Get the job done quick, shut everyone done. Sounds like a very workman night, doesn’t it? In what can be called a total dismantling of the Bucks, the Raptors managed to get double digit production from four out of five starters plus Carlos Delfino, finally got Andrea Bargnani to display some of his successes on the road at home, and probably most importantly, showed that they could put the hammer down on a sub .500 team in the East who was playing the tail end of a back-to-back.
To start things off, the first half of the game was a very sloppy affair. In all honesty, the Raptors had ample opportunities to begin to pull away from the Bucks, but due to careless passes, dribbling in a crowd, and other factors, the Raptors had great difficulty building any type of lead. In fact, after committing eight turnovers in the first half, the Raptors only committed three more for the rest of the entire game. And while Andrea Bargnani scored most of his points in the second half, he did manage to get on the boards as well as draw some fouls on the Bucks in the first half. Those are the kinds of plays that we should be looking for from Bargs as he tries to get out of his funk. It’s the kind of production we don’t see much out of him, and the type that shows he’s getting the hang of something other than scoring.
As the second half rolled around, the Raptors were shooting a fairly good percentage, but were having lots of trouble keeping the Bucks off the board. Charlie Villanueva and Bobby Simmons especially became a handful for the Raptors, but what was surprising to me was just how long the Bucks allowed Villanueva to sit on the bench in the third. By the time all was said and done, the Raptors managed to completely shut down the Bucks through turnovers and scoring efficiency. They also managed to get some good rebounding from just about every player on the team as every player had at least one rebound. Combine these two factors and the Raptors managed to outscore the Bucks by nearly 300%, and it was lights out.
One thing to really note is that the Raptors managed to score above 100 points yet again, but with only a 50% shooting percentage. Three point shooting was still incredibly higher than the regular shots, but the Raptors managed to get about 75 shots up this game, which is a more respectable number. However, how many games can we expect Carlos Delfino to go 4-for-6 from downtown? Nevertheless, the most encouraging aspects were the fact that the Raptors hit the glass six more times than the Bucks and got to the line a healthy 25 times thanks to the efforts of Bargnani, Calderon, Humphries, and of course, Chris Bosh.
So what exactly is the recipe to getting the Raptors scoring consistently above 100 points. The fact of the matter is, the Raptors are a good 3 point shooting club, and if they’re on their game, they have to rely on their strengths. However, as was evidenced with the Boston game, the Raptors have to shoot incredibly well just to keep up with an elite team. It’s therefore got to come back to rebounding and getting to the line. The Raptors, afterall, managed to get seven more possessions without playing their best players consistently for the entire game and it’s games like this that truly prove how dangerous the club can be.
Next Game: Toronto @ Washington