Several Milwaukee Bucks’ veterans impress in loss to Toronto Raptors

TORONTO, ON - APRIL 09 (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - APRIL 09 (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images) /

Once the Milwaukee Bucks locked up the one seed, they opted to pull some of their main rotation players to allow them to get healthy over the final few games.

That opened the door for some players who might not typically see hefty minutes to play. In a loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, several reserves played extremely well with the increased opportunity. With a lengthy injury report for the final game of the regular season, the same opportunity would be given against the Toronto Raptors, and several veterans played well.

Several Milwaukee Bucks’ veterans impress in loss to Toronto Raptors

For the second consecutive contest, Lindell Wigginton led the Bucks in scoring. Following his new career high 25 point game against the Grizzlies, the young guard had 17 in this one. Wigginton, an in-house product of the Wisconsin Herd, continued showing that he may be a piece worth keeping around moving forward. Bobby Portis finished with 16 points on 50 percent shooting in just a tick under 18 minutes played to finish the regular season strong.

Two veterans who played well were Jae Crowder and Goran Dragic. Crowder continued to shoot it well from deep by hitting three of his six 3-point attempts and finishing with 13 points overall. He also grabbed four rebounds and two steals, but perhaps the most impressive part of his day was that he dished out six assists, one off of tying his career high. Crowder looked like Joe Ingles with some of the assists he logged, and it is great to see him playing extremely well lately.

Meanwhile, in his return to Toronto, Dragic was mercilessly booed every time he touched the ball. Yet, he notched his second consecutive 14-point game, having shot 58.3 percent from the floor in 20 minutes. The Bucks could potentially play Toronto in the first round of the 2023 NBA Playoffs, so Dragic may have to face that crowd again. While the veteran might not have a prominent role in the rotation when the team is healthy, it is welcoming to see that he can step up when needed.

Meyers Leonard, the big man the Bucks signed earlier this season, started for the second time in 2023 and recorded a solid double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds. It was Leonard’s first double-double since February 1, 2020, per StatMuse. Thanasis Antetokounmpo had a quality outing with 14 points, five rebounds, and three assists. Rookie MarJon Beauchamp rounded out Milwaukee’s double-figure scorers with 10 points.

Although it ended in a 121-105 defeat, it was great to see these players, especially the veterans, step up when called upon.

The 2022-23 regular season is now over, and the Bucks will wait to see who their opponent is in the first round once the Play-In Tournament commences.

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