The Toronto Raptors are heading to the playoffs, but they don’t look anything like the team that won the Atlantic Division a season ago.
The Raptors look to halt a three-game skid on Wednesday when they welcome the Milwaukee Bucks to Canada.
Toronto (38-39) has lost 11 of 15 games, and can be considered a bit of a disappointment after winning 47 games and the Atlantic title last season.
“I think it’s a little bit of a reality check for us,” Raptors All-Star forward Chris Bosh told the team’s official Web site. “We’re not going into the playoffs in cruise control. We’re trying to get the job done because we know if we don’t come to play we can get it handed to us.”
The Raptors still can improve their seeding. They are currently seventh in the East, but only one game behind Philadelphia and two behind Washington.
Toronto has not played since a 99-90 loss at New Jersey on Saturday. The Raptors have focused on defense in their last two days of practice after allowing their opponents to shoot just under 49 percent over the last three games.
“You never want to go into the playoffs not playing your best basketball, and we definitely have been far from that,” guard Anthony Parker said. “It’s just a matter of getting it going our way quick.”
Toronto and Milwaukee have split two meetings this season, as each has posted a blowout win at home. Although the Bucks (26-51) are out of playoff contention, the Raptors are trying not to overlook them, especially since all three losses during this skid have come against losing teams.
“We have to limit them to one shot because they’re a good rebounding team and we have to stay on their shooters,” Bosh said about Milwaukee.
Moon has played very well in the last five games, averaging 13.0 points on 68.4 percent shooting.
Milwaukee lost its third straight, 107-104 in overtime to Boston on Tuesday. Michael Redd scored 25 points, but made just 8-of-19 shots, as the Bucks rallied from a 25-point deficit to send the game into the extra session.
“I’m proud of the team,” Bucks coach Larry Krystkowiak said. “We had an opportunity to fold it up and we put an energy group on the floor and they battled.”
Former Raptor Charlie Villanueva managed only two points on 1-of-6 shooting. He averaged 16.6 points over his previous 16 games.