The Toronto Raptors can’t stand prosperity, or perhaps it’s the unsettling effect playing the Milwaukee Bucks has on our team. Whatever the cause, the Raps’ 2-game win streak was emphatically snuffed out by an atrocious 100-83 loss Saturday night at the Bradley Center. The 17-point margin actually flatters the Raps, who were down by 32 late in the third quarter, and looked unlikely to break their lowest scoring total (74 – in a win!) of the season.
It’s unpleasant to attempt a write-up of such a game. Every team throws up a stinker now and again during an 82-game NBA schedule replete with back-to-backs and other offenses to the players’ bodies, and the fans’ wallets. However, this match was stunningly bad. Rudy Gay, the star we couldn’t succeed without, managed 4 points. Amir Johnson, whose mid-season excellence is fast fading from memory, made one basket, the same as Rudy. Between them they needed 17 shots to score their pair of buckets, and combined for a minus41. Jonas Valanciunas had 12, but struggled mightily with foul trouble, ending up with 5 of them against 3 rebounds. Our other rookies, Terrence Ross and Quincy Acy, also reached double figures in scoring, with 11 and 13 respectively. Quincy’s total is a career high, and included his first attempted 3-ball, which splashed. If our veterans have another game like this one, you might see all three rookies start the next. Our second unit outscored the starters 48-35.
Sebastian Telfair is being given every opportunity to prove he belongs in a Rap uniform next season, but is flubbing his close-up. He missed all 5 shots he tried, although he did hand out 7 assists.
The Raps’ pitiful 3-point shooting was once again (not) on display, connecting on 3 of 10 tries.
The Raps’ inside game was choked off by the Bucks’ Larry Sanders, who blocked six shots. Monta Ellis scored points and stole the ball, exactly as feared. He and his backcourt mate, Brandon Jennings, combined for 38 points and 16 assists.
The Raps need to acquire some sort of Harry Potter-like potion of forgetfulness, and drink it quickly to put behind them the memory of this mockery of a game. One hopes it was an aberration, and the real Raps will show up for the finale of this road trip in Chicago on Tuesday.