Get to know Alex Antetokounmpo, an improving Raptors prospect

Get to know Alex Antetokounmpo, an improving Raptors prospect

Not only has Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo, long a thorn in the side of the Toronto Raptors, helped bring that city their first championship in decades, but he’s helped three of his brothers land deals with NBA teams. The fourth brother to make it to the league is 20-year-old Alex Antetokounmpo. Alex, who spent […]
Get to know Alex Antetokounmpo, an improving Raptors prospect – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors: Roster power rankings after one quarter of 2020-21 season

Toronto Raptors: Roster power rankings after one quarter of 2020-21 season

Wednesday night’s 115-108 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks takes the 7-11 Toronto Raptors a quarter of the way through this shortened 72-game season. With that in mind, it seems like a good time to check in with how the club is doing relative to the expectations set heading into the 2020-21 campaign. Clearly, this hasn’t […]
Toronto Raptors: Roster power rankings after one quarter of 2020-21 season – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Ben Fisher / Raptors HQ

2021 free agent targets for the Toronto Raptors if Giannis re-signs with the Bucks

2021 free agent targets for the Toronto Raptors if Giannis re-signs with the Bucks

With the Milwaukee Bucks doing all they can to get Giannis Antetokounmpo to sign the super-max this offseason, the Toronto Raptors should start looking at other potential targets from the 2021 free-agent class. The Milwaukee Bucks are breaking the bank and mortgaging the future to bring in Giannis Antetokounmpo‘s requested reinforcements. After their moves for […]
2021 free agent targets for the Toronto Raptors if Giannis re-signs with the Bucks – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jack Long / Raptors HQ

Is the match-up against the Bucks a must-win for the Toronto Raptors?

The Toronto Raptors are set to take on the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday night. Should this match-up be viewed as a must-win? Pretty much every collective basketball mind knew that the Milwaukee Bucks were going to be a force this season. So far, that proclamation has been true. The Bucks have already clinched a playoff […]
Is the match-up against the Bucks a must-win for the Toronto Raptors? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Thomas Valentine / Raptors HQ

Game 5 Turning Point: Fred VanVleet comes to the rescue with the game on the line

When the Bucks came into Game 5, they held a 33-0 record when leading after three quarters on their home court, and hadn’t lost three in a row all year. But Kawhi Leonard, with help from Fred VanVleet, did everything to change that. Despite many people waking up questioning the reality of last night’s Game 5 win, the Toronto Raptors are indeed just a win away from reaching their first ever NBA Finals berth in franchise history. It was the most unlikely of games. The Raptors opened the contest down 18-4, and shooting under 30 percent. And one that saw Fred VanVleet play like a proud father with a renewed set of priorities, realizing he gets paid to simply play a game.
It’s perhaps the most surprising turn of events: VanVleet, who shot nine percent (9%!) in Game 3, who was literally played off the floor at times against the Sixers, who has posted five 0-for games these playoffs, has made ten of his last 12 three-pointers following the birth of his first born son. VanVleet provided Kawhi Leonard with the requisite amount of clutch plays in the final quarter of the Raptors’ Game 5 road victory over the Bucks, and is indeed now …

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Author: Joel E Stephens / Raptors HQ

Raptors beat Bucks in Game 5, 105-99; sit one win away from the NBA Finals

The Raptors were tested by the Bucks. They were pushed. They were run right off the floor at times. And yet, after 48 minutes: Toronto sits one win away… from the NBA Finals. The opening minutes of Game 5 between the Raptors and Bucks in the Eastern Conference Finals went as we expected. Milwaukee roared out to a lead, the crowd was going wild, and the Raptors were shrinking from the moment. Turnovers, clanged shots, fouls against — the whole ordeal. Basketball is indeed a game of runs, but it felt like Toronto was merely staving off the inevitable. The Bucks hadn’t lost three games all year, and we were watching how exactly they had managed that feat.
Except approximately 45 minutes of game time later, when the final buzzer sounded on that same Game 5 in Milwaukee, it was the Raptors who were on top. Let me repeat and get specific: the Toronto Raptors won Game 5 against the Milwaukee Bucks, 105-99, and now sit exactly one win away from the NBA Finals.
I feel like I should say this again, for a third time: the Raptors are one win away from the NBA Finals. The series where teams play for the NBA Championship. …

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Author: Daniel Reynolds / Raptors HQ

Game 4 Turning Point: Raptors fend off Bucks’ run thanks to divine bench play

After the Bucks cut the lead to seven late in the third, Raptors fans were expecting a close outcome. Instead, the bench continued to save the game as Playoff Powell nailed a critical three to extend his team’s lead. From the tip, fans were treated to an energetic performance in Game 4 from all eight members of the Raptors’ regular rotation. It was the type of rare (of late) collective play that gives the city hope of the team actually pulling this thing off. Norman Powell and his legendary alter-ego Playoff Powell showed up once again, and with Kawhi Leonard less than 100 percent, the team needed every bit of the heroics.
After leading by ten at halftime, the Raptors came out of the gates fast in the third quarter, pushing the lead to 14 points after Marc Gasol canned a triple. Of course, then the Bucks made their move, upping their defensive intensity and taking open looks without fear. Milwaukee went on a lightning quick 7-0 run in just under a minute of game time, and Toronto braced for a fight.
The difference hung around seven points until about the four minute mark of the third, with Toronto seemingly clinging to …

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Author: Joel E Stephens / Raptors HQ

Tactical Issues: How will the Raptors and Bucks adjust in Game 4?

The Raptors outlasted the Bucks in Game 3’s double overtime. But it’s easy to expect the Bucks to play harder. What’s more, both teams could make some changes heading into Game 4. The Raptors came out swinging, but the Milwaukee Bucks just would not give up the game easily on Sunday night. What started as a fast-paced affair became a for the rest of the game. It was an intense battle of resilience, and the Raptors came out on top in Game 3.
Now, can the Raptors do it again to tie the series? For the Bucks, can they unlock all of their key players before the Raptors figure out how to handle the rest of Milwaukee’s supporting cast?
For the Bucks
The Bucks failed to get the trio of Eric Bledsoe-Khris Middleton-Giannis Antetokounmpo going — and that’s saying something. If not for their supporting cast, the Raptors would have run away with the win in a more comfortable fashion, relatively speaking.
The Bucks felt the Raptors’ defensive pressure throughout the game, as they were forced to take shots on the low end of the ideal shot spectrum of coach Mike Budenholzer’s offense, e.g. in isolation or …

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Author: JD Quirante / Raptors HQ

Raptors squeak by Bucks in double OT, and it doesn’t matter how they did it

Nothing about Toronto’s Game 3 win over the Bucks was pretty except the final score. For now, that’s enough. None of the bad stuff from Game 3 matters.
It doesn’t matter that whatever flow the Raptors had in Sunday’s first half was reduced to a pathetic drip in the second half. Toronto posted 58 first-half points, tallying 18 assists on 21 buckets in the first 24 minutes. They followed it up with 38 points on putrid shooting in the second half. Oh well.
It doesn’t matter that Kyle Lowry, who put up 11 critical points on 4-of-7 shooting while masterfully running Toronto’s offense, fouled out with 6:12 remaining in regulation. Fouls reset once the final buzzer goes. He’ll be back on the floor for Game 4, and his body of work through three games has been totally Lowry-like. Good enough.
It doesn’t matter that Danny Green and Fred VanVleet were borderline unplayable for the first 41 minutes at 48 seconds of the game. Their two combined buckets (on 20 total shots) both came from long range, at crucial moments, in the minutes after Lowry was sidelined. Their defense was essential, too. Milwaukee doesn’t finish 38-of-102 from the floor without those two popping in for …

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Author: Sean Woodley / Raptors HQ

Game 1 Analysis: Kyle Lowry did his part, and the team let him down

In Game 1 against the Bucks, a heroic effort from Kyle Lowry was wasted by, well, pretty much everyone else on the Raptors. Unfortunately, Game 1 didn’t quite go to plan for the Raptors. For their opening contest in Milwaukee, it was close right up until the end; but with Toronto leading going into the fourth quarter, the end result is quite disappointing.
Unlike the 76ers series, there are not as many obvious key matchups to watch here for the Raptors. Until something along those lines develops over multiple games, we’ll stick with taking a quick look at some dominating factors in the game — in this case, a loss for the Raptors.
One Man Show
Kyle Lowry was awesome in this game. He posted 30 points (on 18 used possessions), mostly on the strength of not being able to miss at all. Throw in eight rebounds and that’s a heck of a night for the point guard.
But on a night where Lowry was carrying the scoring load, he wasn’t able to distribute much (only two assists to his four turnovers), which was likely the game plan for Milwaukee. Lowry punished them for that as much — and more than — as …

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Author: Daniel Hackett / Raptors HQ