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Raptors Turn In Flat Road Effort Against Bucks
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Raptors 95 117 Bucks
Jay Satur
December 9, 2009
Bradley Center
Milwaukee, WI


Without Jose Calderon (hip) and Andrea Bargnani (ankle) in the lineup, the Raptors needed a total team effort on the road against a Bucks team with its back to the wall and in dire need of a win.

But the Raptors offence failed to get on track and the defence struggled to contain Brandon Jennings, Andrew Bogut and Ersan Ilyasova early. After Jennings rattled off 11 consecutive points at the end of the first to put the Bucks up 29-22, the Raptors were trying to play catch up the rest of the way and never truly threatened despite a brief second-half run.



Rookie Brandon Jennings looked every bit as good as advertised. The lefty's style isn't conventional but it's highly effective, as proven in his run of 11 straight Milwaukee points featuring his unorthodox shooting stroke and a series of tricky leaners and floaters.

In the second half, it was his passing skills on display and his quick hands defending Jarrett Jack. He finished with a team-high 21 points (8-14 FGM-A, 4-7 3PM-A) with two rebounds, two assists, two steals, two blocks and just one turnover. He's looking like the poster child for what's shaping up to be a much better draft class than initially projected.


It was hardly an underrated performance, but Chris Bosh has to be singled out for his effort on Wednesday. Aside from some early aggression from DeMar DeRozan and a decent performance from Jarrett Jack, Bosh was the only player who seemed to have his "A"-game in this one -- continuing to do the dirty work inside and getting to the line for freebies.

Bosh finished with team highs of 26 points and 10 rebounds (7-16 FGM-A, 12-14 FTM-A) for his league-best 20th double-double of the season.


Playing without two starters on the tail end of a back-to-back, a starting unit that added Rasho Nesterovic along with Jarrett Jack simply didn't pan out on either end of the floor as it was outscored by the Milwaukee starting five 81-57. A big performance from Toronto's reserves could have offset that, but they weren't a major factor, only managing to outscore a thin four-man Milwaukee bench 38-36.

On defence, it was another big night offensively for a Raptors opponent and, as was mentioned in the broadcast, that's usually a recipe for disaster. The Raptors are 7-0 this season when they hold an opponent to under 100 points and drop to 3-14 when their opponent hits the century mark.


"We usually have Jose (Calderon) and Andrea (Bargnani) on the floor and other guys got a chance to step up today and I dont think anybody really did. We said before the game, were gonna need energy from the bench for these back-to-backs, and we got it a little in the third quarter. We found a combination there that made a good run but it came down to not being able to get stops. We had match-up problems all night long because of us juggling, trying to find a good rotation. Its putting us in a rough spot having to orchestrate things out there with different guys and guys who arent used to being out on the floor for as many minutes as they were. - Jay Triano


Fri., Dec. 11 vs. Atlanta Hawks
7:00 PM ET (TSN2, FAN 590)

The Raptors get a quick shot at redemption for their most humbling defeat of the season when the Hawks visit Air Canada Centre on Friday.The Hawks thumped the Raptors146-115 on Dec. 2 at Philips Arena. Atlanta will visit Air Canada Centre having won four of the last five meetings between the two clubs. The Hawks are coming off a 118-83 dismantling of the Chicago Bulls in Atlanta on Wednesday.

The Numbers
7 Number of players in the Bucks' nine-man rotation to score in double-figures on Wednesday
12 Number of second-quarter points for Chris Bosh, part of his game-high 26 points.
14 Number of games played by the Raptors on the road this season. The second-most in the league behind the Suns
76.5 Shooting percentage for the Bucks in their 34-point fourth quarter (13-17 FGM-A)
0 Number of wins the Raptors have this season when their opponent shoots better than 50%
They Said It...
DeMar DeRozan "They played great. They played back-to-backs just like we did. They were just able to put it together. I dont think we took care of the ball particularly well. Then the bounces came their way right in the middle of our comeback."Jarrett Jack
Scott Skiles "I probably should have given him some more looks before this. He certainly earned some more looks now." Bucks head coach Scott Skiles after a 17-point performance from former Raptor Roko Ukic
Hedo Turkoglu "We just have to realize sometimes during the game how to get back into it. We were moving the ball; everyone was touching the ball. I dont know what happened. We stopped doing that. And as long as we keep doing this kind of stuff, were going to be seeing this kind of situation a lot." Hedo Turkoglu
Fantasy Alert
Ersan Ilyasova
11.6 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 1.3 APG

Notes: Ersan Ilyasova continues to evolve into a versatile threat in his second tour with the Bucks. The young Turkish forward finished with 17 points, including two three-pointers and a game-high nine rebounds.
DeMar DeRozan
1.9 PPG, 0.0 RPG, 0.7 APG

Notes: Roko Ukic made the most of a rare opportunity against his former club with 17 points with four assists and two rebounds. The impressive performance has probably earned him more time, according to Skiles.