Post Game: Milwaukee Bucks vs Toronto Raptors part deux

What an ugly win, but it beats a pretty loss.

This game was almost the opposite of Wednesday night game. The Raptors shot the ball well on Wed but couldn’t rebound nor played defense. Tonight, it’s the opposite, the Raptors shot poorly, but rebound the ball very well and Milwaukee couldn’t make a jumper.

The Bucks jumped on the Raptors early, especially in the 2nd quarter when they held a 15 point lead. With Bargnani missing the game because of his back, and Turkoglu’s foul troubles, the Raptors didn’t have a lot of options on offense. The Bucks loaded up on Bosh, and made life tough for the Raptors.

The turning point came in the third quarter when the Raptors decided to play zone defense (very rare to see, I think they should do more of it since they can’t guard anybody one on one). The Bucks acted like they have never seen zone defense before, bricking shots and turning the ball over. The Bucks attempted 26 3s tonight, and only making 5.

It didn’t help that the Bucks didn’t crash the boards either. The Raptors were playing zone, with a small lineup. The Bucks settled for jumpers and forgot to crash the boards. The Bucks ended up with only 6 offensive rebounds and 0 from Andrew Bogut.

The Raptors kept attacking, led by Jack. Without the 2nd best player on offense, the Raptors desperately needed someone to step up, and Jack did. He attacked the basket, Jennings couldn’t guard him. Jack scored 27 points, a season high.

I was at the game tonight, and there were quite a lot of people booing Turkoglu. They even boo when some guy won a Hedo Turkoglu Jersey in a silly contest. But he played his heart tonight. He struggled with his shot, but he played hard on defense.

Keys to the win:

– Bucks couldn’t make a 3, but kept trying. Ridnour was the only guy who made shots in the end. Zone defense bothered Milwaukee quite a bit, and they became a jump shooting team after that.

– Attack the rim. The Raptors out-rebounded the Bucks 45-39, and went to the line 42 times. Sometimes you wished the Raptors could attack more instead of settling for jumpers.

That’s really it, one team was more aggressive and the other one settled for jumpers. The more aggressive team won.

22-22

PS: I want to say a couple of things about the Bucks. 1) Bogut is turning into one of the best center in the East. He has a solid back to the basket game and can score with either hand, he has always been an excellent passer (I have watched Bogut since his college days in Utah, and he’s one of the best passing college big I have ever seen). Defensively, he has improved quite a bit, he takes a lot of charges, and blocking shots. Even though he is not a great athlete, he has great timing and a high basketball IQ.

Brandon Jennings kind of reminds me of Iverson (without his issues, of course), with a better jumper but not as aggressive. I wish he would attack the rim more. He has good handles and amazing quickness. He settled on too many jumpers. I think the 55 points game had an averse affect to Jennings. He believed that he can make every jump shots, but in reality he really shouldn’t take that many.

Skiles is doing a very good job with the Bucks, as expected. His team will play hard on defense, even though the offense is less than inspiring at times. However, he has about a year left before every player tunes him out. That’s what separates him from being a great coach instead he’s just a good coach.

Overall, the Bucks have some nice pieces, but probably not good enough to make the playoffs, however they will be in the race for the final playoff spot, which isn’t all that bad when a lot of experts predicted they would be among the worst team in the East.

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