The Raptors were desperate for offence Friday night, but Turkoglu, as much as he tried, couldn't provide it.
Yes, Turkoglu did contribute to the win with a team-high five assists, but his 2-for-10 night from the field isn't going to help him sleep any better.
"He just has to perform," teammate Chris Bosh said earlier in the day of his struggling teammate.
"Pretty much that is what it comes down to. We can say all the encouraging words we want to, but the fact of the matter is, as harsh as it sounds, he just has to perform.
DeRozan isn't leaving any stone unturned in his quest for an NBA slam dunk title. Already planning on incorporating teammates Sonny Weems and Jarrett Jack in his dunks, DeRozan has added Jennings for a similar role. "I had to go back to my roots," DeRozan explained. "He was my point guard growing up."
Up one with just under four minutes left, the Raptors held the Bucks without a basket for more than three minutes as they pulled away.
"Do whatever it takes," Bosh said. "We just threw them off a little bit. We wanted to give them a different look because their offence was really working. But we did throw them off and we stuck with it."
Team insiders suggest a zone defence isn't something that's worked on every day at practice. In fact, the Raptors practise it about once every five workouts, but when Bosh was surrounded by the odd cast of characters, it ignited the team at both ends.
"You get the stops, so it's easier to run," said Triano. "We have smaller guys out there, so whoever gets the rebound can go with it.
"We tried to keep everybody on the perimeter, that's what was hurting us, inside with (Andrew) Bogut and we just went zone to try to throw off what they (the Bucks) were looking for."
Raptors overcome late deficit, avenge earlier loss to Bucks
Back then there were six contestants. Steve Francis, Vince Carter, Tracy McGrady, Ricky Davis, Larry Hughes, and Jerry Stackhouse.
Nobody remembers anyone in this contest besides Vince Carter, and T-Mac (because he passed the ball to Vince).
The Slam-Dunk Contest was running a trial run, after canceling the contest for two years. They decided to keep it after seeing the display that Vince Carter put on.
Vince Carter was going to play the next day in the All-Star game, the first of eight straight appearances.
PLAY OF THE GAME: The Bucks' offense was sputtering against Toronto's zone defense late in the game, but Milwaukee still was hanging close, trailing by three points. Then Raptors reserve guard Marco Belinelli whipped a left-handed pass to a cutting Chris Bosh for a dunk, giving Toronto a 92-87 lead with 1:17 remaining.
Bucks rookie Brandon Jennings couldn't understand why the zone created so many problems for his team.
"It looked like we didn't actually know what was going on." Jennings said "A lot of teams haven't played a zone lately and this was the first time that a team actually played a zone and kept running it, running it, running it and it was working for them tonight. We were getting open shots and weren't making them and they were coming down scoring. It was real frustrating."
Finishing with 14 points on 5-for-15 shooting, it was a frustrating game for Jennings. Andrew Bogut had 22 points for the Bucks who were led by Luke Ridnour's season-high of 27 off of the bench.
Two days after watching Chris Bosh's one-man show come up short in Milwaukee, you'd have thought that holding down Bosh (17 pts, 6/13 fg) and forcing Jarrett Jack and Marco Belinelli (combined points on Wednesday: 6) to beat you would be a sure way to steal one in Toronto. One problem: never underestimate the Bucks' ability to lose road games. Don't get me wrong, they have generally taken care of business against the really bad teams, which is nice. But against decent to good teams? Not so much.
"Their zone took us out of our rhythm offensively," said Bucks center Andrew Bogut, who had 22 points but was limited to five in the second half. "We got five or six stops in a row but we couldn't score.
"We were up by five at that point (at the end of the third quarter). Maybe we score twice or three times and we're up by double digits. Their zone was so packed in and they were letting us have open threes, and we weren't knocking them down."
The Bucks struggled from beyond the three-point arc, where they often have flourished this season. But they sank only 5 of 26 three-point tries (19.2%) and were 3 of 15 in the second half.
If the current trend, of Calderon coming off the bench, turns sour and causes unrest in the dressing room, the Raptors will need to move one of them. Here is a possible trade that would satisfy the Toronto’s needs.
Mind you this is purely speculation but it works under the cap and would be intriguing for all three teams.
PG Jordan Farmar $1,947,240
SF Jared Jeffries $6,466,600
Total Salary $8,413,840
To New York:
SG Adam Morrison $5,257,228
C Didier Ilunga-Mbenga $959,111
SG/SF Antoine Wright $2,110,550
Total Salary $8,326,889
To Los Angeles:
PG Jose Calderon $8,219,009
THE FAN presents highlights (clip #1 courtesy Paul Jones) and the recap (#2 courtesy Eric Smith) of a 101-96 win for the Raptors over the Bucks.
The SG position accounted for 28 points, with both DeRozan and Belinelli having good games. The play of the game had to be the left handed bullet pass Belinelli threw to Bosh late in the fourth. After going through some struggles this season, Raptor fans have really gotten a good look at why Belinelli was such a steal from Golden State and why I predicted he would one day finish in the top 3 for 6th man of the Year.
The Bucks jumped on the Raptors early, especially in the 2nd quarter when they held a 15 point lead. With Bargnani missing the game because of his back, and Turkoglu’s foul troubles, the Raptors didn’t have a lot of options on offense. The Bucks loaded up on Bosh, and made life tough for the Raptors.
The turning point came in the third quarter when the Raptors decided to play zone defense (very rare to see, I think they should do more of it since they can’t guard anybody one on one). The Bucks acted like they have never seen zone defense before, bricking shots and turning the ball over. The Bucks attempted 26 3s tonight, and only making 5.
- “Aggression in crunch-time got this win for Toronto. It took the Raptors most of the game to finally get to the hoop consistently but they did it in the 4th – especially in the final 8+ minutes. In fact, if you include trips to the free throw line, Toronto scored on 15 of their final 18 possessions of the game.”
Boy oh boy did we miss the big man tonight. He’s become such a big part of this team. Correct me if I’m wrong though, if you’re Italian you’re supposed to have a fantastic sense of style right? ….Step it up Andrea.
Check out the game between the Raptors and Milwaukee Bucks all in just six minutes.
Jay Triano talks to the media following the Raptors home win over the Bucks Friday night.
Jarrett Jack talks to the media following the Raptors home win over the Milwaukee Bucks.
Hedo Turkoglu talks to the media following the Raptors 101-96 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks at the ACC.
Chris Bosh talks to the media following the Raptors victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on home court Friday night.
All the while, the Raptors defence went from soft to swarming. The Raptors stopped the Bucks on seven straight possessions as the Raptors' four-point deficit became a five-point lead.
Toronto did it by employing some zone defence.
"That might have been the second or third time at the most," Triano said of the use of that variation of defence. "We were scraping. We were looking that far into the bag tonight."
It was, to be kind, a scruffy game, and the Raptors had a bit of an excuse for that. Big man Andrea Bargnani was in a red blazer and not a uniform because of a sore lower back. The trickle-down effect on offence was evident, with the Raptors, one of the most versatile teams with the ball in the league, looking punchless with some units Triano employed.
The win put Toronto back at the .500 mark with a 22 wins and 22 losses, while Milwaukee slid back to 17-24.
“Sometimes we have to scrap and find a way to get us going,” Triano said of a night in which the Raptors made the most of fast-break points, outscoring the Bucks 27-5 on races downcourt.
“When we couldn't get over the hump, we went to a zone with four small [playmaking] guys around the perimeter and it created energy for us.
"I thought we really had to dig down deep to get ourselves back into the ballgame," Jack said. "We just kept fighting and plugging away. We were able to attain the lead and then pull it out at the end."
The Raptors, without centre Andrea Bargnani because of a sore lower back, trailed by 15 points in the second quarter and by five entering the fourth.
The Raptors took an 88-87 lead on Jack's driving lay-up with 3:49 left in the game and stretched it 90-87 on Marco Belinelli's field goal with 2:05 remaining.
Bosh followed that up with a dunk to put Toronto ahead 92-87.
Coming off a pair of losses in a pair of winnable games and facing a team that doesn’t have the talent base the Raptors boast but already has taken the first two games of the season, another loss to the visiting Milwaukee Bucks would have been a tough pill to swallow.
Jack, with a nine-point fourth quarter, made sure that didn’t happen.
Give credit to the Bucks who played a stifling defence at times last night for tuning this one into a nail-biter, but superior defensive teams to the Bucks haven’t hogtied the Raptors offensively the way they were for most last night.
Two huge factors played into the Raptors’ offensive struggles Friday night. First, the 44 points the Raptors got out of Bosh two nights earlier were nowhere to be found.
Bosh was held to an un-Boshlike 17 points on 6-of-13 shooting as the combination of Luc Mbah a Moute and Ersan Illyasova kept Bosh under wraps.
Making use of a lineup that should now be known as Chris and the Playmakers and playing a zone defence that they might practise once a week at the most, the Raptors came back from 15 down to even their season record at 22-22.
All because when it came time to junk up the game, to make radical moves, they did. And they worked.
"I didn't imagine it going in," coach Jay Triano said of a game-changing – and unconventional – lineup that included Chris Bosh surrounded by Jarrett Jack, Jose Calderon, Marco Belinelli and Hedo Turkoglu that changed the game in the final five minutes.
"We just seemed to have to scrap and find a way and something to get us going."