Charlie Villanueva scored 25 points in the first 15 minutes against his former team in Toronto, but Chris Bosh proved the Raptors were just fine at power forward, scoring 32 points along with 11 rebounds, four blocks, and three steals as the Raptors never trailed in the second half, sending the Bucks to a 111-93 loss.
Charlie Villanueva. When you are 6'11", mobile, and have the shooting form of a guard, you can't help but blow up once in a while. For Villanueva, it all came together around 6:15 p.m. tonight. Coming into the game averaging 9.6 points in his career against the Raptors, he scored the Bucks' first 11 points in under ten minutes. He didn't stop there, going for 27 points and nine rebounds in the first half on his way to a season-high 38 points along with 12 rebounds. He brought enough first-half energy to
heat upsinge eastern Canada, swishing six three pointers in an electric offensive display that prompted the power forward to also spit some verbal fire in the direction of the opposition. He eventually cooled off though, problematic since no one else really got hot for the Bucks in the first place.
- Bobby Simmons. Simmons wasn't on from outside (1-5 on three's) but aside from that and dribbling the ball out of bounds during Villanueva's hot streak, he played relatively competently. The number two and three Bucks here could be just about anyone because no one really stood out other than Villanueva.
- Ramon Sessions. His shooting woes continued, as he started 0-6 from the field. And while he turned the ball over four times, he did rack up 10 more assists. He's averaging 8.0 assists in April. He and Ivey however got some point guard lessons, as the Raptors' duo combined for 19 assists without a turnover.
- 16. That represents the number of first-half field goal attempts by Villanueva, as well as the other four starters. Villanueva made 10-16, while Sessions, Redd, Mason, and Bogut made 2-16.
- 1. As in one minute, the time it took Villanueva to make as many three-pointers (three) from 10:07 to 9:07 of the second quarter, as the entire Raptors' team made combined the entire game.
- 7/6. The Raptors had more blocked shots (7) than turnovers (6), surely a good recipe for a win.
- The few, the proud: the good times. In a massively disappointing season, it's comforting to cling to the (few and far in between) special moments: Mason's perfect game in the team's first matchup against Raptors, the five-game winning streak against the big boys in mid-November that now feels dreamlike, Yi arriving on the scene against the Bobcats, Redd's pull-up game winner against the Cavs, fourth quarter magic against the Nuggets, and Sessions' improbable last second winner. Even though the main course lasted less than a quarter and a half, Villanueva's barrage of points was truly something to behold. Unfortunately, just as the Raptors dealt away Villanueva's unfulfilled potential, the Bucks might also part ways with the talented forward wondering whether his next team will reap more consistent rewards.
- CV/Ford. Both players have frustrated fans with inconsistent play, but both teams got tonight what they had hoped for when making the Villanueva/Ford trade. Villanueva was dynamic offensively and Ford had a sparkling point guard line in 22 minutes: 14 points, seven assists, and zero turnovers.
- Bench. For the second straight night, the backups played rather well, as Royal Ivey, Bobby Simmons, and Michael Ruffin combined for a + 9 differential while the starters racked up a - 99. Ivey hit a couple big three pointers when no one else but Villanueva was scoring, and Simmons accumulated 11 points and six six assists, earning 29 minutes, ten more than Mason. Ruffin may have been posterized by Bosh, but he also came away with a team-best + 10 differential. And Bosh was just in one of those posterizing moods tonight.
- VNuv's day spoiled, again. The Bucks were responsible for making Villanueva's career-high 48 points bittersweet back in 2006 when they defeated the Raptors. Ironically, they did so again tonight by failing to step up on either side of the ball, as Bucks not named Villanueva shot an unsightly 36.5 % from the field and the team allowed at least 100 points for the ninth straight time. You also might recall that the Bucks lost last season when Michael Redd went for 57 against the Jazz, so we shouldn't be surprised that Villanueva's mere 38 weren't enough. To make matters worse, Villanueva actually ended up being outdone by Bosh, who controlled the game throughout on both ends of the floor.
- Trying to find a balance. Villanueva received a remarkable lack of offensive support from his fellow starters in the first half tonight, as the Bucks managed to trail at halftime despite Villanueva's wondrous performance. Redd was the only other starter to score in the first half, and his eight points came on an inefficient 2-7 from the field. It was also curious that after Villanueva scored the team's first 13 points to open the second quarter, he got just two shots off in the eight minutes prior to halftime, as the Bucks failed to consistently feed him the ball.
- Reality strikes again. We noted that Bosh managed to get the better of Villanueva, and the other matchups were more lopsided as the Bucks couldn't keep pace with a playoff team still fighting for position. Ramon Sessions had a difficult time keeping up with the two-headed point guard attack of T.J. Ford and Jose Calderon. Rasho Nesterovic outplayed Andrew Bogut. Even though Redd took five more shots, he was outscored by Anthony Parker. Jamario Moon was quiet, but we heard more from him than Desmond Mason. And while the bench performed admirably, they couldn't match Calderon's passing, Bargnani's scoring, and Kapono's shooting. The Bucks won big in Toronto way back in November, but the Raptors have asserted their superiority in the past two matchups, winning by a combined 49 points.