(Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors 83 Final
Recap | Box Score
100 Milwaukee Bucks
Larry Sanders, C 27 MIN | 5-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 9 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 6 BLK | 1 TO | 12 PTS | +27Yes, two of his six blocks could easily be disputed, but the six puts him at 200 on the season, making him the first Bucks player to block 200 shots in a season since Elmore Smith in 1975-76. Plus he played with great energy on the other end and threw down a number of powerful, highlight dunks.
Monta Ellis, PG 39 MIN | 5-14 FG | 10-10 FT | 4 REB | 9 AST | 6 STL | 0 BLK | 5 TO | 22 PTS | +23Another very complete game from Ellis, down to the defensive effort. He did a great job reading passes and anticipating movement from Toronto guards, which allowed him to make several steals that led to transition opportunities for the Bucks.
Brandon Jennings, PG 28 MIN | 7-14 FG | 0-1 FT | 2 REB | 7 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 16 PTS | +21Milwaukee didn’t need much out of him, with the Raptors giving very little push back after about five minutes, but he made half of his shots and didn’t take a beating from Kyle Lowry on the other end. Jim Boylan was able to get him some rest yet again, opting to sit him most of the fourth quarte with Milwaukee’s lead staying above 20 for the majority of the period.
Gustavo Ayon, PF 18 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-2 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 4 PTS | -11When he first entered the game, he was given one instruction: Rebound. The rarely used big delivered on his command, grabbing seven rebounds in just 18 minutes. He’s still clearly a work in progress when it comes to figuring out Milwaukee’s offense. His teammates often pull him aside and give him instructions and Boylan would often bark commands to him when he had to go set a screen or be in a certain spot, but his basketball abilities are obvious when he’s comfortable.
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, PF 24 MIN | 4-7 FG | 2-4 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 10 PTS | +5His first game in double figure scoring since returning from an eight game absence. It’s clear that Mbah a Moute isn’t in great shape, is a little beat up and is generally not the same player he typically is right now. But the Bucks are going to need him badly when they match up with the Heat in the first round. He needs minutes to run, to cut and to get the feel of the game back.
Drew Gooden, PF 3 MIN | 0-2 FG | 1-2 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 1 PTS | +1I’m not sure I’ve heard a louder unified chant revolving around one player, let alone an 11th or 12th man. But Bucks fans rallied around getting Drew Gooden in the game starting with about six minutes left in the fourth quarter. Pretty soon the entire arena erupted in a “WE. WANT. DREW.” chant to the tune of MIlwaukee’s Go Bucks Go organ. Boylan caved to the pressure after asking Gooden if he wanted in. Everyone was happy.

Two Things We Saw

  1. Playoff birth: Clinched. Season: A success. Hooray for low expectations!
  2. After losing badly to the Knicks on Friday night it was fair to be pretty disappointed with the Bucks, but blowing away a team like a Raptors is generally a good sign. But the Bucks need to do two things consistently the rest of the season: Beat bad teams by a lot and stay in games late against really good teams. If they can do that, it’ll be a good sign that they could maybe make this Miami series more competitive than most expect right now, which means they might be able to win a game.