The Milwaukee Bucks handed the Toronto Raptors their first loss after the All-star break on Tuesday night. The 108-97 loss to the Bucks is a stark contrast to the 46 point victory the Raptors handed the Indiana Pacers on Sunday. The Raptors’ record moves to 42-16 while they remain as the second place team in the Eastern Conference.

“Stopping” Giannis

The Bucks are the premiere team of the 2019-20 season. They are the fastest team in NBA history to clinch a playoff spot, they have 50 wins and are a top 3 team in both offensive and defensive rating. As it currently stands they are the favourite to win it all this year.

That being stated, the main reason behind their strength is the reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. The key to stopping the Bucks starts with stopping Giannis. The Raptors were able to contain Giannis to an extent. Toronto was able to hold him to 19 points on 35.7% (5/14) shooting through swarming him as he attacked the rim.

It seems that stopping the “Greek Freak” is not enough. Giannis is a talented passer and was able to dish out 8 assists that abused the collapsed defence. The talented shooters the Bucks have on their team make their “drive and kick” game highly effective. Beyond his passing ability their’s also his rebounding prowess. He was able to secure 19 rebounds in the contest, all of which were defensive.

Power Outage

Serge Ibaka was held to 5 points in the contest on 13.3% (2/15) shooting. 10 of his attempted 15 shots were from beyond the arc. That’s horrendously out of character for Serge who averages 3.2 three point attempts per contest. The ability to have a dominant centre is extremely against the Bucks’ less athletic bigs. This is something that Serge will have to adjust, as well as something Marc Gasol will help improve when he returns.

Up Next for the Raptors

The Raptors will host the Charlotte Hornets on Friday February 28 at 7:30 PM/EST. The Hornets have the 7th worst record in the entirety of the league but gave the Raptors an enjoyable challenge in their last match-up.