After an impressive win against the San Antonio Spurs Wednesday night, the Toronto Raptors return to action. Tonight the Raptors will go head to head with the Milwaukee Bucks for the second time this season. The Raptors came away victorious in their first meeting facing a largely undermanned Bucks team who were not playing up to their potential.
This time time around the tables have turned as the Raptors will again be without starters DeMarre Carroll and Jonas Valanciunas. The Raptors have tended to falter after wins against some of the top teams in the league. Lets hope the Raptors can show some sort of consistency after a big win and extend their winning streak to three games.
Cage’s Keys to the game
Pack the paint
The Bucks are a team that like to get inside to do most of their damage. They are among the league leaders for points in the paint, so the Raptors will have to do their best to prevent them from getting high percentage opportunities. If the Raptors can clog the paint and disrupt the likes of Greg Monroe and Michael Carter-Williams.
The last time these two teams met, Milwaukee shot just 26% from beyond the arc however they were without Jabari Parker and O.J. Mayo – who will both play tonight.
No let up
The Bucks have a group of under-perfmoring, but talented players. If the Raptors take them lightly due to their record – they’re in for a shocker. Jason Kidd has really developed into a solid NBA coach as he does a great job in motivating his team. If the Raptors are still hung up on their win against the Spurs, these Bucks will be more than happy to make them forget that as they try to right their own ship.
Depending on how the Raptors start, it’ll be interesting to see the rotations used by Dwane Casey tonight. The Bucks aren’t a team that screams experience so the Raptors may be able to go 10 or 12 deep depending on how things go. The Raptors had players see extended minutes as coach Casey elected to go with just 8 players in their victory over San Antonio.
X-Factor: Patrick Patterson
Pat-Pat had a solid night against San Antonio connecting on a couple triples. His energy and rotations were also sound in a very competitive game. Patrick Patterson hasn’t been himself this season but hopefully his performance last game was what he needed to get going. Patterson played a season high 34 minutes against the Spurs. His presence will be needed in a game against a team who likes to go small.