The Raptors 905 are currently sitting first place in the D-League with a record of 32-11. Part of the reason is the 905 have been lucky with major injuries — as in, they haven’t had them. Earlier on in the season Will Sheehey and Axel Toupane missed about a week with various nagging ailments, but that has been it for the 905.
The 905 stormed the Air Canada Centre for a March Break game, in which they won convincingly 116-87 over the Austin Spurs (and set a D-League attendance record). Unfortunately for the 905 the win may have come with injuries to key players for the 905.
First it was Bruno Caboclo who missed a game on the west coast road trip due to a shoulder injury. “He just woke up funny while we were on the road,” said coach Jerry Stackhouse. “He got some work done, but I think he will be fine. We’re looking forward to having these few days to recover and prepare for this weekend.”
Although Bruno was not on assignment in this game, he was in the 905 locker room after the game getting work done on his shoulder. Afterwards he was walking around with ice on his shoulder which he told me “I think I should be fine.” Bruno is a big part of this roster and the 905 will need him for their playoff push.
Next it was Antwaine Wiggins, who took a hard fall during the game and was down on the court for some time. Afterwards though, he was in decent spirits. “Yeah, got hit hard today,” said Wiggins. “It was my head, knee and hip I hurt, I’ll be good after two days of rest.” After getting up, Wiggins sat down on the bench for a minute or two and quickly got up and headed to the locker room. He did return to the bench and re-entered the game late in the 3rd quarter, despite what he called a “hard fall.” Wiggins have become a solid bench/rotation player for the 905, contributing secondary scoring and providing stellar defense. It’d be a shame to see him go down for any extended time.
Unfortunately the injuries didn’t just stop at Wiggins. C.J. Leslie, who arguably has been the best player on the 905 besides Axel Toupane, just didn’t look right on the court. He looked to be having a hard time running up and down the court. It was shown in his scoring as Leslie only put up 7 points, while shooting 3-of-9 from the field in 16 minutes. Not a typical C.J. Leslie performance and something had to be wrong. Turns out it was.
After the game Leslie was getting work done on his foot, and had ice wrapped on it. “Yeah, I had a little tweak before the game,” said Leslie. “I’m not even sure what was going on, I was actually in a lot of pain today. It was before the game so I went in a little earlier to get treatment before the game. I’m not really sure what is going on though.” That should be a cause for concern for the 905, as losing Leslie would be a huge blow.
It’s not all doom and gloom with the 905 though. “I think over the next few games we will start trying rest guys,” said Stackhouse. “To get Negus [Webster-Chan] and Goodluck [Okonoboh] some minutes down the stretch, as there may not be a lot of opportunity for them come playoffs. I want to get them in for all their work and being team players, so I wanna get the minutes down the stretch. So were looking at that and coming up with a strategy to put our best effort to win games but to utilize those guys towards the end.”
Truly a team effort with the 905.