Burn the tapes, bury the ashes and shred the box score.
That's the best the Bucks could probably hope for after Friday's 124-83 demolition in Toronto, a game that saw the Raptors reassert their home dominance while reminding the Bucks that they still have a long way to go. Even with DeMar DeRozan struggling through a rare off night (7 pts, 1/8 shooting), the Raptors scored at will early (37-27 lead after one quarter) and then bludgeoned the Bucks on both ends in the two middle quarters (64-30!), leading by a stunning 101-57 margin after three quarters.
Lou Williams provided a vintage Lou Williams bench performance with a game-high 22 points in just 19 minutes, while Jonas Valanciunas had an easy time inside (18 pts, 6/7 fg, 12 rebs) and Kyle Lowry added 20 points, nine boards and five assists. If there were any silver linings for Milwaukee, it was that Jabari Parker managed another solid line (15 points on 12 shots plus 6r/3a/2s/1b) and Giannis Antetokounmpo (7p/2r/2a/1s in 15 minutes) was at least able to play after initial fears that he'd miss the game entirely due to the ankle injury he picked up in Brooklyn. Jerryd Bayless (for some reason) slid into the starting five with Giannis coming off the bench, but he played just nine minutes as the Bucks gave Kendall Marshall (5p/4a/3s) a chance to start the second half next to Brandon Knight (11p/2r/2a). Ersan Ilyasova was the only other Buck to crack double-digits with 14 points on 5/9 shooting, including a pair of early threes as the Bucks tried to keep it vaguely close.
Despite coming into the game as one of the league's lesser rebounding teams, the Raptors put their size and energy to good use in dominating the glass 57-30, grabbing almost as many of their own misses (15 off boards) as the Bucks (22 def boards). Not that there were that many misses to grab in the first place, as Toronto hit 52% of their shots and a lights-out 15/25 from deep. The Bucks were ultimately just slower and less precise at everything tonight, and Toronto made them pay over and over again with deflected passes, crisp ball movement, and the Bucks couldn't find ways to put them off.
Jabari. Parker continued to look frisky attacking the rim on his way to six first quarter points, and he not surprisingly didn't shy away from trying to initiate offense as the game got really out of hand in the third. He twice nearly posterized Valanciunas with strong takes to the rim, the first cannoning off the back iron for a miss and the second an acrobatic rim-out that earned him a pair of free throws. Hint: This kid's going to be something else once his body matures and some of that baby fat shrinks away.
The other encouraging thing is that he wasn't just gunning either -- he set up a number of open looks by driving, drawing attention and dishing it off, while also adding another couple steals, swatting away a transition chance in the first half, and turning it over just once. His season averages are now up to 12.0 ppg and 5.7 rpg on 49.6% true shooting with a 14.0 PER -- hardly setting the world on fire, but good progress from where he was in the first week or two of the season. ONWARD AND UPWARD!
Giannis' ankle. Giannis has always been the kind of guy who wants to play through injuries, and tonight proved no exception. It's tough to say how much it might have been bothering him, though he generally remained aggressive in earning a Giannis-like seven free throws in 15 minutes. He was spared from extended minutes when the game got way out of hand in the third, so hopefully he'll be back to starting tonight against the Wizards.
Defense. The Bucks entered last night ranked fourth in defensive efficiency and even in terms of points scored/allowed. After the Raps' game: 9th in defense and -3.3 pts/100.