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Raptors vs. Bucks Preview | Bucks open home schedule seeking 48-minute effort

Milwaukee's first two games have been uneven affairs, both featuring comebacks of greater than 20 points. The Bucks hope their home opener inspires a more complete effort against Toronto.

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

2013/14 NBA Season
(1-1, 0-0 home)
(1-1, 0-1 away)
November 2, 2013
BMO Harris Bradley Center | Milwaukee, WI
7:30 CT
FS Wisconsin | 620 WTMJ / Audio League Pass
Probable Starters
Nate Wolters PG Kyle Lowry
Gary Neal SG DeMar ReRozan
Caron Butler SF Rudy Gay
Ersan Ilyasova PF Amir Johnson
Larry Sanders C Jonas Valanciunas
2013/14 Advanced Stats
90.8 (28th) Pace 92.7 (25th)
103.4 (14th) ORtg 101.4 (20th)
103.4 (14th) DRtg 101.9 (13th)

Linkage | Raptors HQRaptors RepublicBucks Game NotesRaptors Game Notes

Raptors Update. Like the Bucks, Toronto's record sits at 1-1, both owning wins over the Boston Celtics. The Raptors knocked off the Celtics in their home-opener last Wednesday before falling in Atlanta 102-95 last night. DeMar DeRozan scored 31 points to give the Hawks a scare, but Toronto was undone by big games from Al Horford (22 points, 16 rebounds) and near-Buck Jeff Teague (17 points, 12 assists). Rudy Gay shot 6-23 for 14 points in the loss. After two games Toronto has a point differential of minus-1, while the Bucks sit even.

Dino-Sale. New Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri is hard at work remaking the Raptors' roster (with help from former Bucks Ast. GM Jeff Weltman), and a report from ESPN's Marc Stein suggests he's not afraid to take drastic steps early in his tenure. According to Stein, quoting a "plugged in source", the Raptors are prepared to trade virtually any player on the team. Only second-year center Jonas Valanciunas is seen as "untouchable". Toronto has a few talented players--Kyle Lowry, DeRozan and Gay can all be productive players in the right situation--but most have imposing salaries on long-term contracts. With most of the league focused on preserving cap space or maximizing draft value ahead of next summer, the market for these high-priced players could be thin. Still, few would have imagined Ujiri could flip the disappointing Andrea Bargnani for a first-round pick and more, so maybe we shouldn't doubt him.

Injury Update. Milwaukee enters tonight's home opener again expecting to be without its starting and backup point guards. Brandon Knight continues to rehab a hamstring injury suffered in the first minutes of the season-opener while Luke Ridnour remains day-to-day with a sore back. Ersan Ilyasova and Caron Butler are also listed on the injury report but played 20+ minutes against Boston and should be good to go versus Toronto.

UPDATE: Naters gonna nate:

ANOTHER UPDATE: Knight could play tonight:


Bench Leading Comebacks. An all-too-familiar trend has already developed this season, with the Bucks' starters digging big holes against their opposing counterparts before the bench unit helps the team climb out. As Steve pointed out in our podcast recap, Milwaukee got excellent production from their five-man bench unit which put up a +47.6 efficiency differential in 12 minutes. Take that for what it is--12 minutes of play primarily against other bench players--but that's still a HUGE number, and the second time in as many games that the Bucks' subs have proved their value. Still, everyone hopes the starters can pick things up soon.

Floor It. Milwaukee's much-heralded new court design was supposed to draw a lot of attention in their home opener. Instead, it's back in the shop getting "resurfaced and refinished", a process about which we're all a little hazy. The Bucks will roll with their old court for now, having reclaimed the pieces in what I can only imagine was a Legend of Zelda-esque adventure. Never one to miss a promotional opportunity, the Bucks' PR Department announced a "New Floor Guaranteed" ticket offer for select seats. Fans who purchase select tickets for tonight's game will receive complimentary tickets for every home game up to and including the re-debut of the new court. If you're around, check it out!