All the dunks weren’t quite enough: Raptors 102 – Bucks 98
|Jeff Adrien, PF Shot Chart 41 MIN | 8-17 FG | 3-3 FT | 12 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 19 PTS | +4
For a guy that routinely gives up 3-5 inches to his opponents, Adrien is tenacious in the battle for rebounds. I don’t think anyone expected him to be a scoring threat when he was traded from Charlotte, but one side effect of all the rebounding is that he gets plenty of touches near the hoop. He still took a couple of midrange jumpers, which are still not very effective.
|Khris Middleton, PF Shot Chart 34 MIN | 6-9 FG | 8-8 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 20 PTS | -13
Middleton broke out of his recent shooting slump with an efficient 20 points on 9 shots before fouling out late in the fourth quarter. He came on early with 10 points in the first quarter; what was particularly interesting is that he did his damage without making a single three-point basket. He drew shooting fouls by aggressively driving to the hoop and converted all 8 of his free throws and looked sharp on the midrange jumpers that comprise d the rest of his scoring output.
|Zaza Pachulia, C Shot Chart 9 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | -9
Was limited to the opening minutes of each half due to foul trouble and stayed on the bench down the stretch due to Henson’s exceptional play.
|Ramon Sessions, PG Shot Chart 43 MIN | 5-13 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 10 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 13 PTS | +4
Serving as the primary ballhandler, Sessions ended up with a points/assists double double and made the Bucks’ only three point basket of the night. He also kind of got lit up by his primary assignment, Grievis Vasques (26 points, 6-8 3pt).
|Brandon Knight, PG Shot Chart 33 MIN | 6-15 FG | 3-4 FT | 4 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 15 PTS | -10
Knight started out slowly with only 4 points on 2-6 shooting in the first half, but warmed up in the last two quarters to help keep the Bucks in the game down to the wire. He also added another highlight dunk to his season resume with this slam over Jonas Valenciunas.
|John Henson, C Shot Chart 39 MIN | 10-16 FG | 3-4 FT | 9 REB | 6 AST | 1 STL | 3 BLK | 1 TO | 23 PTS | +7
Credited with a bunch of playing time, Henson responded by putting up one of his best lines of the year, including two BIG DUNKS. He also impressed me with his energy up and down the court as well as his activity on defense, which are two things that I hadn’t seen out of him in recent games. My one critique of his offensive game is that he passes up other–maybe better–shots to in order to set up the lefty hook, which remains his only real offensive move. He’ll be more dangerous if he can add some complimentary moves on the offensive end. He also got bullied a bit on the defensive end by Valenciunas, who ended up with 17 points and 13 rebounds of his own.
|Giannis Antetokounmpo, SG Shot Chart 25 MIN | 1-6 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTS | -4
Giannis had a pretty quiet night, with his only points coming on a dunk in transition and a pair of free throws late. I noticed that he spent a lot of time dribbling from side to side around the perimeter as though he couldn’t quite figure out how to attack the defense. That’s something that he should be able to improve as he gains experience.
His only turnover of the night came on a behind the back pass that looked pretty, but went directly to Nando de Colo, who promptly ran out in transition with it. Whoops.
Drew took an extremely shorthanded team and nearly guided them to a win against a good playoff team. He would have gotten away with it too, if it wasn’t for that meddling Grievis Vasquez!
Chris Wright broke our recap generator, so here’s his paragraph:
Introduced as “D.J. Stephens” by the Bucks’ P.A. announcer, Wright nevertheless got 16 minutes in the first day of his second 10-day contract and looked competent. This dude can jump really high, which saddened me a bit when he didn’t get in on the Dunk-A-Thon.
Six Things We Saw
- The Bucks as a team made 1 three-point basket in the game. The Raptors made 12. A 64-34 points in the paint advantage for Milwaukee helped make up that difference, but poor three point shooting all around was one of the major contributors to the Bucks’ loss.
- The game remained close all the way through, and the Bucks couldn’t capitalize on the old chase-and-foul game with the Raptors up by 2 and 37 seconds left. DeMar DeRozan made six consecutive free throws to seal the win for Toronto.
- As the season has progressed, we’re starting to see some of the attributes that Larry Drew wanted the team to have at the beginning of the season: team assists (28) and fast break points (20 to the Raptors’ 3). It took longer than expected but better late than never, am I right?
- The theme of the night was DUNKS, as Henson (twice), Antetokounmpo, Knight, and Adrien all got in on the action. The Bradley Center crowd got hyped up a sequence in which Knight dropped the boom on Valenciunas and Henson followed the act with a slam of his own on the next possession.
- With the loss, the Bucks remain three games ahead of/behind/across from the 76ers for the worst record in the league. With only 5 games remaining, I think we can just about lay that race to bed.
- The 63rd loss of the season meant that this is officially the worst season in team history. Yet another reason to just get this over with and move on.