Entering a week filled with a ton of optimism and excitement, the Toronto Raptors went back to being exactly who we thought they were. With a 122-114 loss to the 8th seeded Milwaukee Bucks tonight, the Toronto Raptors diminished the remainder of their playoff hopes. This was supposed to be a rather promising week for the Raptors, in which took a turn for the worst. Instead, the loss tonight puts an end to some playoff basketball, leaving us Raptors’ fans emphasizing on the words, “There’s always next year”.
With Rudy Gay inactive thanks to back spasms today, the Toronto Raptors were without their biggest threat. Even without Gay, the Raptors still managed to have a great deal of success on the offensive-side of the ball. Their ball movement was excessive (thanks enlarge part to the lack of Iso’s), and also found ways to score inside. If only the defense could’ve been just a little bit better.
While taking on one of the best rebounding teams in the NBA, the Raptors didn’t do a terrible job on the glass. Although they were outrebounded (48-42), the Toronto Raptors battled hard, despite sporting a smaller lineup throughout the course of this game (which killed them in crunch time/OT). Second-chance points were also a major plus for the Raptors in this one, granting them more opportunities to score. Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out to be enough.
In a must-win for the Raptors tonight, the intensity on the defensive-end was absolutely non-existent. Allowing the Bucks to shoot 50% from the field, the Raptors did nothing to prevent Milwaukee’s star-studded back-court duo, as well as their underrated front-court, from causing them damage. Each of them turned out to be a handful, demonstrating a variety of ways to score, in which hurt the Raptors.
Game Ball: Ersan Ilyasova
Tonight’s game ball goes to Ersan Ilyasova. While being one of the least talked about players on this Bucks’ squad, Ersan Ilyasova had himself quite the game. Finishing with a double-double of 29 points and 11 rebounds, Ilysova was a mismatch for the Toronto Raptors. He stretched the floor finishing along the perimeter, and was a force inside as well.
Honorable mention: Kyle Lowry
Kyle Lowry was pretty quiet in this one, but still managed to finish with a triple-double (10 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists). He failed to stand out in this game whatsoever, but still managed to tally an impressive stat-line.
Image Source: Jeffrey Phelps/Associated Press