The 905 had three games this past week, but somehow ended 2016 and began 2017 with losses. Still, there were some bright spots, including the play of Walter Tavares (more on that in a bit). The 905 welcomed the Maine Red Claws, Erie BayHawks, and Canton Charge and did what they could.
Here’s a summary of what happened in the past week.
Thursday Dec. 29 — vs. Maine Red Claws
Final Score: 80-69 for Maine — not a typo, it was a low scoring affair. The 905 fall to 12-5 on the season.
Tavares Comes Up Big in Loss
This game was not a good for the 905, and it is definitely one they’ll want to forget. That said, Tavares may want to remember his performance: starting at centre, playing in 31 minutes, scoring 15 points and adding 11 rebounds to go with five blocks. Once again, Tavares has been dominate against D-League centres in and around the post. Could he be NBA-bound soon? We’ll see.
Yanick Moreira Adds Great Backup Depth
Not to be outdone, Moreira did his part to make this forgettable game the tale of two centres. In the loss, Moreira only played 16 minutes but chipped in with 10 points, four rebounds, two assists and a block. Not bad production from the middle, especially for a team that somehow managed to score only 69 points.
Bad Game for the 905
When your team only scores 69 points it’s time to forget the game, even with a strong defensive effort in allowing only 80 points. The 905’s shooting was just not good as they managed a mere 31 percent from the field and 13 percent from three. Plain and simple, you will not win a game shooting like that from the field — but you will set a franchise-record low by scoring only seven points in the third quarter.
- Goodluck Okonoboh and Negus Webster-Chan were on the inactive list.
- Bruno Caboclo and Fred VanVleet missed this one, as they stayed with the Raptors on the road trip out west. The 905 had no assignees for this game.
Monday Jan 2. — vs Erie BayHawks
Final Score: 99-95 for Erie, as the 905 drop two in a row and fall to 12-6.
Axel Toupane Starts 2017 on a Roll
Today is the day when D-League players can sign 10-day contracts and Toupane continues to impress. To start off 2017, Toupane got the rare start, playing in 34 minutes for a complete game 22 points, five rebounds, six assists and four steals.
With stat lines like that, Toupane does not look to be for long in the D-League. If you are a 905 fan, enjoy these next few games watching Axel tear it up.
Jarrod Uthoff Settles In
After a somewhat disappointing start to his D-League career, Uthoff looks like he is now finally looking comfortable as a regular in the rotation. Uthoff played in 25 minutes in this contest, adding 17 points, eight rebounds, two blocks and one assist. Uthoff continues to be a power forward who can shoot, which is exactly what NBA scouts are looking at as stretch fours are becoming more and more vital to team success.
Will Sheehey Turns it Around
Sheehey definitely has to be happy the calendar has turned to 2017 as the last couple weeks in 2016 weren’t all that great. Sheehey returned to the 905’s starting lineup and gave the team some much needed production. In 30 minutes, Sheehey put in 17 points, and chipped in two rebounds and two assists. Not bad.
- Goodluck Okonoboh and Negus Webster-Chan were inactive again.
- Antwaine Wiggins continues to provide some nice depth and scoring punch to the 905’s bench.
- The 905 offense feels completely different when Brady Heslip is the team’s point guard, compared to the times when VanVleet is with the team. Heslip, more of a 2-guard, plays at a slower place than VanVleet and the results tend to be a bit mixed.
Wednesday Jan. 4 — vs. Canton Charge
Final Score: 109-99 for Canton, as the 905 drop three in a row and fall to 12-7.
Tavares Produces Another Double-Double
Tavares once again just dominated in this one. The 7’3” big man had 21 points, 10 rebounds, one block and two steals, while shooting 8-of-9 from the field in 29 minutes. Tavares has looked more and more like an NBA-calibre centre, and may get a chance in the big time if he keeps playing like this.
Antwaine Wiggins Gets the Start
Wiggins has also been producing and finally got another chance to start for the 905 (owing to Toupane’s absence). For his efforts, Wiggins had 13 points, eight rebounds, two assists and shot 6-of-10 from the field in 27 minutes.
- Negus Webster-Chan also started the game and ended with six points and a team-high five assists.
- VanVleet and Caboclo played in this one, but both looked tired after having just returned San Antonio that morning.
- Axel Toupane, who was dealing with the flu, and Okonoboh were the two declared inactives; meanwhile Uthoff and John Jordan got hit with the DNP-CD in the box score.