3 takeaways from Milwaukee Bucks’ tough loss to the Toronto Raptors

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JANUARY 05 (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JANUARY 05 (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Wesley Matthews, Toronto Raptors: Pascal Siakam
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – JANUARY 05 (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images) /

In what has become a common theme lately, the Milwaukee Bucks entered Wednesday’s game against the Toronto Raptors severely shorthanded.

They did not even have their head coach as Mike Budenholzer entered the league’s health and safety protocols, forcing assistant Darvin Ham to take his place. As for their player personnel, Grayson Allen and Pat Connaughton were both sidelined after recently entering the protocols, while Giannis Antetokounmpo missed the name with a non-COVID illness, and Donte DiVincenzo sat out as he recovered from a sprained ankle. Of course, Brook Lopez was not there either as he continues recovering from back surgery. However, in these times where teams across the NBA continue to deal with roster issues, these absences should not have been an excuse for the Bucks.

Despite these issues, Milwaukee looked fully in control of the game as they had a 14 point lead in the second quarter. This game was right there for the taking, but the Bucks took their foot off the gas and let the Raptors crawl right back into it during a dreaded third quarter. The offense went completely cold and Toronto took the lead, and despite a late comeback effort from Milwaukee, the Raptors never gave it back up. They secured a 117-111 comeback victory over the Bucks, a loss that will sting. With that said, here are three big takeaways from the matchup.

Jrue Holiday’s hot streak comes against the Toronto Raptors with a poor shooting night for the Milwaukee Bucks

There is no denying that Jrue Holiday had been playing like an All-Star leading up to this matchup. The veteran had been putting up some of the best numbers of his career over the past month or so, and some even argued that he had taken over as the team’s second scoring option. With the reigning Finals MVP in Antetokounmpo sidelined, the Bucks needed Holiday to have himself a big game if they were to get this win. It was the perfect stage for the guard to bolster his All-Star odds on the season, especially with Fred VanVleet on the opposite side, but things did not quite pan out that way.

Holiday looked incredibly uncharacteristic offensively with his scoring throughout the entire game, tallying just 15 points on a vile 5-of-15 from the floor. The top-tier efficiency he showcased during this recent stretch was nowhere to be found, with the guard heaving puzzling shots time and time again. To make matters worse, he was beyond sloppy with the basketball as he tallied an abysmal eight turnovers on the night, which was 10 less than the rest of the team had as a whole.

Though this was one of Holiday’s worst scoring performances in a Bucks uniform, it was not all bad. Struggling to knock down his own shot, Holiday got his teammates involved in the action by dishing out 12 assists on the night, helping the team put together some form of offense that they desperately needed. He also tallied three blocked shots and a steal, doing his part to try and make an impact on the defensive end.

It was a tough game from Holiday, but hopefully he can shake it off and bounce back Friday.