clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Toronto Prepares For A Second Meeting with Milwaukee: Preview, Start Time, and more

The Raptors return home to face a Bucks team that is undoubtedly improved, but still formulating its identity

NBA: Toronto Raptors at Milwaukee Bucks Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Bucks are 11-11. This makes sense. They’re a pretty good team, with a pretty good coach in Jason Kidd, and one very special player in Giannis Antetokounmpo. They’ve got decent role players as well, both young (Jabari Parker, Malcolm Brogdon) and really old (Jason Terry). The majority of the roster, however, falls into the 21-26 age range and is littered with guys who either are what they are, or have fallen short of expectations in some way. Names like Greg Monroe, Matthew Dellavedova, Miles Plumlee, Michael Beasley, John Henson and Tony Snell — useful players all, but maybe not perfectly suited to be playing together.

It’s been said before, but the Bucks badly miss Khris Middleton, their second best player, and a fantastic two way swingman who is expected to miss the majority of, if not the entire season with a torn hamstring. Still, on the back of the man known as the Greek Freak, this team has become a dangerous opponent each and every night, using their length and athleticism to be disruptive on defense (if not always consistent) and moving the ball to the tune of 23.7 assists per contest, good for fifth in the NBA heading into the game Monday night.

Here are three things to look for tonight.

The Long Ball Battle

The Raptors are shooting 39.4 percent as a team from distance on the season, good for third in the NBA, and have used the three point shot to fuel their recent run of excellent play. The Bucks currently allow the lowest three point percentage of any team in the league (32.1 percent), while still allowing 30.7 attempts, which is actually the second most.

The Bucks have a decent defensive rating, so it seems like they scheme to allow the three ball, and then use their outstanding team length and athleticism to bother shooters. In the first contest between these teams, Toronto managed to hit 14-of-31 triples, good for a 45.2 percent clip. You know the Raptors would love to replicate that tonight.


Norman Powell was fantastic again for Toronto on Saturday night, stepping into a starting role with DeMarre Carroll still being held out of back-to-back situations, and giving the team a spark with his defense, shooting and general demeanor. I fully understand that it’s tough to find consistent minutes for ten men on a given night, particularly given the production Toronto gets at the 2 and the 3 positions right now, but it would be nice to see Norm on the floor versus this rangy Bucks squad.

The last time these two teams played Powell was a DNP-CD and it’s going to be harder and harder to justify those kind of decisions if his play continues to be so consistently excellent. Please do not take this as a flag for all those ‘Norm should play over T-Ross’ folks because it’s not, and he shouldn’t. But finding 10-15 minutes a night for the guy is becoming a priority.

His Name is Still Jonas

After a run of inconsistent play from the Raptors big man, it sure would be nice if he came out and kicked some ass tonight. The athletic Bucks bigs (John Henson mostly) aren’t the best match-up for him, but Milwaukee likes to play Greg Monroe at centre at times, and Jonas can certainly eat Monroe’s lunch, Here’s hoping Toronto tries to match the two up and give JV touches in the post when that happens.

The Bucks have also used some super small lineups with Mirza Teletovic at the 5 lately, and if that happens, it’s unlikely Valanciunas will be able to stay on the floor, so take advantage of the opportunities where they come.

Where to Watch: Sportsnet One, 7:30pm EST