The Milwaukee Bucks fell flat on Wednesday night as they went on the road for the first time this season to take on the Toronto Raptors, who ended up beating Milwaukee 130-111.
Toronto had entered Wednesday’s contest with the league’s worst offensive scoring (99.5 points per game) and worst offensive rating with 99.6 points per 100 possessions. The team had only scored 100 points twice coming into the game, one of them being in overtime.
Bucks Lose on the Road
From the jump, Toronto was able to out-shoot, out-rebound, and even out-play the Bucks and took a 17-point lead going late in the first quarter of regulation. By the second quarter, they led as much as 27 points.
The Raptors not only put out their best performance of the season so far against the Bucks, but they were closing in on Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard for the duration of the game.
Antetokounmpo was 1-for-4 for three points at halftime, and had made only one free throw attempt. He would finish his night with 16 points on 5-of-11 shooting, and was 6-of-9 from the free throw line. Additionally, he had two assists and four rebounds.
Lillard finished his night with 15 points on 4-of-9 shooting. Other players like Brook Lopez, who couldn’t seem to get in the right rhythm, only had six points on the night and hit one of his eight shot attempts. Defense wasn’t quite moving right either. But to be fair, the Raptors were dominating on their home court, and were tough to get around and block.
“We just gotta do a better job of taking care of the defensive glass,” Lopez said. “They did a good job. They fought hard on that. It was clear that was a point of emphasis for them. It seemed like it was a key to their game and they did a great job on it. We need to be better at that.”
The Bucks forced 16 turnovers, which allowed the Raptors to set a season high of 33 assists on 48 field goals with their starters playing.
No Excuses to Poor Play
Antetokounmpo said that there’s no excuse as to how they played, that they need to groove through finding a solution and improving themselves.
“OK, we can make excuses – there’s a new player, there’s a new coach – we can keep on making excuses and think that it’s going to be OK but that doesn’t work in life. That doesn’t work like that…We have to play together. We have to be more clear on what we try to get from offense. We have to be more clear with what we’re trying to accomplish defensively and who we are going to let attack us, because you’ve got to live with something. You cannot stop everything. We can keep on figuring out solutions. Right now we’re not there yet.
“Hopefully we can get better in the future. But if we just stay with the mindset that we are going to get better in the future, we will not. We have to every day come to the court and figure out ways to get better. I believe that as a team we will get better. Hopefully.”
It was a lack of communication, miscommunications, trying to do the right thing without overstepping, that ultimately hurt the Bucks in the end. While both Antetokounmpo and Lillard had said at the end of preseason that things would take time, losing to two teams that should’ve been easy wins for them were tough to accept.
“Typically for me, I take charge, and I try to make things happen and do more,” Lillard said. “But I’m like I don’t want to do that. I want to accept the process of this happening. And you know, Giannis is probably feeling the same way, and Khris is probably feeling the same way.
“We want to show trust and not just go back to something that’s not sustainable. And I think because of that sometimes it can get ugly. And sometimes just in my experience in the league, it gets a little bit ugly out there when everyone’s trying to do the right thing and nobody wants to do the wrong thing. I think that’s kind of happening.”
We can highlight good things about the game, though. Malik Beasley has continued to show how valuable he is to the Milwaukee Bucks’ lineup, tallying up 20 points on 6-of-9 shooting. Unfortunately, despite his great offensive efforts, his team couldn’t seem to back him up.
Up Next for the Bucks:
The Milwaukee Bucks will come back home to the Fiserv Forum to welcome the New York Knicks for a Friday night game of ball. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:30PM.
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