Toronto Raptors vs. Milwaukee Bucks Post-Game Grades


Toronto Raptors vs. Milwaukee Bucks Post-Game Grades

Winners of six straight, the Toronto Raptors cooled off in a big way as they dropped an 82-75 decision at the hands of the visiting Milwaukee Bucks on Monday.

Toronto shot just 32 percent on the night, falling behind by as many as 18 before tying the game late in the fourth. Down the stretch, Dwane Casey decided to leave four of his five starters on the bench, electing to go with the group that brought the Raptors back into the ball game.

Milwaukee only had nine players available for the contest, then lost O.J. Mayo to an ejection in the first half, making this loss even more difficult to swallow.

Here are the grades for each Raptor that saw floor time on Monday.

Kyle Lowry – Grade: D

Jan 18, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry (7) dribbles the ball against the New Orleans Pelicans at Air Canada Centre. The Pelicans beat the Raptors 95-93. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Entering the game, Toronto’s lone all-star had failed to surpass the 10-point mark in just three outings. Firing up a plethora of ill-advised shots early in the shot clock, and trying to force passes into tight windows, Lowry recorded his worst outing of the season, finishing with two points, five assists and four turnovers. Yikes.

Greivis Vasquez – Grade: C-

Vasquez was the lone member of the starting five playing in crunch time. The Venezuelan guard made a couple clutch plays in the fourth quarter, but, as usual, was a little too trigger happy en route to a 3-of-11 shooting performance.

DeMar DeRozan – Grade: C-

DeRozan ended up with a team-high 16 points, but it was evident from the outset that this was not going to be his night. The former USC Trojan missed his first four shots and was not getting any calls going his way. He picked it up in the second quarter, scoring 10 points in the frame, but started pressing the issue again in the third, ending his night prematurely.

Amir Johnson – Grade: D

It is often said that Johnson does the little things that don’t show up on the stat sheet, but tonight his existence was ghost-like. The veteran registered three points to go with three rebounds in just 17 minutes of burn.

Jonas Valanciunas – Grade: A

Jan 18, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors guard Greivis Vasquez (21) talks to center Jonas Valanciunas (17) against the New Orleans Pelicans at Air Canada Centre. The Pelicans beat the Raptors 95-93. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Valanciunas was hands down the most productive Raptor on the floor on Monday. The big man had a double-double in the first half, but did not attempt a single shot in the second 24 minutes. Milwaukee had no answer for JV, and it is mind-boggling that Toronto refused to feed its big man down low. Valanciunas ended up with 12 points and 13 rebounds on the night.

Lou Williams – Grade: D+

Oh, Sweet Lou. When your shot is falling, you are such a treat to watch. When you shoot 1-of-12 from the field, you are cringe-worthy. Firing up questionable shot after questionable shot from beyond the arc, the Sixth Man of the Year candidate may have cost the Raptors the game. The only reason why Williams is not in the F range is because of his 10 free-throw attempts. At least he wasn’t completely settling, right?

Patrick Patterson – Grade: B-

Patterson finished with only nine points for the evening, but changed the game with his rebounding and defence. The Kentucky product corralled 11 boards and made several key defensive plays. The ex-Sacramento King did have one crucial misplay late in the fourth. With Toronto down four with less than two minutes on the clock, Patterson let a pass slip through his fingers, giving the ball back to the Bucks.

Terrence Ross – Grade: C+

Nov 4, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors forward Tyler Hansbrough (center) reacts with forward Terrence Ross (31) and forward Patrick Patterson (54) after he was fouled by Oklahoma City Thunder guard Sebastian Telfair (not pictured) at the Air Canada Centre. Toronto defeated Oklahoma City 100-88. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

The 2013 Slam Dunk Champion struggled defensively tonight, as the length of Giannis Antetokounmpo was too much to handle. Offensively, Ross showed a little bit of everything. His first basket was a crossover, pull-up jumper from the free-throw line, and he also connected on two three-pointers. His biggest play of the game was an electrifying dunk that brought the crowd back into the game. Even though it only counted as two points, that play fuelled Toronto’s fourth-quarter run with the way it ignited the Air Canada Centre faithful.

Tyler Hansbrough – Grade: B

As usual, Hansbrough was quiet from a scoring standpoint, but altered the momentum of the game with his tenacity on the glass. “Psycho-T” was actually the player who tied the game up at 75, tipping in a Williams miss. If only he could have been there to clean up all the other bricks.