Technically speaking, the Raptors 905 are coming off of a D-League championship win and are now looking to become the first ever G-League champions. It won’t be easy for them however, as the only (non-NBA Raptors) member of that squad still on the team is Negus Webster-Chan. (The only other guy, Edy Tavares, played in the season’s first game and then signed overseas in Spain.)
Still, the 905 will look to repeat with a completely new team but under the same coach (of the year!) in Jerry Stackhouse. Can they do it? Let’s review how the first week of the season went in the return of Dial 905.
Sunday Nov. 5th — vs. Grand Rapids Drive
Final Score: 112-106 for the Drive
The 905 looked to start the season the same way they ended last year’s: with a win. However, it was not to be, as the 905 lost the season opener to Grand Rapids. Related: the 905 also had four players out with injuries meaning only eight players were active.
Lorenzo Brown Continues To Dominate
The Raptors signed Lorenzo Brown to a two-way contract this off-season and all was set for him to become the star of the 905. One game down and it is safe to say, so far so good — Brown dominated when he was on the court.
Brown finished with an incredible 24 points, 8 assists, and 5 rebounds while shooting 10-of-19 from the field in 42 minutes. It’s become obvious on day one why the Raptors would want to have him as a possible fill-in NBA sub. The dude can play.
Davion Berry Returns!
Berry was one of the best players for the 905 in their inaugural season in 2015-16. And that’s really saying something, considering Berry was acquired at the trade deadline and only played 10 games with the team.
In his first game back, Berry ended up with 20 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists in 38 minutes. It appears apparent that Berry is the right fit for the 905, and his dreams of the NBA are getting closer.
Aaron Best Puts USports on the Map
Aaron Best was a second-round draft pick by the Long Island Nets this year but was immediately traded for Shannon Scott. Best is also a Canadian who played his college basketball at Ryerson University in Toronto. While that’s one of the best programs in the country, collegiate sports in Canada are still considered “worse” than the NCAA. Now Best is trying to prove he belongs and can eventually play in the NBA.
In Best’s first game in the G-League he finished with 17 points, 4 rebounds and 1 assists in a heavy 40-minute appearance. Not bad.
- Edy Tavares recorded a double-double for the 905 but then signed a three-year deal in the ACB Spanish League. We’re reeling over here!
- Richard Amardi, another Canadian, had a great all-around game chipping in with 11 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals in just 27 minutes.
- The 905 were missing Negus Webster-Chan, Kethan Savage, Malcolm Miller and Roger Moute a Bidas who were all out with injuries
Wednesday Nov. 8 — vs. Long Island Nets
Final Score: 91-65 for the 905
Last night was the Raptors 905’s home opener and they took the opportunity to unveil their 2016-17 championship banner. They also got some good news before the game as Alfonzo McKinnie and fan favourite Bruno Caboclo were assigned to the 905 from the Raptors.
Kennedy Meeks Steps Up
With Tavares leaving the 905, it opened up a big whole in the team’s front line. Fortunately, Kennedy Meeks is on hand to fill those minutes and play at his more natural position: centre.
Meeks showed his worth to the team in this game as he had a Tavares-like double-double of 10 points and 17 rebounds, for a +19, in just 23 minutes. Maybe the absence of Tavares won’t be as bad as originally thought.
Bruno Sets Up Shop
What is left to say about Caboclo? He’s still looking to fit into the NBA, and he can still dominate in the G-League when he wants to. In his return to the 905, Caboclo finished with 17 points and 6 rebounds while shooting 3-of-3 from three for an effective +18 in 27 minutes.
It’s worth noting here that given his experience level (at over three years), now Caboclo has to accept the assignment to the G-League. It says something that he’s gone to Mississauga with nary a complaint — that we know of.
McKinnie Rides the Shuttle Bus
This was first of possibly many games that Alfonzo McKinnie plays with the 905 this season. Similar to Fred VanVleet, Caboclo, and Norman Powell of years past, McKinnie will likely see his time split between the 905 and the parent club.
McKinnie is also no stranger to the G-League as he played with the Windy City Bulls last year and became an All-Star there. In his debut with the 905, McKinnie finished with 16 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 assists while shooting 6-of-12 from the field in 26 minutes of play.
- Richard Amardi, the local product, continued his G-League success in the 905’s home opener as he finished with 8 points, 9 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 assist in just 22 minutes of action.
- Negus Webster-Chan, Malcolm Miller and Roger Moute a Bidas are still all out with injuries.
Reminder: If you want to go see any 905 game this year go here and use promo code RAPTORSHQ905 to get discounts on 905 tickets all season long.