The Toronto Raptors (2-1) have ended a miserable losing streak in Milkwaukee by holding on to defeat the Milwaukee Bucks 97-90 on the road. Rudy Gay lead all scorers with 18 points (4-14FG) while adding a career high 15 rebounds. This game was by no means pretty basketball, but an improvement nonetheless in comparison to the first two games.
The Raptors scored 97 points on 39% shooting; that’s a lot of points with a terrible percentage. Not pretty. What kept the Raptors in this game offensively was their ability to get to the line when things weren’t going well. The Raps went to the line twenty more times than the Bucks converting on eighteen more free-throw attempts. Don’t get me wrong, the Raptors played better on the offensive side of things, but apart from the first quarter and the end of the third where the ball was really moving, this game was hard to watch.
Toronto played well tonight on defence. It’s evident the training camp this year was beneficial for this team to grow as a defensive unit. The transition defence looks committed to getting back, while the half court sets have been applying good pressure. Without Jonas for the most part tonight, there was a lot of man-to-man played. The small ball lineup worked well to pressure Milwaukee’s wing players. The insertion of Quincy Acy could only help add to the persona of what this team is trying to represent from a defensive standpoint.
If there’s one thing that the Raptors have done well this season; it’s rebounding. The Raptors CRUSHED the Bucks on the boards tonight pulling down 60 rebounds. Without those 18 offensive rebounds the Raptors could have never won the game with their sub 40% shooting for the game. None of the Raptors scorers had an efficient night, however they found ways to hustle and contribute in another way for the victory.
Game Ball: Landry Fields
Tonight’s game ball goes to “The Glue Guy” Landry Fields. He may not have been the game’s leading scorer, but “Glue Guy” played a great game. When on the court he was able to provide a spark for the second unit with his ability to facilitate. Landry is more confident with his ball handling abilities than most guards on this team, and it shows. His ability to play big in the small-ball system allowed Dwane Casey to dictate the tempo of the for most of the fourth and keep Milwaukee’s paint protectors on the bench. Landry’s game isn’t about stats, so nothing will really stand out in the box score (except his 28 MP), but what more could you ask from the Glue Guy?