Gameday: Milwaukee @ Toronto (TSN, Friday – 7:00 pm)
PG – Jarrett Jack
SG – DeMar DeRozan
SF – Hedo Turkoglu
PF – Chris Bosh
C – Andrea Bargnani
PG – Brandon Jennings
SG – Charlie Bell
SF – Ersan Ilyasova
PF – Luc Mbah a Moute
C – Andrew Bogut
Match-up to Watch: Chris Bosh / Andrew Bogut
Bargnani may still well be a key factor in tonight’s rematch against the Bucks, but if Wednesday’s tilt taught us anything, it’s that the game will be won in the paint. And Bosh and Bogut certainly serve as each of their team’s front line in that battle, with both stepping up in a huge way in their last contest. CB4 scored a career-high 44 points and added 12 boards in a losing effort, while Bogut collected 27 points on 11-of-14 shooting to go along with 12 rebounds of his own before fouling out. If Bosh can come close to repeating that performance tonight, surely one of his teammates will step up to support him.
Tonight begins a crucial stretch for the Raptors wherein they play eight of their next 10 at home, with only three of those games coming against teams with records above .500 … Wednesday night felt eerily similar to much of the 2008-09 season, when the franchise may as well have been called the Toronto Chris Boshes. Consider this: Bosh’s scoring total on Wednesday (44) was 13 points more than the rest of the Raps’ starters combined (31 points) … Carlos Delfino became the second former Raptor to make his old team pay as a member of the Bucks this season. Delfino poured in 22 points against the team that traded him in the off-season, five more than Roko Ukic scored in his first game against the Raptors on December 9 (Ukic has since been waived by Milwaukee and signed by a Turkish Euroleague squad) … Jerry Stackhouse wasn’t perfect in his Milwaukee debut, but collected five rebounds (four on the offensive glass) and hit a crucial three with nine minute remaining to put the Bucks up for good … Sonny Weems was back in the line-up last night against his former mates after a ribcage injury sidelined him in Cleveland … Former Raps on the Bucks: Delfino.
– Raps are 21-22 (L2); Bucks are 17-23 (W1)
– Fading late: over the past two games, the Raps have been outscored 110-91 in the second half.
– Ugly stats from Wednesday: Milwaukee grabbed 17 offensive boards to Toronto’s 10; the Raptors shot 5-of-16 from three-point range.
– Doug Smith, on the Raps’ much-needed return home.
– Frank Zicarelli sees tonight as a bounce back game for Toronto.
– Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel looks at the Bucks at the halfway point.