The Raptors ended their 6 game home home stand with a 107-96 loss coming at the hands of the Milwaukee Bucks. This was a big one, this was one they needed. But after coughing up a 20 point first quarter lead, the Raptors have to settle for the 3-3 record they put together to start 2013.
The Raptors came out picking up where they left off against the Bobcats while the Bucks starters looked like they may have enjoyed “White Vegas” the night before. Enter both teams benches and the story was flipped. The Raptors opened up a bakery, turnovers for everyone, as they coughed it up 10 times in the second quarter to let the Bucks back into it. Toronto had gone 121 minutes without trailing but as the fourth quarter rolled around the starters who tallied 89 points on this day, couldn’t get back the momentum they had built in the first quarter.
The Raptors hit the road and play their next three against formidable opponents. This team can’t afford too many stretches like they had early on in the season if they want to be playing games that matter in April. In order for that to happen, they can’t have games like today. They have to do it as a team.
The Night in Numbers
7 Points off the bench for the Raptors. The Raptors bench has been a strong point during the teams latest success but there will be days like today and the fact that they are shorthanded which leaves coach Casey with no other place to go to find some offence. The Bucks on the other hand got the boost they needed from their bench (43 points) to get back in the game and close it out.
“Our bench has been great all year, I can’t commend them enough on how they come in and change the game or at least maintain it for us, but today for whatever reason their bench came in and outplayed us,” said coach Dwane Casey post game. “They clearly outplayed us, defensively, offensively, all around.”
15 Turnovers for the Raptors which led to 16 points. After coughing it up just once in the first quarter the Raptors had some costly turnovers at key times and a stretch of 5 straight possessions that resulted in turnovers to start the second quarter allowing the Bucks to go on a run, give them momentum and get back in the game.
16 Rebounds for the duo of Ed and Amir. These two have been doing it all. Logging heaving minutes, putting up big stats and most importantly they are on the same page.
“They’re both doing an unbelievable job, everywhere, defence, offence, rebounding. We need them to win games,” Calderon said after the game.
“Those two as a tandem are doing a heck of a job together.” echoed Casey, “but now we have to have guys from the bench step in and do something”.
52% shooting for the Bucks. The Raptors who shot close to 67% in the first quarter ended the day shooting just 42% and a miserable 23% from deep, quite the contrast from last game against the Bobcats.
“If you’ve watched our games recently this is kind of how we do it,” Bucks coach Jim Boylan said on the team’s turnaround after a slow start to the game. “We fight our way back. I’ve got a good group of guys, they don’t quit.”
23 points from DeMar who took a while to get going as has become his MO as of late. He struggled against Charlotte but managed to find another gear, got aggressive and went to the line 10 times against the Bucks.
8 straight losses to the Bucks now after the Raptors failed to build on a huge first quarter lead.
“We were 20 points up and we gave up the lead so quickly, it was so fast, we’ve got to work a little better to get those leads and keep those leads,” Calderon said. “In this league, you cannot relax for a minute. We should control this game the whole game, and we didn’t.”
0 Points for Kyle Lowry who has really bought into this whole team thing but seems to have lost himself in the process. For the Raptors to be successful they need Lowry to play his game when he is on the floor.