Grades after the Raptors’ 128-112 loss to a Milwaukee Bucks team that was without its best player in Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Again, the Raptors came out flat allowing Damian Lillard to get going and as everyone in the NBA knows, once Dame gets going, it’s almost impossible to slow him down. The Raptors never did. The absence of OG Anunoby and Gary Trent Jr. is hitting this team hard.
Here are the grades from a forgetful Wednesday night at Scotiabank Arena:
The only starting Raptor that had a semblance of an offensive game at all. He scored 29 on 11-of-19 shooting, assisted on seven other buckets and chipped in with nine rebounds, five on the offensive end as the Raptors seemed to be focusing on getting extra possessions. It was a night where that was the one team focus that was actually successful. Barnes’ night individually was the other success.
Finding the second most impactful Raptor in this one was a chore, but Achiuwa coming off the bench was probably it. He scored efficiently in the post, cleaned up his clunky hands issue from the previous game and was one of the few on the team who did enough defensively to even mention, earning a spot in the starting five coming out of the second half. Achiuwa is getting up to speed after an injury and a relapse cost him most of training camp and some of the early part of the season. He’s going to be needed.
The first regular season start of his young career wasn’t exactly something to write home about, but he showed more fight in this one than a slew of his teammates. Unfortunately for Dick, when the three-point shot isn’t falling, it’s always going to feel like a poor night and with just one make in six attempts there was a little of that. We have no doubt that will come in time when the speed and newness of the NBA game dissipates. But credit Dick for his defensive effort and willingness to put his body on the line in a game where there wasn’t enough of that from the Raptors.
It says a lot that the guy who came out of the starting five in the second half was the fourth most impactful Raptor on the night. His grade would have been much higher had he not been one of those Raptors continually getting torched by Lillard as he ran past them for easy layups. That’s going to be on the coaching staff to find a way to keep him closer to the basket and not so far out on the perimeter where his lack of speed gets hunted in switches and then taken advantage of by smaller, quicker guards. Poeltl gets full marks for a team-high seven offensive rebounds and an overlooked double-double with 13 points and 11 boards total.
Not a particularly good game from the first-year Raptor, but in comparison, better than most on the roster. In a game of mostly minus defensive play from the team, McDaniels somehow ended up a plus-21. That said, he took his share of blow-bys too as the Bucks continually got where they wanted, leaving Raptors’ defenders in their wake. But we’ll give the young man the benefit of the doubt and give him a better grade than most. He’s had a rough start to his first year with the Raptors and any confidence boost right now is probably welcome.
The misses from the three-point line, particularly the back-to-back ones, put a damper on what was another otherwise decent night. But that 0-for-8 from the three-point line is all people will remember. When he did get into the paint, he contributed with a few floaters and he did have five assists which salvaged some of his night, but like anyone not named Barnes on the Raptors, the night was a tough one.
Coming off one of his most impressive nights of the season, not even the hyped energy of the Slimm Duck could get the Raptors going on this night. Like Poeltl and Barnes, Boucher hit the offensive glass hard coming away with five, helping the Raptors gain an edge in the second-chance points battle which they won handily 24-9. But on a night where the team overall looked listless, Boucher contributed to that rather than changing the tide, which he normally does.
An off night for the Raptors power forward who was stymied time and again going to the rim. He seemed to have an issue with a reluctant whistle, but also turned the ball over a team-high four times when trying to deal with the pressure from Milwaukee. Seven boards and five assists aren’t nothing, but the Raptors needed more from him on this night.
Physically, Schroder did not look up to the task of trying to contain Lillard. A question to even play in the game as he’s dealing with some right knee soreness, Schroder looked like a shell of the player he is for the second game in a row. He got away with it against Washington, but was exposed against Milwaukee and by Lillard in particular, unable to chase him around screens after expending a lot of energy initially denying him the ball.
OTTO PORTER JR, GARRETT TEMPLE, THAD YOUNG, MARKQUIS NOWELL
None were on the court long enough to warrant a grade or have an impact. Porter Jr. was limited to just 10 and a half minutes after starting last game, but outside of a few defensive possessions, had zero impact.