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Raptors didn’t put the ball through the rim enough. Also, dancing sharks.

What transpired at the ACC last night was not basketball. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Sigh. So, the Raptors lost last night to the Milwaukee Bucks. After heroically battling through blown leads and hectic road trips to capture four wins in five nights, the Raptors returned home and took a hot, steaming dump. Playing with ... Read more

What transpired at the ACC last night was not basketball. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Sigh.

So, the Raptors lost last night to the Milwaukee Bucks. After heroically battling through blown leads and hectic road trips to capture four wins in five nights, the Raptors returned home and took a hot, steaming dump. Playing with just eight players for most of the game — two of which were acquired through 10-day contracts — the Bucks thoroughly out-hustled an emotionally disinterested and physically exhausted Raptors squad.

Sigh.

Let’s start with the Raptors’ offense, which only produced 75 points. Sigh. 75 points on 78 field goal attempts and 22 free throws attempts. 75 points. Sigh. That included a putrid 7-of-27 performance from long range. The Raptors’ backcourt combined to shoot 14-of-58 from the field. Lowry, DeRozan, Ross, Vasquez and Williams unleashed an endless barrage of hopeless long jumpers. It was maddening.

Sigh.

Only one Raptor (Jonas Valanciunas) managed to shoot above 50 percent. Valanciunas recorded a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds in the first half. For his efforts, Valanciunas was awarded a grand total of zero shot attempts in the second half and was benched, along with the remainder of the starting unit for the fourth quarter. You can do with that what you will. I’d argue that it’s a worthwhile coaching tactic to convey a message, but there’s a very good case for Casey going overboard and conceding the game.

Sigh.

The bench unit of Lou Williams, Greivis Vasquez, Terrence Ross, Tyler Hansbrough and Patrick Patterson were given the chance to play the entire fourth quarter (save for 2 minutes that Lowry logged). They did a solid job in defending the Bucks, but managed just 9 points of their own. Patterson was the only player who shot above 50 percent (he was 2-for-3) in the fourth. His two made baskets accounted for half of Toronto’s fourth quarter field goals. Ross and Williams attempted four and five field goals each in the quarter. They accounted for none of the Raptors’ fourth quarter field goals.

Sigh.

Credit should be given to the Bucks thin roster. O.J. Mayo got himself ejected in the second quarter, cutting their number of active players to eight. Despite being shorthande on the road, the Bucks played with tremendous energy defensively. They struggled to generate much by way of offense, but the Bucks’ long-armed defenders crowded the lane and in the spirit of Zaza Pachulia (who was injured), the Bucks gave up, “nothing eaasssy.”

Sigh.

The long and short of it is this: the Raptors didn’t have it. As fans, we can scream and yell all we want, but they didn’t have it last night. It happens. It’s happened a few times this season. They’ll bounce back. The recap ends here. I leave you with the sage words of Matt Devlin.

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To cheer you up, here’s a few dancing shark vines from Superbowl XLIX. Come back at 12 p.m. to read about DeRozan’s playmaking.

 

 

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