The Raptors 905 have a new-look team with only one returning player from the championship squad of last year. The majority of the roster is G-League rookies, and frankly, it shows. So far this season, the 905 are not the powerhouse they were last year. They’re still struggling to find chemistry and five-man units that work.
With that, the 905 played two games this week and lost both — neither of them were even close. Here’s our weekly review.
Saturday Nov. 18th — vs. Lakeland Magic
Final Score: 114-96 for Lakeland
The 905 lost the game after the first quarter during which they allowed 40 points. In that time Lakeland shot a ridiculous 87.5% from the field. Afterwards, former Raptor and Cavalier, and now Lakeland Magic GM, Anthony Parker could only say: “we made some lucky shots.”
Still, lucky shots or not the 905 defense was awful. There’s no way coach Jerry Stackhouse came away impressed with this one.
Bruno Caboclo Leads the Way
Caboclo came to the G-League again to get minutes and experience, despite many thinking this year may be his time for the NBA. Caboclo so far has looked better than ever in the G-League and seems to understand where to be in the team’s system. He also hasn’t looked frustrated or given up on plays as of yet.
“We want him to catch and shoot the basketball, I mean that is what he does the best,” said Stackhouse. “I mean we talk about strokes, he has a natural stroke and can shoot the basketball. And for whatever reason, he has a lot of confidence when he is here as opposed to sometimes in the bigger sets. But a lot of times he knows when he is getting some shots, it isn’t so random, and I think we try to make it important to him, to include him in the first action of the game and we try to get him involved and go from there.”
Caboclo finished the game with 23 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals and 2 blocks in 37 minutes for an impressive day for Caboclo.
Davion Berry Consistently Reliable
The Raptors 905 are lucky to have Davion Berry back in the G-League after a year overseas. Berry can start or come off the bench and he doesn’t appear to miss a beat. With Lorenzo Brown making spot appearances with the Raptors, the 905 need Berry in a bunch of different roles. And so far his experience his paying off.
In this contest, although his three-point shot was a bit off, Berry finished with 23 points, 3 assists and 2 rebounds in 33 minutes.
- As discussed last week, the 905 acquired Shevon Thompson, a nice addition to the team’s starting lineup when he arrives. “He is a good centre too,” Stackhouse added. “I remember playing against him last year in Erie, and he made some great moves and made some baskets on Edy and that is hard to do. I think that is the game Edy set the record with 12 blocks or something. But this kid was really good against us, so it is good to have that depth. It is a lot to ask of Dre [Andre Washington], to play as much as he needs to right now, with Meeks being with USA Basketball, but a welcomed addition, and try to get him to the fold pretty quick.”
- As for when Thompson will actually suit up for the 905, the team’s GM Dan Tolzman said he should be ready for Saturday’s game against Delaware.
- Malcolm Miller made his season debut and played 14 minutes for 4 points, 2 rebounds and 1 assist while shooting 2-of-4 from the field.
- Negus Webster-Chan and Roger Moute a Bidas are still out with injuries. “I think they are progressing, I think Roger is ahead of schedule,from his knee sprain,” Stackhouse added. “I know at first they were talking 4-6 weeks at first, but progressing a lot faster and a lot sooner and it will be welcomed to have those guys back. Negus is the same thing, as much as he can, we aren’t trying to rush him back or force him back, but make sure when they come back they are healthy.”
- Anthony Parker said Scott Suggs, who the Magic acquired for Thompson, won’t be back in the G-League. He added: “Khem Birch is real good, man.” And he’s Canadian!
Monday Nov. 20th — vs. Greensboro Swarm
Final Score: 109-90 for the Swarm
The 905 were still at home and were looking to get over the blowout loss to Lakeland. However, it was not to be. The 905 had another bad showing and lost their second in a row. The team is now 3-4 on the season.
Lorenzo Brown Returns and Owns
The 905 desperately missed Lorenzo Brown when he was with the Toronto Raptors. When Brown was up, it forced Kaza Keane into a starting role. But now Keane is spending time with Team Canada, and the 905 need someone — anyone! — to run the team.
After appearing in a couple NBA games, Brown apparently took that time and experience and used it in the G-League. He finished with 18 points, 13 assists, 6 rebounds and 1 steal in 39 minutes.
Alfonzo McKinnie Shows Out in the G
Alfonzo McKinnie was a G-League All-Star last year with the Windy City Bulls and turned that into a contract with the Toronto Raptors. Since then McKinnie has looked better and more comfortable this year compared to last. He has even taken on a leadership role on this young 905 team.
McKinnie adds much-needed energy to the 905, and ended this contest with 17 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists and a block in 33 minutes.
- Malcolm Miller is on a minute restriction, but played 19 minutes in this game and looked much better than his debut. Miller chipped in with 13 points, 4 rebounds and 1 steal in 19 minutes.
- Bruno Caboclo is continuing his G-League success, as he finished with 13 points, 9 rebounds, 3 blocks, 2 steals and 1 assists in 36 minutes.
- Aaron Best has fit into this lineup nicely and adds something different to the starting group. Best played 36 minutes and scored 15 points while adding 4 rebounds and 2 assists while shooting 4-of-6 from three.
- Negus Webster-Chan and Roger Moute a Bidas are still out with injuries, while Kennedy Meeks and Kaza Keane are with Team USA and Team Canada respectively.
Reminder: If you want to go see any 905 games this year go here and use promo code RAPTORSHQ905 to get discounts on 905 tickets all season long.