Raptors look to bounce back from another Game 1 hole

Ross Houston
May 2, 2017

Ibaka made four of those threes and finished with 16 points and seven rebounds, despite feeling the effects of a sprained ankle that Casey said probably would have kept him out of a regular-season game. But it's happened so often that most Raptors fans are likely numb to it by now. The Bucks built a 10-point lead early in the fourth quarter and there was no comeback.

Then it got weird and the offence all but disappeared.

The athletic rookie's high-energy play turned the game in the third quarter, sparking the Bucks to erase a six point deficit and take the lead.

Over the last two seasons, playoffs included, the Raptors have led after the first six minutes of the first quarter 78 times and trailed after the first six minutes 94 times.

The Raptors better buckle down because they'll need to be better, even though they were pretty good following Tuesday night's 106-100 win. He sank 6 of 12 field goals, including a 20-foot jumper that put the contest beyond reach for the Raptors, 1004-100 with eight seconds to go. "We didn't play with any pace, any rhythm, any movement".

"Now we've got to make sure we counter that and make the officials make a decision".

"It sounds like a yearly song we sing, but we're going to go as he and DeMar (DeRozan) goes". "All regular-season that's what it's been for us, just chasing".

"You ever have an old Regal, you've got to start up and sit there for a while before you pull off and you go on a little road trip, but once you get going, your vehicle feels like a 2016 Lexus or something?"

"It's fortunate that we do have the grit and the grime to fight back, but sometimes it jumps up and bites you in the behind". Casey probably stuck with Jonas Valanciunas a little bit too long, and when Casey was willing to play small, he didn't always get Toronto's best five on the court.

The Raptors' All-Star guard is averaging just 13.3 points in the first round of the playoffs in the past two seasons.

What the Raptors did well on this night was on offence, their efficiency much better than in Game 1, the ball swinging more freely, with more open looks being yielded. I think he spaced the floor, we've seen him make shots, so he's been pretty versatile for them.

"When he came out I thought his teammates picked him up", Bucks coach Jason Kidd said. "Just coming in there just chasing - chase people down and try to get as much from we can from every game".

"I have no clue", DeRozan said. "That just shows we're growing, being a young team, that they trusted one another with Giannis out".

Game 1 curse? DeRozan could only shrug his shoulders moments after the perplexing loss.

Yet, behind the combined efforts of star guards Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, the Raptors were able to even up the series as it heads back to Milwaukee.

"It's big for us, but now we have to focus on Game 2", Antetokounmpo said. Raptors F Serge Ibaka appeared in his 90th playoff game Saturday. The 28-year-old was playign the 90th playoff game of his career and looked right at home putting up 19 points and 14 rebounds in the game.

Greg Monroe was big off the bench, pouring in 14 points and 15 rebounds, and becoming the first Milwaukee Bucks bench player to record a double double in a playoff game since Tim Thomas back in 2001.

Also gone with this loss was the built-in excuse of those poor performances being at least partly attributed to those disgusting early starts. Everybody is going to set screens. There was no 12:30 start to blame.

Lowry and the Raptors have plenty of experience dealing with slow starts.

"We will figure it out". We have been there before. Past year they did not advance as far in the postseason as they would have liked, and they are aiming to correct that this time around.

The worst that the Bucks can do is return home with a split of the first two games.

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