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Dial 905: Jakob Poeltl plays his first D-League game, and more

A couple of rough games for the 905 this week, despite the presence of Jakob Poeltl.

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Toronto Raptors Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

After the Raptors 905 started the season 3-0, the past two games this week didn’t go as planned. The 905 lost both of them moving their record to 3-2 on the season.

Here is a summary of what went down.

Saturday Nov. 26 — vs. Maine Red Claws

Final Score: 100-91 for Maine, Raptors 905 record 3-1

Jakob Poeltl’s first D-League game

Owing to the combination of the Raptors and 905 schedule allowing for it, Poeltl was assigned to the 905 for his first game. Poeltl got the start at centre for the 905 and played 34 minutes, producing a double-double of 21 points, 15 rebounds and 1 block for his D-League debut.

As the numbers suggest, Poeltl dominated the post and the glass, getting putbacks and drawing fouls throughout. He did get into a bit of foul trouble of his own however, ending the game with five personals. Still, it was nice to see what Poeltl can do with starting minutes against D-League competition.

Fred VanVleet continues D-League dominance

Just four games into the D-League season and its clear VanVleet, like Norman Powell last year, is too good to be playing in the D-League. VanVleet is often the best player on the court and was once again up to his old tricks controlling the offense for the 905.

VanVleet had 23 points and three assists in 30 minutes. VanVleet is currently stuck in an awkward spot as he can’t quite get on the court with the Raptors but is clearly too talented to be playing in the D-League.

Brady Heslip and Bruno Caboclo disappoint

Heslip and Caboclo were supposed to be major factors on the 905. Unfortunately for coach Jerry Stackhouse and the 905, consistency appears to be a problem for both, particularly Bruno. In one game Caboclo looks like he is ready to take a huge leap in his development, then the next game it comes crashing down. Bruno played in 25 minutes against Maine but only put up two points and was a -10.

Likewise, Heslip hasn’t really been able to get it going since the first game. Heslip was relegated to the bench for this one, but still played in 22 minutes. Of course, in those minutes he had zero points and only took four shots — not much for a sharpshooter.


  • The bench, usually a strength for the 905, was not all there in this game as only two players off the bench (Axel Toupane and Will Sheehey) had double digit points.
  • The inactives were a huge surprise (other than Goodluck Okonoboh). This time out it was CJ Leslie and Antwaine Wiggins who didn’t see the court. John Jordan finally got into game action, but had zero points in his season debut.

Tuesday Nov. 29 — vs. Fort Wayne Mad Ants

Final Score: 121-103 for Fort Wayne, as the 905 lose two in a row to drop to 3-2.

VanVleet still solid

It is starting to sound like a broken record but Fred VanVleet is too good for the D-League after once again looking like the best player on the court. VanVleet started at point guard again and played in 32 minutes, scoring 19 points with five assists and three rebounds. With VanVleet’s constant ability to produce, the Raptors will be in tough when Delon Wright comes back, as VanVleet deserves an NBA look.

E.J. Singler comes up big

Singler has quietly been consistently good all season for the 905 while garnering little praise. Against the Mad Ants, Singler played in 29 minutes, scored 17 points, and shot 4-for-9 from three. With players like VanVleet drawing much of the defensive attention, it’s nice to see Singler come through with his long-ball shooting.

Jarrod Uthoff has a good game

Uthoff’s D-League season so far has been anything but spectacular. Uthoff has been unreliable this season, wherein one game he looks like someone who can get an NBA contract, and in the next struggle to make an impact. Against the Mad Ants however, Uthoff looked like a useful NBA player coming off of the bench. He almost put up a double-double with 16 points and eight rebounds in 26 minutes of action.

Heslip bounces back

After putting up zero points in his last game, Heslip turned it around against the Mad Ants. He shot 50 percent from three for 16 points in 22 minutes coming off of the bench. Heslip’s shooting continues to be key for the 905’s success — even when they lose.


  • Okonoboh continues to be one of the 905’s main inactives. He was joined on the list by Jordan, who returned to the inactive list after he put up a goose egg in the last 905 game.
  • Toupane was out of this game with an ankle injury. It isn’t known at this time the severity of it or if he will miss more games.
  • Sheehey earned a starting role for this one after he was the team’s best player off of the bench in their past four games. Unfortunately, he only managed six points on 2-of-7 shooting in this one.