8 Games in 13 Days- The Raptor “Bookends”
The 28-16 Milwaukee Bucks take on the 20-24 Toronto Raptors in a nationally televised game on TNT. The Bucks are on a back-to-back having beaten the Pacers 132-119. Toronto also is on a back-to-back, beating the Knicks in overtime 123-121. Milwaukee gets the comfort of being at home, plus the Raptors have really stunk it up on the road playing to a 6-13 record away from the Scotiabank arena.
The game will have an earlier tip off (6:30 CST) as it will be nationally broadcast on TNT.
If the playoffs started tomorrow Toronto would not be in, in any way, shape or form. (Not even the play-in round.) The Raptors have made the playoffs in each of the past seven seasons. They are close to being in, however. Toronto is in a statistical dead heat with the Bulls.
The Bucks won game one of the season series 104-101 in overtime.
“It takes a village”
For Milwaukee this has been a pretty tough regular season stretch. They are 19-16 over their last 35 games after starting the season 9-0. They are barely the number 3 seed in the East (Brooklyn is #2 on account of having played two less games) and they are coming into a stretch here where they only play 5 games in a two week span. That is a much more manageable schedule.
The team defense has carried this team at times.
This Toronto “bookend” stretch has tested the team’s depth and it has held up. Giannis has needed to miss; Middleton still is not back yet. Can Milwaukee continue to get professional play and minutes from AJ Green and Grayson Allen? Bobby Portis is making a case for 6th man of the year. Can Brook Lopez keeping playing well? Let’s hope so.
Get off to a fast start
Milwaukee has had some down first quarter scoring numbers of late: 20 points against the Heat on a Nationally televised game Saturday, 22 against the Knicks and only 13 points in a disastrous start against these same Raptors.
The offense is still only averaging 112 points per game and is ranked 21st in the NBA in scoring and 25th in field goal percentage.
It is the NBA Regular season- we just made that point above- but the start Milwaukee got out against the Pacers is what the team needs. Shoot threes, make most of them, and get out in transition.
The Opponent: The Toronto Raptors
Pascal Siakam leads Toronto in all of the bigger individual statistical categories. (Points/Rebounds/Assists) He is arguably one of the better players in the NBA no one seems to talk about. But he needs help and it just hasn’t seemed to consistently work out. Siakam had twenty points, eight rebounds and nine assists yesterday vs the Knicks.
Fred VanVleet has been all too inconsistent for the Raptors. He scored 33 against the Knicks yesterday. However he only scored 3 points a few days ago against Atlanta.
Scottie Barnes is in his second year and has also been inconsistent. Again last night against the Knicks he put up 26, a few days ago against Atlanta he put up 27 and then before that against Charlotte scored 7 points.
For Toronto guys just seem to disappear in stretches. That’s not good.
Bucks possible trade target Gary Trent Jr. is having a good season. (18/2/2) He might be someone Milwaukee could look to acquire.
Interested in booking an athlete for an appearance. Contact Mayfield Sports Marketing.
Things to tell your buddies as you are watching the game
- Giannis Antetokounmpo is the career scoring leader for the Milwaukee Bucks with 15, 406 points.
- Khris Middleton is 7th all-time in scoring for Milwaukee. He has scored 11,049 points in his career.
- Alvin Robertson is the career leader for the Bucks in steals per game. Robertson averaged 2.7 steals a game for Milwaukee.
- Alvin Robertson is the first player to score a point for the Toronto Raptors franchise.
Follow me on Twitter at @authorrudylb and check out my other writings at www.rudylb.com. Check out the cool I-Heart Radio Podcast Gyro Step Podcast here. Follow us at @WiSportsHeroics for all things Wisconsin sports. Also, check out our merch store for some amazing WSH merchandise!