Game Preview: Raptors vs Bucks
Milwaukee Bucks (16-8) @ Toronto Raptors (21-6)
When: Sunday, December 9th, 6 P.M. ET
Where: Scotiabank Arena
Leading into tonight’s game:
Injury Report: For the Raptors, Norman Powell (left shoulder subluxation) is out. For the Bucks, Pat Connaughton (minor left MCL sprain) is probable, George Hill (trade pending) and Jason Smith (trade pending) are questionable.
Coming up short: The Raptors enter Sunday’s game after a 106-105 road loss in overtime to the Brooklyn Nets. Despite another 32-point performance from Kawhi Leonard (who also added three rebounds, four assists, four steals and a blocked shot), the Raptors could not overcome a rough shooting night as the Nets held Toronto to just 39 percent shooting from the floor. Brooklyn was led by D’Angelo Russell’s 29 points and a 12-point, 10-rebound double-double from Jarrett Allen.
Recent history: This is the second of four meetings between the Bucks and Raptors this season. Toronto recorded its first loss of the season in Milwaukee, the lone loss in the team’s 12-1 start. Kawhi Leonard and Giannis Antetokounmpo both missed that game. The Bucks are in Toronto after a 105-95 home loss to the Golden State Warriors on Friday. It was the first time this season that the Bucks have been held under 100 points.
Testing, testing: Sunday’s game will be the final game at Scotiabank Arena before the team heads out on a four-game west-coast road trip with stops in Los Angeles to face the Clippers, Golden State to see the Warriors, Portland to take on the Blazers and Denver to close out the trip against the Nuggets. Sunday’s game will also kick off a streak of six consecutive games against teams with winning records. Toronto enters the matchup against the Bucks with a 10-5 record against teams with a winning record. After Sunday's game, Toronto's next home game will be Wednesday, Dec. 19 against Indiana.
Star power: With Kawhi Leonard and Giannis Antetokounmpo missing the first meeting between these two teams in late October, Sunday’s game should be exciting for all involved with both expected to suit up. Leonard is leading the Raptors in scoring and rebounding, averaging 26.4 points, 8.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.9 steals per game. Antetokounmpo is stuffing the stats sheet every night, averaging 26.8 points, 13.0 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.3 blocks per game. “We don't want it to be a personal battle, but I’m assuming there’s going to be a little bit of personalness going on between them," Raptors head coach Nick Nurse said. "I would imagine both of them are going to be excited to play, and play with a lot of energy and force and try to get a lot of things done.”
Bucks by the numbers: The Bucks lead the NBA in points per game, averaging 120 points a night. They also lead the league in rebounds, averaging 50.5 rebounds a contest and have outrebounded their opponent in all but three games this season. In Friday’s loss to the Warriors, Milwaukee grabbed 54 boards,, the 14th game this season where they’ve topped 50 rebounds. The Bucks also lead the league in three-pointers made per game, averaging 14.3 makes a night, while shooting 35.3 percent from deep. Malcolm Brogdon is one of two players (along with Stephen Curry), shooting better than 50/40/90 this season. Brogdon is currently shooting 51 percent from the floor, 47 percent from three and 98 percent from the line.