Ah, the Milwaukee Bucks. Perhaps more than any team in the league, the Bucks are a team that the Raptors can definitively say they own. Many of the bigger moments in Raptors franchise history have come against the Bucks: Kyle Lowry’s stepback dagger over Malcolm Brogdon, DeMar DeRozan’s series clinching poster over half the Bucks’ team, and, of course, the four consecutive wins the Raptors reeled off last year to reach the NBA Finals. Looking a couple years down the road, it’s also possible that the Raptors’ biggest offseason moment could come at the hands of the Bucks. But now I’m getting ahead of myself.
Tonight, the Raptors will play the Bucks in a normal regular season game, and, in all likelihood, no iconic moments will result. The Bucks have had an up-and-down start to the year, they’re feeling the offseason departure of Malcolm Brogdon, as both Eric Bledsoe and newcomer Wesley Matthews have had shaky starts to the season. Giannis Antetokounmpo is as dominant as ever, but that didn’t stop the Bucks from utterly folding in the second halves of their losses against Miami and Boston. Still, they’ve managed to pull out 3 wins to those 2 losses, including a dominant blow-out of the Orlando Magic last night, and they run 13 or 14 deep with capable NBA players. They were the offseason Eastern Conference favourites for a reason.
On the Raptors’ side of things, they’ll be without Patrick McCaw for the 4th time this year, which means some spots at the back of the rotation will be up for grabs. We could see Terence Davis re-take the minutes he was getting earlier in the year, or perhaps Rondae Hollis-Jefferson or Stanley Johnson if Nick Nurse needs a body to throw on the Greek Freak.
Raptors list Patrick McCaw as OUT (left knee pain) for tonight's game in Milwaukee. Could be an opportunity for Terence Davis (who I'd argue should be getting the 8th-man minutes anyway). Matt Thomas and/or Malcolm Miller are also options at the 2/3.— Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) November 2, 2019
Whatever happens, if the Raptors lose, then the regular season doesn’t matter and the Bucks need to beat us in the playoffs for once, and if the Raptors win then the Bucks slander continues and Giannis is practically a member of the Raptors already. With those ground-rules laid, let’s watch!
Where to Watch:
Sportsnet One, 8:00 PM ET
Toronto – Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam, Marc Gasol
Milwaukee – Eric Bledsoe, Wesley Matthews, Khris Middleton, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Brook Lopez
Toronto – Patrick McCaw (Left knee - out)
Milwaukee — None