6th Fan Blogger: Bucks vs Raptors
It’s a brisk Saturday night in Milwaukee, but the Bucks fresh off a hot streak in Texas and are welcoming the Toronto Raptors to town. Our friendly neighbors from the north have lost four of their last five, but are still bringing some intriguing pieces to the BMO. Rudy Gay, the team’s midseason acquisition, was a game time scratch. But don’t worry folks, I too would be scared if I saw Larry Sanders waiting to prevent me from doing my job. Still, this game has enough to get me excited, and if Milwaukee wins tonight, they will be going home with a three game winning streak, and what I declaring the intercontinental title. Sorry Honky-Tonk Man, but this is game time.
Milwaukee came to play in the first and were able to take their first lead of the night with a little under half way to go in the quarter. At least, I should say that was how the quarter started. After the brief lead, Milwaukee looked as if they were playing the remainder of the first in slow motion. Maybe they ate too much cake at Bango’s pregame birthday extravaganza and were experiencing the bitter vindictive nature of sugar’s harsh crash. Or, more likely, shooting 58% from the floor led to Toronto’s first quarter nine point lead. Milwaukee 23 Toronto 32.
The slow play continued into the second quarter for Milwaukee, who could not find the answer to extinguish the hot hand of the Raptors who continued to parlay their superior depth-perception into a greater than 50% FG selection. Yet, I was still feeling good about Milwaukee’s chances for the night, I was still riding high after that Texas trip and quite honestly there were some signs of encouragement from Milwaukee. The team was shooting in the high 40s for the majority of the early parts of the game while also putting their signature staunch and tenacious defense on display (nothing like seeing an old-fashioned charge towards the end of the half). And so by the end of the half, Milwaukee was able to claw their way back into the game with the Raptors and were even able to finish shooting at higher clip. Milwaukee 54 Toronto 55.
Q3 started off a little more in line with how I thought this game was originally going to go. Milwaukee came out with more bite to their game and after a 9-4 run they were able to play themselves into their first sizable lead of the game. Continuing their newly found high efficiency shot selection motif, Milwaukee finished the quarter winning the FG % battle 52-44. It’s a good thing too, because before the game Milwaukee had already lost the hotly contested battle of the team with the most vowels in their roster. Yes, despite Jonas Valanciunas and the other Wheel of Fortune bank breakers the Bucks were able to leave with a lead. Milwaukee 82 Toronto 74.
After the break the game reverted back to the style of play in the first quarter, Toronto surged past Milwaukee with an 11-2 run to reclaim the lead. This game was going to get interesting again before it was over. I began to ask myself what would be the deciding factor, for tonight? A key Sanders block into the approving BMO crowd? Maybe, a clutch Ersan three? In this game it was the added threat of Reddick’s shooting touch that continued to open the lane for the other players to drive and do their thing in the paint that would be the catalyst for our offense. Eleven minutes after the start we were in-line for another nail-biting finish. With 6.9 left on the clock Ellis’ shoot clanked off the rim into the awaiting hands of Ersan for a tip that put the team ahead. A few quick time-outs and pass in from Toronto lead to an Alan Anderson dunk and another tie. A failed Milwaukee in-bound and regulation was over. Milwaukee 104 - Toronto 104.
After 48 minutes the game was tied, I was plus 1 bobblehead and the BMO was about to get 5 free minutes of NBA hoops. I guess the visiting team missed that last part though, because for the entire portion of the extra 5 Toronto looked as if they had already boarded the plane home. Milwaukee drove its way to victory behind Erasan’s 29 pts 11 rebounds, Monta’s 23 pts 5 assists and Larry’s obligatory double-double. Did I mention that Jennings had a 19 assist to 4 turnover ratio?!? Sorry Toronto, you may be a clever girl, but in the end just like life, tonight the Milwaukee Bucks found a way. Milwaukee 122 Toronto 114.
Colin Booth is the Bucks Fan Blogger. Colin was voted by the fans during the 2012 home opener to writer for bucks.com. His views are his own and do not neccesarily represent the Milwaukee Bucks.