When it was learned that Milwaukee would be without star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo it made Toronto fans rest easy as there was one less headache to worry about on that team. Unlike recent Milwaukee teams though this iteration of the bucks had a monster offensive engine to troll out in Damian Lillard and he showed just how dangerous he is. The Milwaukee Bucks as a whole dominated this game on the offensive end and Toronto could do little to nothing to stop this or to match it in any capacity
Damian Lillard scored a game high 37 points and he scored a lot of these points against Jakob Poetl in the pick n roll. Dame is an elite shooter so the coverage Rajakovic had Poetl run is what’s known as hedge and every time Poetl would hedge it would lead to Dame turning the corner on him and essentially having a free way to the rim and also a free way to the free throw line where Dame spent a lot of time last night. Poetl quite simply did not have a good defensive game but it was not just him who was lacking on that end. Without OG Anunoby in the lineup the defense was surely going to take a hit, but the level of effort from Toronto on that end was very poor.
Malik Beasley could not miss last night as he scored 30 points with 8 made threes and a lot of these threes were the result of Toronto players rotating off of him and leaving him uncovered. Dame would penetrate into the defense play after play and would kick it out to Malik Beasley for a spot up three, it felt like this play was on repeat throughout the night.
Offensively this was a rough game for Toronto as they shot 39 percent from the field and 27 percent from three. The way Milwaukee was able to help off of whoever was spotted up around the perimeter and having multiple guys helping in the gaps on every play was nightmarish. Pascal Siakam would attempt to drive and there would be three Bucks waiting for him at the cup. Toronto’s lack of shooting once again cost them as it has throughout this season as Milwaukee was able to load up in the paint on every one who dared to drive. It doesn’t help that Brook Lopez is their paint protector, but to add extra gap help on top of that is just too much.
Scottie Barnes was able to navigate this wonderfully last night however and he had a game full of tough looks he managed to make fall, despite the lane being so clogged. Scottie used screens in order to get a head of steam going downhill and rather than try and avoid the rim protection he just attacked it head on and had some great finishes. He also showed off his exquisite touch with multiple floaters in the lane and with his classic brand of bully ball, he was able to put up 29 points last night. He still looks confident shooting the three ball and had a bounce back game from there as well.
Unfortunately, Scottie was the only source of reliable offense last night as Toronto didn’t get much from their bench or the rest of the starters, Milwaukee was in control for the entire game essentially. There was a brief moment in the 4th where a comeback may have seemed possible but as time rolled on that was a false hope. With a team constructed like this it’s not going to be every night or every game they can overcome their spacing and offensive woes and there are of course going to be games where even this defense can’t keep a star in check and last night was just one of those nights.
Next on the schedule is the Boston Celtics who dismantled Toronto the last time they faced off, but you hope that OG Anunoby can recover so they can at least have a fighting chance and potentially bounce back from this loss.