Morning Coffee – Sat, Nov 22

The fans love Bruno, he’s like Justin Bieber | Raptors dominate Bucks | Vasquez on BNN | Elite status, mother f******!

Toronto Raptors’ Bruno Caboclo has his Giannis Antetokounmpo moment | National Post

The crowd started chanting “We want Bruno” in the third quarter, and the calls got louder and louder as the fourth approached. When Caboclo checked in, it was practically a fever dream. Caboclo finished an alley-oop off of a pass from Lou Williams for his first NBA basket, hit an open three-pointer, hit a contested three-pointer over Milwaukee’s Ersan Ilyasova and had a chase-down block of guard Nate Wolters. Even his bad moments were awesome: a missed turn-around jumper had elements of Hakeem Olajuwon’s Dream Shake and Dirk Nowitzki’s one-legged shot (pardon the extreme hyperbole — it was that kind of night). He finished with eight points, a rebound and a block. All throughout, the fans found different ways to say “Bruno” — his name replaced both “defence” and “Raptors” in chants. “Bruno is like Justin Bieber,” said Lucas (Bebe) Nogueira, the Raptors’ other Brazilian rookie. He also made his debut on Friday.

Raptors put huge beating on the Bucks | Toronto Sun

Milwaukee, coming off of a triple overtime game and playing for the third time in four nights, could not keep up with the energetic Raptors, who did just as Casey had asked for – pushed the pace against a group that likes to slow it down. Jonas Valanciunas also used his height advantage to dominate inside and the Raptors did a great job of passing into the interior for easy baskets. They did a great job of passing — period, moving the ball around well to set up dozens of open looks. Milwaukee had been one of the NBA’s early surprises, but fell back to earth in a major way in this one against a team that was firing on nearly all cylinders. Just how dominant were the Raptors — midway through the third quarter, DeMar DeRozan had made one field goal and Amir Johnson did not have a single rebound, yet the Raptors led by 30 points.

Raptors Beat the Buc–Who Cares?? BRUNO!! | Raptors HQ

If nothing else, Bruno got to show off some of his sly on-court confidence, which juxtaposes his bashful off-court demeanor. He tried a spinning turnaround on the baseline, made cross court passes, and dropped 3-bombs. He appears to be fulfilling the promise GM Masai Ujiri saw when he picked the young Brazilian 21st overall in the 2014 NBA Draft. When asked if he had fun, Bruno could only smile. Not to be outdone, tonight’s game was also fellow young Brazilian Lucas “Bebe” Nogueira’s NBA debut. While not as highly touted, Bebe sounds more assured, more vocal. He managed to run around a lot, grab five boards and hit a pretty alley-op dunk. “I’m not shooting yet,” he said afterwards.

Lewenberg: Caboclo debuts as Raptors cap off historic home stand with big win | TSN

The biggest and most promising takeaway from his 12 minutes of action, like his performance in the pre-season and Summer League: he showed no fear. He was confident in his jump shoot – hitting a pair of three-balls, one from the corner and a step-back jumper over Ersan Ilyasova – and he showed off his wingspan on defence, swatting Nate Wolters’ shot from behind. “I thought it was special,” Casey said. “The kid’s a beautiful kid. Like any other kid he’s learning and growing in the NBA. As a coach, I see him growing everyday and know what he needs to work on, but it was great to get an opportunity to get him in the game.” Led by starters Kyle Lowry (20 points, nine rebounds on the night) and Jonas Valanciunas (18 points, 12 rebounds), the Raptors dropped 37 first-quarter points on Milwaukee, the NBA’s fourth ranked defensive team entering the game. But it was Toronto’s bench that really put the game out of reach. Chuck Hayes pushed around the Bucks’ bigs, Greivis Vasquez had 11 points in his best outing of the season and Williams led all scorers with 22, beating the buzzer with three-pointers at the end of both the first and second quarters.

Raptors dominate in rout of Bucks | Toronto Star

The fact is, the game had deteriorated into a pick-up game by the time the benches cleared, but every one of the Raptors’ 13 dressed players scored points; from the two young Brazilians to Williams, Chuck Hayes, Landry Fields and Greg Stiemsma. The bench contributed 57 points in all. “Our bench guys, they work as hard as anyone,” Casey said. “They get their work in and come back at night and get extra work in. To be ready, to be prepared when your number’s called because you never know. You’ve got to be ready to go.” The game was total domination by the Raptors, who at the end of a record 6-1 homestand, are now headed to face LeBron James on the second of back-to-back nights. Friday’s game was gearing up to be a trap . . . but fear the dinosaur.

All Good Things Come To An End: Raptors 124 – Bucks 83 | Bucksketball

Honestly, I don’t know what this game means. Does it bring down expectations, which, to be fair, were probably getting a little out of control after Wednesday’s game? Absolutely. But, at the same time, I don’t know that a 41-point loss necessarily means this team’s 7-5 start is meaningless. The Raptors made 15 three-pointers and seemed to hit everything around the basket. Much of the onus falls on the Bucks’ defense, but good teams like Toronto, which sits atop the East, by the way, have nights like that. I don’t know what the next month or so will hold, but Saturday’s matchup with Washington will reveal a lot about this team’s ability to bounce back.

Raptors clobber Bucks ahead of showdown with Cavs | The Globe and Mail

The Cavaliers were widely considered a pre-season contender for the NBA title after James rejoined them following a four-year stint with the Miami Heat, with whom he won two championships. The Ohio native opted out of the final two seasons of his contract with the Het to sign a two-year, $42.1 million deal with the Cavs, where he has teamed with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. The four-time NBA MVP is averaging 25.5 points per game – good for second in the league. But his Cleveland squad is off to a shaky 5-6 start. This week, the NBA’s biggest star admitted to local media that as he is teaching this Cavs squad to win, his patience is being put to the test.

The Toronto Raptors crush the Milwaukee Bucks at the ACC

The passing was magnificent, the team shot over 50% and made 15 out of 25 threes. Everybody was clicking, and everybody who played scored. This was the first time the Raptors led by 50 in a game in their franchise history. Lou Williams led the team with 22 points and two ridiculous buzzer beating three-pointers. Kyle Lowry also chipped in with 20. If the Raptors keep swinging the ball like they have the past two games, their offence can beat any team. The Bucks came into the game as the fourth best defence in the league but looked overmatched from the word go.

Recap: Raptors spank the Bucks in Bruno’s NBA debut | Raptors Watch

From the opening tipoff to the final buzzer, the Toronto Raptors handed the Milwaukee Bucks an old fashion whoopin’ cruising to a 124-83 victory in their final game of a seven game home stand. Lou Williams has really found his game in Toronto. He led all scorers with 22 points. Coboclo played the entire fourth quarter and received a warm welcome from the Raptor fans. You knew it was one of those nights for the Raptors when 7:35 in the second quarter and the Raptors up 16, the Raptors took a play right out of the San Antonio Spurs playbook as Vasquez hit a cutting Chuck Hayes who then kicked it out to Pat Patterson in the corner and instead of shooting the rock, Patterson made the extra pass to Vasquez who drilled a three.

Caboclo Debuts in Raptors 124-83 Blowout Of The Bucks | Pro Bball Report

The blowout started in the first quarter as the Raptors scored 37 points and only a pair of late three-pointers from Ersan Ilyasova kept Milwaukee within 10 points, but it was only going to get worse for the Bucks from there. Toronto scored 34 more points in the second quarter to take a 71-45 lead into the half and if the Raptors could keep up the pressure, Caboclo and Nogueira’s NBA debuts were assured. The rookies had nothing to worry about as the Raptors were not about to let up in the third quarter, expanding their lead to an all-time franchise high of 45 points by the time the period ended. Caboclo started the fourth quarter and helped the Raptors set a new high water mark of 52 points as he hit his second three-pointer to make the score 116-64. Caboclo finished with 8 points on 3-6 from the field including 2-3 from three-point range, a block and a rebound in 12 minutes. Who says this kid is two years away from being two years away? The final score of 124-83 was 1 point shy of the franchise’s biggest winning margin set in 2008 against the HEAT.

Observations From Toronto’s Locker Room After Thumping Milwaukee 124-83 | Hoops Addict

Dwane Casey: “If we are going to be an elite team – or grow to be an elite team – we need to make sure we take care of business. Whether it’s a quarter, a possession, or whatever it is, we need to keep that business like mindset and not get caught up in all the craziness around us.”

Are the Toronto Raptors Legitimate NBA Title Contenders? | Sir Charles In Charge

While it’s still relatively early in the season, the Toronto Raptors have been nothing short of spectacular. They have a chance to be strong contenders in the Eastern Conference if they continue their outstanding play, however in the meantime, they have to stay hungry and look for areas to improve. As Dwane Casey said, consistency will be vital for this team’s long term outlook, so it’s crucial they don’t let this hot streak get to their heads. If they can do that, there’s no question that the Toronto Raptors destined for greatness, and could very well make a strong playoff push once April rolls around.

Toronto Raptor Greivis Vásquez on investments and business | BNN

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Raptors-Cavaliers: Saturday game preview | Toronto Star

Both teams coming off a back-to-backs; Raptors routed Milwaukee at ACC while Cleveland lost in Washington . . . Toronto hasn’t won a road game against a team that boasts LeBron James in five years . . . Brampton’s Tristan Thompson is the most-used backup on the Cavaliers roster . . . Kevin Love is shooting lower than 40 per cent from the field heading into Friday night’s game . . . First of three meetings in the next three weeks for the teams . . . Dion Waiters started three games before being sent to the Cleveland bench in favour of ex-Raptor Marion.

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