Quick Reaction: Raptors 114, Bucks 106

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TOR Raptors 114 Final
Box Score
106 MIL Bucks

B
P. Siakam28 MIN, 14 PTS, 7 REB, 2 AST, 2 STL, 5-16 FG, 1-7 3FG, 3-4 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 8 +/-

Extremely aggressive establishing his jumper early, but very few of the looks fell. That affected his overall field goal percentage. But he was really only responding to Milwaukee’s defense, as the Bucks were giving him room to fire. Was much more successful when he started driving, drawing and kicking, and then creating for himself in transition. Really solid elsewhere.

A-
O. Anunoby25 MIN, 7 PTS, 4 REB, 5 AST, 1 STL, 2-6 FG, 0-2 3FG, 3-4 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, 5 +/-

Fell asleep a few times on Kyle Korver, which, yeah, resulted in exactly what you’d expect. Did a better job when tasked the more involved offensive player, Middleton. Tried to do a little too much on offense in the second half, but his defense on Middleton was hilariously effective. Also, walloped Middleton on the other end in a post-up wherein he spun past the Buck and dunked with ease.

B-
M. Gasol20 MIN, 0 PTS, 5 REB, 8 AST, 0 STL, 0-5 FG, 0-4 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 3 TO, -4 +/-

Sloppy to start, with some missed jumpers and throwaway turnovers. Had a boatload of screen assists. Also stonewalled both Lopez twins the few times they tried to score in the post against Gasol. Robin was even allowed to travel two or three times in the one post-up and still couldn’t score.

B
T. Davis16 MIN, 10 PTS, 3 REB, 0 AST, 1 STL, 5-8 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -8 +/-

Started and was immediately aggressive with a cut and fluid layup. Made a whole host of defensive errors, overhelping on one play and getting caught in no-man’s land on the next. Didn’t get back into the game until midway through the second, and he made a nice pocket pass to a rolling Boucher, then finished a nice floater on the drive. Then his defense improved, too, especially when he recorded a perfect closeout against Brook Lopez. His offense stayed solid, although he did foul out with six minutes left in the game.

A+
N. Powell27 MIN, 21 PTS, 8 REB, 1 AST, 2 STL, 7-13 FG, 4-5 3FG, 3-5 FT, 3 BLK, 0 TO, 8 +/-

He’s back, baby. Hit his first triple, then made an extremely gorgeous drive and little push shot. Then more 3s and more 3s and, yeah. The shooting, especially, gives Toronto such a high ceiling when Powell is doing his thing. He needs no space whatsoever to launch. He could have scored 40 tonight if he didn’t cede the spotlight to some of his deeper-bench teammates.

A+
M. Thomas37 MIN, 22 PTS, 4 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 9-17 FG, 4-8 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 13 +/-

Came in early for TD and immediately canned a short jumper. Was very aggressive looking for his shot, which is why he’s in the game, so it’s good to see. And, wouldn’t you know it, everything he threw up at the rim went in. He’s got such a quick release, it’s good to see him taking those semi-contested looks. They’re high-efficiency shots for him. The open ones? Forget about it. He wasn’t the same level of lava explosion in the second half, but he remained extremely good. Burned the Bucks from the mid-range, too. His defense had some real lapses, but those are minor compared to his offensive contributions.

A+
C. Boucher29 MIN, 25 PTS, 11 REB, 2 AST, 2 STL, 9-15 FG, 3-7 3FG, 4-5 FT, 2 BLK, 0 TO, 12 +/-

Popped into the game and blocked a Brook Freaking Lopez triple attempt. Then hit one of his own. Then another. Was more than just highlights, though. Battled exceptionally on the glass even when he was outnumbered, and didn’t let himself get pushed around. Had a gorgeous pump and go finish from the top of the key. Attacked the offensive glass. Detonated two-handed on Middleton with one of his best dunks of the year. Toronto’s best two-way player in this one.

A-
R. Hollis-Jefferson26 MIN, 11 PTS, 5 REB, 5 AST, 1 STL, 4-9 FG, 0-4 3FG, 3-4 FT, 0 BLK, 6 TO, 8 +/-

Created chaos on defense, which is his most positive and replicable trait. Fit well with Toronto’s chaos bench group, cutting, finishing (!) and doing good things on offense. Did a little too much sometimes when he tried to initiate and drive from the perimeter. He did a great job using space from defenders to pivot into dribble handoffs for open Matt Thomas jumpers.

B
P. Watson21 MIN, 4 PTS, 4 REB, 0 AST, 1 STL, 1-4 FG, 0-2 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 0 +/-

Quiet, but he fit in. Had a few solid defensive moments. Clobbered Kyle Korver when he lifted his elbows too high trying to euro-step through the lane, but later had a nice drive and lofting lefty layup.

Inc
S. Johnson10 MIN, 0 PTS, 4 REB, 0 AST, 1 STL, 0-4 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-2 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -2 +/-

Not wonderful when he was in the game. Hard to see where he fits, although he is unbelievably athletic.

A
Nick Nurse

Went to his bench early and got his guys going, which was good. Not sure how much of the positive chaos was due to Nurse, but the Raptors pretty much all came out aggressive and confident, so props to him there. Used a couple different zone looks, and they were extremely bad, as Milwaukee’s shooting torched the 2-3 and the 1-2-2. Didn’t go back to the zones, to his credit. He had his guys revving to go, which is not easy in a game that doesn’t matter. Kept the guys playing smart, too.

Things We Saw

  1. Even though the Bucks weren’t with the Defensive Player of the Year in Giannis, Milwaukee is still an excellent defensive team. They have a fantastic team defense, and every player sticks to the principles. It was incredible that Toronto was able to score so easily. Yes, there are caveats. The Bucks cared even less about this game than the Raptors. The Raptors had an unseasonably warm game from deep. Still. Toronto played a tight, impressive, and nuanced offensive game. Great performance all around.
  2. You think the bench knows the competition for playoff minutes is still alive? Matt Thomas and Chris Boucher were the try-hard-iest try-hards I’ve ever seen, which particularly stood out in a game that both teams knew didn’t matter. If anyone made a real bid for minutes, it was Matt Thomas. He was fantastic at hunting his jumper, which he doesn’t always do. And when he’s rolling, he doesn’t need much space. He could play the Jodie Meeks ceremonial one-minute-a-game, or he could have a few stretches of five minutes at a time.
  3. The Raptors got a lot of things right. Norm is back to being a burning ball of demonfire on the offensive end. The bench finally broke out. Terence Davis had a very good game, despite a slow start. These are all important positives that Toronto wanted to straighten out before the playoffs began. All the more impressive that it happened against the league’s best defense. And all the most impressive that it happened without a single true point guard on the floor for Toronto tonight.

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