The Toronto Raptors first round draft pick Bruno Caboclo had yet to see the court in a regular season game before tonight as Head Coach Dwane Casey has been focusing on piling up the wins for the 10-2 NBA Eastern Conference leader. It took injuries to both Tyler Hansbrough and James Johnson for Caboclo and fellow rookie from Brazil Lucas Nogueira to be activated, but the timing couldn’t have been better as the Milwaukee Bucks folded like a cheap suit under an avalanche of three point shots from Toronto.
The blowout started in the first quarter as the Raptors scored 37 points and only a pair of late three-pointers from Ersan Ilyasova kept Milwaukee within 10 points, but it was only going to get worse for the Bucks from there. Toronto scored 34 more points in the second quarter to take a 71-45 lead into the half and if the Raptors could keep up the pressure, Caboclo and Nogueira’s NBA debuts were assured.
The rookies had nothing to worry about as the Raptors were not about to let up in the third quarter, expanding their lead to an all-time franchise high of 45 points by the time the period ended. Caboclo started the fourth quarter and helped the Raptors set a new high water mark of 52 points as he hit his second three-pointer to make the score 116-64.
Caboclo finished with 8 points on 3-6 from the field including 2-3 from three-point range, a block and a rebound in 12 minutes. Who says this kid is two years away from being two years away?
The final score of 124-83 was 1 point shy of the franchise’s biggest winning margin set in 2008 against the HEAT.
ESPN Recap: Raptors Obliterate Bucks noted:
When Williams hit a pair of free throws in the final seconds of the third quarter, it gave Toronto a 101-56 lead. At the time, the 45-point margin represented the biggest lead in franchise history.
Toronto narrowly missed matching its largest margin of victory in franchise history, set in a 96-54 victory over Miami on March 19, 2008.
Raptors Republic: Quick Reaction: Raptors 124, Bucks 83 by Garrett Hinchey summed it up:
Yes, this is just an early-season blowout against an expected non-playoff team, but enjoy this one, Raptor fans. A huge win, a 6-1 homestand, the best record in the conference, 8 points from Bruno, and Cleveland coming up tomorrow night. This, friends, is as close to basketball nirvana as it’s gotten here in a long, long time.
Lou Williams led all scorers with 22 points off the bench in just 19 minutes, shooting 5-7 from three-point range including buzzer-beaters at the end of the first and second quarters. Kyle Lowry had 20 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists. Jonas Valanciunas notched a quick double-double of 18 points and 12 boards. DeMar DeRozan was held to 1-8 from the field as the Bucks packed the paint, but he did collect 5 rebounds and 5 assists. Nogueira had 2 points, 5 rebounds and a steal in his debut.
The Raptors shot 60% from deep for 15 three-pointers as the Bucks perimeter defense was hard to find. Amir Johnson was left alone at the top of the three-point line for so long that he eventually caved to the pressure and drained the most uncontested three-pointer of the NBA season. Johnson may as well have been standing in the gym by himself.
Toronto shot 52.3 percent from the field and out-rebounded the Bucks 57-30. This game was a total beat down in every aspect.
The rookie Jabari Parker led the Bucks in scoring with 15 points.
It wasn’t supposed to be this easy. The Bucks were on a 3 game winning streak and had a 7-5 record coming into the game. Their record is still better than either the HEAT or Cavaliers.
The Raptors travel to Cleveland for a Saturday night game against a Cavaliers team that just lost 91-78 to the Wizards and has a record of 5 wins and 6 loses. Toronto dismantled the Wizards 103-84 two weeks ago, but no one believes any game against LeBron James will be easy.
— Paul Jones (@Paul__Jones) November 22, 2014
“I want an opportunity to improve my game,” Caboclo told Pro Bball Report. “I’ve worked a lot to get one chance, but I know it’s hard. We have 13 players, but I keep working.”