Title: Raptors Tactical: Handling the Giannis Antetokounmpo matchup, downsizing, and more
Date: December 10, 2018
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I wrote about how the Raptors approached the Giannis Antetokounmpo matchup in a loss to the Bucks.
The primary story from Sunday’s game was Kyle Lowry. There’s no way around that. Lowry is slumping and he’s wearing it. Eric Koreen covered it last night and I’m going to try to contextualize the actual numbers tomorrow. I realize this is what people mostly want to talk about right now. That, or what appeared to be a resurgent bench somewhat predictably collapsing back into itself.
In terms of takeaways for a next potential matchup with the Milwaukee Bucks — or, say, seven of them down the line — there was much more going on.
The Raptors defended well for long chunks of the game, holding Milwaukee to an expected effective field goal percentage of 51 percent, per PBPStats.com, and limiting them to just 20 free throws, three below their average. The Bucks banged in some truly difficult threes, and still the Raptors held the league’s No. 2 offence to 109.1 points per-100 possessions, nearly three points below their season mark. That may seem like a small difference and it may have come in frustrating fashion — the Raptors struggled to force turnovers to fuel their offence the other way, losing the transition game that’s paramount to their early success — but holding an elite offence to a moderate efficiency over an entire game is an important step for this defence, which has slowly slid to seventh in the league.