Game six for the Toronto Raptors was probably one of my favourite games of the year. They eliminated the Bucks on Milwaukee’s home court. It’s frustrating that so many people and the media talk about the “collapse” and the big lead that we lost. It is of course disappointing that we couldn’t keep that lead. But the Bucks are a really good team as they have shown and they had their backs to the wall. They were on the verge of elimination. Runs in basketball are what happen. How many times have we seen the Raptors come back from big deficits. You throw in a couple of homecourt calls and the Bucks fighting for their life and a big run by the home team was not surprising one bit.
Bottom line is we won the game. We were down with about three minutes to go in the game! The crowd was going insane. The pressure was on big time and it was the Raptors who came through in the clutch. It was DeRozan and CoJo hitting the clutch free-throws. It was CoJo hitting the clutch three-pointer. It was Patterson with the big three plays at the end of the game. Passing to CoJo for the three, the dunk and then the steal at the end of the game when Milwaukee had an opportunity to tie or win the game.
DeRozan was unstoppable this game. He kept going to the rim driving with force. He got blocked a few times to the crowd’s pleasure but he kept going and willed his way to the basket. When his team needed him most at the end of the game he drove to the basket and seemingly past four of their players and then dunked on two of them with under a minute to go in the game. He finished the game shooting 50% from the field, eight for nine from the line, five steals (!), along with four rebounds and three assists. Almost every basket he got would leave most basketball fans just shaking their heads about how he completed the insanely difficult baskets. He did this while getting his team involved constantly passing out of the double teams he was drawing and finding the open man. If there were hockey assists in basketball then DD would have been the assist leader in this game.
Shout out to Norman Powell as well. Inserting him into the line and moving Ibaka to the five was brilliant. NP defense on the body and pressure on their passing lanes was key. Then you throw on eight for eight (!) from the three-point line in the last three games. Ibaka played amazing as well and solid minutes from Delon Wright as well. Carroll was two for three from the three-point line and also played solid D on one of the best scorers in the league (Greek Freak).
Lastly, it’s been good to see Lowry begin to get back into form. He played the most minutes of any player yesterday and deserves a lot of credit. Calling the right plays and getting the ball to the right spot. Very efficient five for nine and had the highest +/- on the team at +8.
One last note that I particularly enjoyed. I love the “USA” chants at the end of the game when the Bucks were trying to complete the comeback win. Not sure if those fans knew but the Raptors have the starting backcourt of team USA. Plus the Bucks best player is the Greek Freak.