Dominant performances propel the Toronto Raptors over the Milwaukee Bucks 130-111
FiredUp Network Sports Writer
Wednesday, November 1, 2023
After falling to the Portland Trail Blazers in a disappointing outing, the Toronto Raptors bounced back with an impressive routing of the Milwaukee Bucks by a score of 130-111. From start to finish the Raptors took care of business and never looked back.
It's hard to believe that this is the same team that lost against the Chicago Bulls and the Trail Blazers. The brand of basketball that this group displayed was that of a team that is among the upper echelon of teams in the association. Defensively the Raptors have shown how great they can be but it was their offence onslaught that was the most surprising.
Dennis Schroder was sensational tonight. His play was reminiscent of the performances that helped lead Germany to the gold medal in the FIBA World Cup. In the first quarter alone he tallied six assists and set the tone for the rest of the team that they didn't relinquish. Overall, he finished with 24 points, 11 assists, and four rebounds. Whenever the Bucks made any attempt at a run, Schroder made play after play to calm things down and continue to give the Raptors a cushion.
Along with Schroder, Toronto's best player this season proved again why he deserves that title. Scottie Barnes has officially taken that jump that many were speculating that he would take. He finished with 21 points, 12 rebounds, five assists, and two blocks. He continues to assert his presence whenever he's on the court. Making a real case for an early Most Improved Player-worthy season.
There has been one player that the Raptors desperately needed more from in order to reach the level of success that was desired. Tonight he showed up and that was Pascal Siakam. Questions on whether Barnes and Siakam can truly fit together were growing rapidly, however, that has subsided for now due to the play of the former All-NBA star. Siakam finished with 26 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists, by far his best game of the season.
Toronto as a whole dominated this game all around. They won the rebounding battle in an emphatic difference of 50-29. Their ball movement equated to more success than the Bucks edging out in that category 35-19. The Raptors also limited the Bucks to just 46 percent shooting from the field, meanwhile, they shot 56 percent.
Neither Giannis Antetokounmpo or Damian Lillard finished with over 20 points. Lillard in fact finished with the worst net rating of any player with -26 on the night. Toronto's defence was energetic and Milwaukee simply didn't have an answer to stop it.
Glimpses like this remind the basketball world how dangerous the Raptors could be. The only issue is if they can turn these glimpses into consistent performances. Toronto now improves to 2-3 on the season while Milwaukee drops to 2-2. These two teams will face again soon on November 15, before that the Raptors will get ready for a rematch against the Philadelphia 76ers in Philly for the second night of a back-to-back at 7 PM ET.