The Milwaukee Bucks beat the Toronto Raptors wire-to-wire on Saturday night by a final tally of 115-105. The Bucks raced out to a double-digit lead early and led by as many as 25 at one point. However, those pesky Raptors just would not go away. This time, though, the Bucks were able to hold on to the lead for good.
Giannis Antetokounmpo was in his bag early against Toronto. He came out aggressive offensively, attacking the rim and setting up his teammates for easy buckets. In all, he dropped 36 points, 15 rebounds, eight assists, and four blocked shots. He sank 14-of-20 shots from the field and a solid 7-of-10 from the foul line. His free throw stroke looked much improved with more arch on it for the first time this season. More of that, please. What stood out the most from last night’s win was his playmaking ability...he made a handful of sick no-look passes look easy.
Point guard Eric Bledsoe was terrific early on but faltered in the second half. Like Giannis, he attacked Toronto early and made a concerted effort at getting his teammates involved. It silly how much better the Bucks are when he’s focused on driving to the basket and collapsing opposing defenses. He chipped in 14 points, nine rebounds, and five assists in 24 minutes. Watching him play is like an emotional rollercoaster. When he’s good, he’s really good...but when he’s off, he’s really off his game. In the second half, he began to settle for outside jumpers rather than attacking the rim. His only turnover was a costly one with the Bucks clinging to a single-digit lead in the fourth, but thankfully, it did not come back to bite them.
I don’t know about you guys, but I am not a fan of Robin Lopez playing first-quarter minutes. He’s had minimal impact thus far, and just seems out of sorts offensively. Granted, the Bucks did not sign him for his offensive prowess but seeing him brick sweeping hook shots is already annoying. He shot 2-of-6 in 11 minutes, and it’s fair to wonder when those minutes will begin to go elsewhere.
- Khris Middleton was quiet throughout Saturday’s victory, scoring only 11 points on 12 field goal attempts. Hey, I am certainly not complaining, considering the fact he’s been Milwaukee’s most consistent player thus far in 2019.
- Brook Lopez made 3-of-7 three-pointers and it was great to see those shots from the outside begin to drop.
- Poor Wesley Matthews...scoring only two points in nine minutes, but it did look like he suffered a minor injury in the first half.
- Donte DiVincenzo and Sterling Brown did their jobs once again. Donte started the second half and ended up scoring eight points in 21 minutes. His shot is so pure. As for Sterling, he was active on both ends of the ball, scoring nine points on 3-of-4 from the floor.