Bucks vs. Raptors Game Thread (Jan. 13) | Pivotal road trip begins


The Milwaukee Bucks open their four-game road trip on Sunday afternoon with a matchup against the suddenly-hot Toronto Raptors. The game will not be televised locally in Wisconsin, so fire up NBA League Pass and join us to comment on the action.

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Most American households will be tuned in to the NFC Divisional Playoff matchup between the Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks on Sunday afternoon, but during that same time slot (12 p.m. CT) the Milwaukee Bucks will be busy trying to earn a win on foreign soil against the red-hot Toronto Raptors. The Bucks game will not be locally televised, so you will need to fire up NBA League Pass to watch the action.

Over at Raptors HQ, they broke down three keys for Toronto, and No. 3 has me a bit worried because Brandon Jennings sometimes has trouble defending the high-pick-and-roll:

3) Pound the Rock: As cliché as it may sound, pounding the rock and feeding the post has worked wonders for the Raps. High screen-and-roll action from Jose Calderon and Amir Johnson has become the bread and butter on offense, which has opened up opportunities for many players on the court. The Dinos' are averaging 99.0 points over the last 13 games compared to 95.2 in their first 23 contests while only giving up 90.2 ppg during the 10-3 surge.

A prime example of having defense lead to quality offense has been the attitude that the Raps have embodied and it seems to be working quite well. Playing their own brand of basketball and getting everyone into the mix of playing "together basketball" will get Toronto past Milwaukee this afternoon.

As Frank noted in the game preview, Jose Calderon and Kyle Lowry are playing well this season. They both sport a stellar 57.8% True Shooting percentage, so expect an efficient output from Toronto's backcourt in this contest.

Injuries. Andrea Bargnani (elbow) and Jonas Valanciunas (finger) are out for the Raptors, while Linas Kleiza (knee) is day-to-day.

If you haven't seen this video on Andrea Bargnani trade possibilities, watch it right now because it's good stuff from the Raptors HQ crew:

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