skiles. "We had really good ball movement again. We did a nice job of driving and finding open people. . . . We moved the ball, found the open man and knocked down shots. Anytime you have five or six or seven guys in double figures, you're going to have a pretty good game."
Riding a three game win streak the Raps headed to Milwaukee to face ROY candidate Brandon Jennings and the Milwaukee Bucks.
It wasn't pretty.
The Raptors are allowing 108.7 points per game and had another miserable defensive effort. They fell to 0-7 when allowing opponents to shoot 50 per cent or better.
"Other guys got a chance to step up today and I don't think anybody really did," Raptors coach Jay Triano said. "It came down to not being able to get stops. "We had matchup problems all night long."
Chris Bosh of the Toronto Raptors has put together “First Ink“, a documentary about his first tattoo that includes high school footage of Bosh and CB4 skits. The DVD hits stores Dec. 15 but Bosh is giving us a clip a day until it’s available. Here he talks about meeting LeBron James for the first time at a basketball camp.
Ukic, 25, admitted there's always a little extra motivation going against a former team. But having played just 66 minutes in 11 of Milwaukee's first 20 games, he wasn't focused on his opponent so much as his opportunity.
"It's always a little more motivation when you're playing against past teams, but I don't think that was the case today for me because I really haven't played so much this year," he said. "I just wanted to deliver. Any game that I played I just wanted to play well. If you don't play much you know you don't have many chances, so once you get it you try to take advantage of it."
9. The turnovers were better than halved, dropping all the way to nine after losin' 20 in the loss in Boston. The Raptors went really, really, really small on a few occassions, and the Bucks' big ballhandlers logged lots of minutes. Jennings (1 turnover), Ukic (1), and Ridnour (0) stayed cool. That's three combined turnovers in 64 minutes by the point guard trio.
17. Just had to reiterate, 17 points for Roko. Second highest output of his career; he had 22 against the Spurs back in February.
85.7 %. The Bucks made 24-28 (.857) free throws and Skiles rightfully called it a "miracle" after the game.
It should be hard to be upset at losing the second game of a back-to-back on the road against a team that plays well at home.
But at the end of a long season, the Raptors may be looking back at some of the games, like this one, that they could have won, if only they could have found the energy to do it.
A tough loss and it doesn’t get any easier on Friday at the ACC versus Atlanta.
Hopefully Calderon and Bargnani are ready to go by then.
“The effort an intensity – especially on the defensive end – that we saw during the 3-game winning streak was nowhere to be found tonight.”
“The defensive effort and energy were lacking. Other players need to cease their opportunities with Jose Calderon and Bargnani out of the line up.”
Bosh tried to rally the Raptors, both from the bench and while he was in the game. It didn't get him very far, but he maintained he isn't frustrated by the poor team performances.
“Everybody listens. We were behind a little bit and it was all about trying to get back in the game,'' Bosh said. “I was just telling everybody to keep your head up. It's a long game. We can't get hung up over one run or two quarters, anything like that. We just keep playing hard. We got back in it a little bit.
“We gave ourselves a chance, but we didn't stick to our principles,'' Bosh said.
Check out the game between the Milwaukee Bucks and Toronto Raptors all in just six minutes!
The Raptors had another miserable defensive effort.
Milwaukee shot 52.5 percent from the field and 9 of 21 from beyond the arc. Toronto, which came in allowing 108.3 points per game, fell to 0-7 when allowing opponents to shoot 50 percent or better.
The Bucks finished a stretch of 15 games in 26 days without consecutive days off and controlled this one from the start, extending the lead to 20 early in the second half before the Raptors made it 81-69 heading into the fourth.
THE FAN presents all of the highlights (1) and Eric Smith's game recap (2) from Wednesday night's 117-95 Milwaukee win, in which Toronto failed to overcome the absences of starters Jose Calderon and Andrea Bargnani.
So can the Raptors play defense now? I am still not convinced that this win streak means anything.
a) The win in Washington was handed to the Raptors. On the last play, with the Raptors up two after Hedo finally hit a clutch shot that he probably shouldn’t have taken, Arenas pretty much strolled passed Jarret Jack and missed a layup, then, Washington got the offensive board and missed another layup. Sounds like great defense.
b) Raps held Chicago to a low shooting percentage, yes. But Chicago has been one of the worst (if not the worst) offensive teams in the league this year. Just last night, Chicago lost to the Nets, handing them their second win of the year.
c) Raptors beat Minnesota, but they had to struggle and it was a tight game until the last couple of minutes. This kind of win should be expected, it should be just taking care of business.
Players such as Hedo Turkoglu, an ineffective outing, and Marco Belinelli, invisible when the game was on the line, couldn't pick up any of the slack as the Raptors dropped a 117-95 decision to the Bucks at a half-empty Bradley Center.
Jose Calderon was at home nursing a sore hip and the Raptors lost Andrea Bargnani to a sore right ankle about 90 minutes before the tipoff.
PLAY OF THE GAME: Milwaukee's Carlos Delfino came up the game's defensive gem late in the third quarter when he soared at the rim to block a layup attempt by Toronto's DeMar DeRozan. Delfino, as they say, got all ball.
Defending the 3s. The Raptors allowed way too many open looks. They should not give guys like Ridnour and Jennings any room to shoot. I would take Jennings jumper away, and make him a passer. He doesn’t get alot of assists, because he has a scorer mentality, so you take that away and force him to pass.
Disappointing loss to say the least.
Hedo gets two points tonight. It’s one thing when you play really bad. It’s another thing when you play really bad and walk off the court smiling and laughing with a friend of yours who plays on the opposing team. The Zan shakes his fist at thee.
- Bucks stuff weary Raptors
- Morning Coffee – Dec 11