The 905 played three games this week including a school day game at the Air Canada Centre.
Here’s a summary of what went down the past week.
Thursday Dec. 15th — vs. Oklahoma City Blue
Final Score: 103-91 for the 905 as they improve to 9-2 and a 6-game winning streak.
Moreira Gets the Start
Since signing big man Walter Tavares, Yanick Moreira has seen his minutes decrease and starts hard to come by. However in this game, coach Jerry Stackhouse rolled the dice and decided to give Moreira the start. He rewarded the 905 for the gamble.
Moreira played in 22 minutes and had 16 points, eight rebounds and shot an impressive 7-of-10 from the field. With Moreria showing he can start it just adds that much more depth for Stackhouse on an already loaded roster.
Heslip Heats Up Off the Bench
When VanVleet is with the 905 it relegates Brady Heslip to the bench. Unfortunately, a frequent trend has started this year, as Heslip’s off-the-bench performances have been a bit of a struggle. This game he reversed the trend and had a very good game as a reserve.
In his 20 minutes of action, Heslip put up 16 points, including a nice 4-of-9 from three. When the 905 get that kind of production from the sharpshooting Heslip, they’re tough to beat.
CJ Leslie Records Another Double-Double
Since getting a spot in the starting lineup, all Leslie has done is produce, and this game was no different. Leslie put up 15 points, 11 rebounds, and a steal in his 24 minutes.
With Leslie being consistent and always hovering around that double-double mark, he has definitely put his name into consideration for NBA teams for a 10-day contract come January.
- John Jordan and Antwaine Wiggins were on the inactive list for the 905, as Okonoboh got into the lineup but failed to register a point. Wiggins continues to be a rather surprising scratch from games, while Jordan has mostly been inactive when VanVleet is with the team.
Saturday Dec. 17th — vs. Greensboro Swarm
Final Score: 115-112 for the 905, as they improve to 10-2 with a franchise record 7-game win streak.
CJ Leslie Will Not Stop
Leslie has arguably been the best player on the 905 other than the assignees (VanVleet), which is saying something given Axel Toupane, who played in the NBA last season, is on the roster.
Leslie had 20 points, five rebounds and shot 9-of-10 from the field in 23 minutes of action in this one. He also hit a game winning three with 1.1 seconds. When asked about what went down, coach Stackhouse said (on Dec. 20th), “Leslie was not the first option, I thought it was a hand-off to Brady.” I mean it worked so hey good on them.
Wiggins Impresses After Being Inactive
Wiggins for some reason has regularly be on the inactive list the past couple of games for the 905, but when he is in the lineup he shows his worth. Coming off the bench, Wiggins played in 18 minutes, scored 13 points and added six rebounds and one steal.
Wiggins also went 6-of-9 from the field, including 1-of-1 from deep, which is a good sign for him. At the beginning of the year Wiggins told me if his 3-ball shot is working, he feels he’s a complete player.
John Jordan Provides Support
With VanVleet up with the Raptors, Jordan saw valuable minutes with the 905 and proved to add much needed depth and points off the bench. Jordan played 20 minutes, and scored 12 points with four assists, three rebounds and 2-of-3 from three.
- Goodluck Okonoboh and Negus Webster-Chan were on the inactive list. No surprise there, unfortunately.
- The seven-game win streak the 905 are on is the best in team history. Not bad for a recent “expansion” franchise.
Tuesday Dec. 20th — vs. Grand Rapids Drive
Final Score: 114-87 for the Drive, as the 905 fall to 10-3.
The 905 at the ACC
It was a school day game for the 905 which meant an early tip-off at the Air Canada Centre. It started as a rather interesting game as the kids were a little antsy and cheered when the Drive scored the first baskets of the game.
VanVleet was also confused. “They [the kids] just yell at everything, I didn’t notice it until the first play of the game, the other team scored and they went nuts. I kind of looked up a little bit to see if it was the scoreboard, I couldn’t figure out why they were screaming.”
VanVleet Rejoins the 905 to Mixed Results
Coming off of the biggest game of his young NBA career, VanVleet returned to the 905. He had a team-high 13 points, and added three assists and five rebounds, but often didn’t look comfortable out there. He also got embarrassed by an opponent’s crossover, which landed him on his butt. To make up for it, VanVleet hit a three, but all in all it was a rather disappointing game.
Axel Toupane Fired Up, Fouls Out
Toupane came off the bench but couldn’t get it going against the Drive. At the half Toupane had a mere two points, not a usual performance from him. However for the second half, Toupane was fired up; he made a layup followed by a steal leading to a dunk.
Toupane finished with 11 points, five rebounds and two assists before fouling out at the 4:07 mark in the fourth quarter.
Bruno Feels the Love
Bruno Caboclo started the game off hot with a three on the team’s first possession and seven points in the first quarter. Unfortunately, for Bruno he slowed down and finished with 10 points, three rebounds and one block in 31 minutes.
After the game I talked to Bruno about the crowd and the kids. “Well it was cool, all these kids here cheering for us, giving us energy, but today the game was tough and I didn’t hit my shots.”
I also asked Bruno about if it is hard always going up from the Raptors to the D-League. “No, like with the Raptors I don’t get much playing time so I come here to get in shape and get some minutes and feel the game. So it isn’t that hard at all.”
This is a good thing, since Bruno (along with VanVleet) managed to get a few minutes into that night’s Raptors game against the Nets. The two of them became the first Raptors players to play in both an D-League and NBA game in the same day.
Stackhouse and VanVleet Post-Game
Afterwards, Stackhouse addressed the media and didn’t seem to mad about the game. As he said, “You look down at the stat sheet and see a team made 24-of-48 threes, and that was the NBA record, so this team probably wouldn’t lose to many NBA teams they way they shot.”
For his part, VanVleet disagreed with that assessment a little bit. “Some of those shots were horrible shots,” he said of the Drive.
- Goodluck Okonoboh and Antwaine Wiggins were on the inactive list once again.
- The 905 set the D-League attendance record with 15,011 fans, mostly screaming kids who didn’t know which team was the 905 at first. But hey, it was loud.