Halftime Thoughts – Raptors/Bucks Game 3 – We’re getting killed (including Halftime Podcast)

First up, here’s Will:

I’ve seen some stuff in my time but this takes the cake.  We’re down 27 at the halftime, and basically everything that can go wrong, has gone wrong.  Bucks made a change in the starting lineup and got Thon in, and that seemed to energize them to the tune of a 30 point lead.

Shooting long-distance jumpers probably isn’t the thing to do on the road, but we did it anyway, and the Bucks ran those misses back in transition with ease.  We’re not even contesting their jumpers, and our close-outs just invite drives which we can’t contest at the rim. That’s not good.

Lowry and DeRozan’s vision is blocked on the drives because they’re being pressed so hard, they don’t even know where to pass even if they wanted to pass.  The possessions don’t have any sort of flow to them, other than passing it around on the perimeter threatening a drive that’s not really threatening anyone.  We can’t get any easy points, partially because we can’t get rebounds, and when we do get rebounds we can’t run since Milwaukee is getting back way too quickly for our slow guards to pressure them.

I’d say the Raptors were ill-prepared for this game, not just from the basketball perspective, but also from what they should’ve expected form the Milwaukee crowd which is louder than the ACC.   It’s very easy to point to X’s and O’s and say we can’t generate efficient offense (or any offense).  Take this possession for example – this is fairly early on and Carroll doesn’t even know where he’s supposed to be:

We also know that the Bucks like to pressure, but every time their guards pressure up top, we don’t have a release mechanism which punishes them. We just struggle to pass it back on the perimeter where we execute a benign swing. Instead, we have to punish them in the paint because their guards are really committing to pressuring us leaving them open in the back for a team that knows how to exploit it.

On the bright side, and this is the only bright side, Delon Wright looks like a player. He had a three and a couple nice drives (check them on @raptorsrepublic), and is probably our only guard that can match Milwaukee for athleticism. On that note, damn man, but is DeMarre Carroll disappointing or what? There’s literally nothing he can do well – he’s outmatched for pace and strength against whoever he’s guarding, rendering him useless. Same goes for JV, who just looks outmatched against everyone, especially Monroe. Either he’s too slow to check someone, or he’s just out of sorts against a bigger guy like Monroe.

Raps made a change at halftime starting Joseph instead of JV.

Here’s Kalamian at halftime:

Having said all that, it’s one game, and Game 4 is pivotal.  The question now is when does Dwane Casey just give up on the game and rest guys for Saturday. I’d say see if we can get this down to 18 by the fourth quarter and have a go.

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