Rap battle: Milwaukee – Toronto Preview

What to Watch For: Bucks (21-19)

Kenyon Martin has been signed to a second 10-day contract by the Milwaukee Bucks. It seemed a foregone conclusion to me that he would sign two 10-day deals and then finish the season in Milwaukee, but now I’m not so sure. Kendall Marshall‘s injury throws that assumption into doubt. The Bucks are now a bit thin in the backcourt and while Larry Sanders seems quite a ways from coming back and contributing to a basketball team, Ersan Ilyasova‘s recent return has given the Bucks a bit more front court depth.

In three games, Martin has played a total of 15 minutes and is averaging a comical 12 fouls per 36 minutes. He has at least one intentional foul and he only has five total, but it’s a comical number nonetheless. It seems like the Bucks have to get him on the court for 10-15 minutes at some point in the next 10 days just to see what he will and won’t be able to do. Tonight may be the night.

Oh. And the Bucks lost to the Raptors by 42 points earlier this season. I’m certain Jason Kidd will remind his team of that at some point today. Watch for a group that should be ready to play hungry.

What to Watch For: Raptors (26-14)

The best team in the East? At some point, the Raptors could probably lay claim to that title, but they’ve lost seven of their last 10 games, with the only wins in that stretch coming over Denver, Boston and Philadelphia. Demar Derozan has returned after a lengthy absence and Kyle Lowry was one of the best players in the East while his partner in the back court was out, so there are certainly a variety of weapons the Bucks will have to contend with tonight.

I was watching the Raptors not too long ago when they played the Pistons in Toronto. They played with an ease that bordered on carelessness at times. Lowry was firing up long alley-oops to Terrance Ross and the whole team seemed to push the pedal to the floor and take whatever shot came to them easiest. Toronto feels like a team of individuals that can punish you, but can get off track as well. Ball movement didn’t feel like their strength and they rank just 21 in the league in assists.

With Lowry and Ross and Lou Williams, they still made a fair number of shots, but it felt dramatically different watching them than it did when I watched the Atlanta Hawks (who I am coming around on more with each passing game) the other night.


Time – 7:00 p.m. CST TV – FSWI Radio – 620 WTMJ

Injury Report

Bucks: Larry Sanders (personal reasons; out); Jabari Parker (left ACL tear; out); Kendall Marshall (right ACL tear; out), Damien Inglis (post-surgery – right ankle; out)

Raptors: This team is in perfect health

Projected Lineups

Bucks: Brandon KnightKhris MiddletonGiannis Antetokounmpo – Johnny O’Bryant – Zaza Pachulia

Knicks: Kyle Lowry – Demar Derozan – Terrance Ross – Amir Johnson – Jonas Valanciunas

Choose the Form of the Destructor: Kyle Lowry

Lowry has been terrific this season, with averages of x points, x assists and x rebounds per game. His reputation as a defender has taken a hit over the past year or two, but his reputation as a guy who is nearly willing to commit a murder on the court, so long as it helps his team, remains in tact.

This is a bad man. (Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images)
This is a bad man. (Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images)

Look at this guy, waiting in the shadows. He’s ready to ruin your life, recover your onside kick and end your season. I once sat court-side for a game when he was probably no more ornery than he was on any average night and the anger and passion he carried himself with during the game was nearly palpable.

Prediction: Some Measure of Revenge Is Gained By Milwaukee

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