If you would have said, prior to tonight’s game, that one team would dominate from beginning to end in a match up between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Toronto Raptors, many would guess wrong on which team did so. Turn out, it was the Raptors night to shine after a trio of tough losses over the weekend.
This game was the last of three back to back home games before the Raptors are set to hit the road for about two weeks. After tough losses against the Chicago Bulls, Philadelphia 76ers and Portland Trail Blazers, let’s just say the vibes going into tonight were less than ideal. Yet, the team got the job done and was able to secure a win, bringing their season record to 2-3.
Not only a win, but a GOOD win. All five starters with 14 or more points. Three players with double doubles. A team effort of 35 assists on the night. They led the Bucks from start to finish and it was FUN.
The game had a very weird start — an immediate double dribble call, five turnovers in eight possessions for the Raptors... yet they made multiple three point shots and went on a run over the Bucks. Jakob Poeltl started with eight points, six rebounds and three blocks. Scottie Barnes went on a tear with a steal, a huge block and then a step-back three all right after another.
Siakam led all scorers in the first quarter with nine points, two rebounds and an assist. Dennis Schroder had some pretty assists, to Jakob especially. Gradey Dick literally took a charge against Giannis, and when it was challenged the call stuck. Truly magical hoops.
When asked post game about drawing the charge on Giannis, Coach Rajakovic said that Gradey “has some guts” and that he respected him for his commitment.
Raptors led the Bucks 31-18 after the first quarter. We will take it.
The second quarter was all the Scottie show to start as he was already well on his way to a triple double. By the midpoint of the second quarter he had 11 points, five rebounds and three assists.
It's the second quarter and we are already approaching Scottie Barnes triple double watch territory— Raptors HQ (@RaptorsHQ) November 1, 2023
He has 9-4-3 right now...
The Raptors continued to take advantage in the second quarter, with both Siakam and Poeltl racing into double digit scoring as well. The bench was also more efficient tonight than in nights past.
So far... Raptors generating 94.1 points per 100 possessions in the half-court... which would be their best of the season! It's not good, but it is better!— Esfandiar Baraheni (@JustEsBaraheni) November 1, 2023
The Raptors headed into halftime up 66-44 over the Bucks. Again, we will take it.
First half fun facts:— Keerthika Uthayakumar (@keerthikau) November 2, 2023
- Schroder's 9 assists lead to 21 points (only 1 TO!!)
- Raptors' outrebounding the Bucks 32-16
- Raptors' halfcourt rating is at 100.0 pts per 100
- Held MIL to 3-for-17 from three, Giannis & Dame to 13 PTS pic.twitter.com/XgiW6OzBvC
The third quarter saw Milwaukee slowly start to creep back from their 22 point deficit — obviously not ideal for the Raptors whose defence had been keeping them contained. Yet, a pair of slam dunks from O.G. Anunoby brought them back up to a 20 point lead.
By midway point in the third quarter, all five starters for the Raptors had 15 points or more. The bench on the other hand didn’t have any higher than three points for any individual player.
3 Raptors' starters have 15+ points, Schroder has 9 points in the quarter & counting. pic.twitter.com/FurCNN30oz— Keerthika Uthayakumar (@keerthikau) November 2, 2023
The good times kept rolling through the end of the third quarter, with Scottie Barnes reaching a double double with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Gary Trent Jr. was up to six points, and the wall of sound that erupted at the end of he third when Scottie Barnes hit a buzzer three was deafening.
By midway in the fourth, Bucks head coach Adrian Griffin (former Raptors assistant) pulled both Giannis and Dame from the game, hope of a comeback lost.
The Raptors won 130-111. There are so many highlights, so lets go through some high points quickly:
Double Doubles: Three Raptors players ended the night with double doubles. Scottie Barnes had 21 points, 12 rebounds. Dennis Schroder had 24 points, 11 assists. Jakob Poeltl had 14 points, 11 rebounds.
Dennis Schroder: Incredible tonight. His action on the pick and roll with Jakob Poeltl was impressive, displayed by his 11 assists on the night. He was also shooting the lights out, making nine out of 13 of his field goals and two three point shots. His reads in transition, drives to the basket, and flashy passing have impressed fans in the first week of regualr
Scottie Barnes: Scottie has continued to be on an ABSOLUTE tear to start the season. He has scored 20+ points in the last four games and has been incredibly efficient and aggressive on both ends of the floor. Tonight he ended the game with 21 points, 12 rebounds, five assists, two blocks and one steal. He is truly making a leap to start the season and looks like a much more refined and mature basketball player.
Scottie Barnes' last 4 games:— Keerthika Uthayakumar (@keerthikau) November 2, 2023
21 PTS, 12 REB, 5 AST, 2 BLK vs MIL
20 PTS, 12 REB, 2 AST, 1 BLK vs POR
24 PTS, 8 REB, 5 AST, 2 BLK vs PHI
22 PTS, 10 REB, 10 AST, 2 BLK at CHI
He's had 20+ points in career-best 4 straight games.
Team Effort: All five starters for the Raptors had double digits points. Siakam had 26 points, Anunoby had 16, Poeltl had 14, Barnes had 21 and Schroder had 24. They also all had a +/- of 14 or above, with both Siakam and Poeltl had 22.
Defence: The Defence tonight was top notch. Giannis was held to 16 points on the night, and just three points in the first half. After the game, Scottie attributed that to following the game plan, as well as consistently making the game harder for players like Giannis and Dame. Coach Rajakovic also said that the stats (even with OG’s impressive 100% field goal percentage on the night) don’t reflect how well Anunoby did on defence tonight.
This was just the boost the Raptors needed before heading out on a long road stretch. They will know play the Philadelphia 76ers tomorrow, followed by the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday, then the Dallas Mavericks and Boston Celtics, before coming home to face the Washington Wizards on November 13th.
Hopefully they can take what went well tonight and continue to improve as they head onto the road. Coach Rajakovic mentioned that there is still a lot to improve on (especially offensively), but the team seems to be figuring some things out as they go along.
The Raptors game against Philadelphia will start at 7:00 pm and be on Sportsnet.