It took every ounce of strength and willpower in me to sit through this doozy of a Raptors game.
Monta Ellis had 22 points and nine assists, while Larry Sanders added 12 points, nine rebounds and six blocks in a 100-83 Bucks victory. This is their 10th straight win over Toronto, which is their longest active winning streak against any opponent. With this victory, the Bucks clinch at least the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.
Milwaukee still sits two games behind the Boston Celtics for that all-important seventh seed, which would help avoid a first round matchup with the defending NBA Champions, the Miami Heat.
I'm not going to go too in-depth on how well the Bucks played, because frankly, they put a whooping on the Raptors, and that's putting it lightly.
For the Bucks side of things, make sure you check out our friends at BrewHoop.com.
I compare games like this to calling up an ex-girlfriend whom you really want to work things out with, only for them to cheat on you 24 hours after getting back together.
Those wins against the Washington Wizards and Minnesota Timberwolves made me believe that the Raptors had every intention of finishing off the year strong. They weren't exactly convincing wins, but they were wins nonetheless.
Now, it's all for not. I can't get the aftertaste of this awful, awful game out of my mouth. All of the showers, soap and mouthwash in the world couldn't cover up the stench from those 48 minutes of basketball.
The Milwaukee Bucks had a 78-46 lead in the second half, and an 80-55 lead after three quarters. If it weren't for (essentially) an entire fourth quarter of "garbage time", that final score could have been a lot worse. Not that it isn't already.
Where do I even begin with this one?
The Raptors shot 36% from the field. They turned the ball over 16 times. That's a recipe for disaster.
Amir Johnson and Rudy combined for six points on 2 for 17 shooting. Whatever offense Gay had Friday night in Minnesota (26 points, 12 for 23 shooting), he clearly left there. I'm not sure if he's 100% healthy at this point, so I wouldn't be opposed to shutting him down for the rest of the season, if that's the case.
Even Jonas Valanciunas, who's been riding quite the hot streak as of late, was shut down hard by Milwaukee's bigs, scoring 12 points on just 3 for 9 shooting. He also added three rebounds and five personal fouls in a little over 26 minutes of action.
Terrence Ross was fine. That's it. He played fine. Ross finished with 11 points on 4 for 8 shooting, including a nice slam dunk in the second quarter. His defense still leaves a lot to be desired, but he had his moments guarding J.J Redick. Again, this game won't have anyone jumping back on the Terrence Ross bandwagon, that's for sure.
Quincy Acy took full advantage of some extra minutes, hitting 4 of his 7 shots, including one three-pointer (weird). He played hard, and that's to be expected of him when he's on the court. I'm not going to overanalyze things and put a huge emphasis on the game he had, considering the circumstances, but he was certainly one of the few (and I mean few) bright spots for Toronto on this night.
Say what you will about a guy like Alan Anderson, but he's a fighter. In a little under 22 minutes, Anderson had 14 points and two rebounds. Sure, he has a tendency to hoist up shots on a more than regular basis, butI get the feeling that when he has those spurts, he does it to get the Raptors back into games, and not for the sake of making himself look like a million bucks.
I'm trying to be as objective and positive as I can, but the reality of the situation is that on Saturday night against Milwaukee, the Toronto Raptors sucked.
That's me being nice.
You can't look at this game and learn anything from it. It was a joke.
Those two wins prior to this debacle don't mean squat now. We all live in a "what have you done for me lately?" kind of world. This loss will resonate in fans minds until Toronto is back on the court Tuesday night in Chicago.
For those of you who watched every single solitary second of this game, I salute you. A badge of honor is now ours and ours alone.