The Raptors 905 have been on quite a tear as of late, as they entered the G League Showcase riding nine-game winning streak. However, they headed into the special weekend having to play the Santa Cruz Warriors and the Sioux Falls SkyForce, two very good teams.
The 905 also changed plans heading into the Showcase, as they normally do not send anyone with NBA contracts to the 905 to play, choosing instead to let some of the other players shine. This time though, the 905 ended up bringing in both Lorenzo Brown and Malcolm Miller on two-way contracts, as well as Bruno Caboclo and Alfonzo McKinnie.
Here’s what happened for the 905 over the past week.
Thursday Jan. 11th — vs. Santa Cruz Warriors
Final Score: 109-83 for the 905
The 905 pushed their winning streak to ten games with a dominant performance against the Warriors. The 905 arguably played their best defensive game of the season, with the usual names propelling the team to victory.
Lorenzo Brown, the Unstoppable
There is no doubt in my mind that Lorenzo Brown will be on a standard NBA contract next season. Although Brown is often hesitant to shoot at the NBA level, he still is an efficient player. Brown’s court vision may be second to none in the G League, and as of late he’s been cutting down the turnovers.
In the win, Brown played 34 minutes, and recorded yet another double-double with 24 points, 12 assists, 3 rebounds and 2 blocks. Not bad.
Kennedy Not-So-Meeks Once Again
Kennedy Meeks may be the 905’s full-time MVP this season. The big man continues to do everything asked of him on either end of the floor, scoring at will in the post and controlling the boards, while improving his defensive acumen over time.
Meeks put on another performance in front of NBA executives, as he played 30 minutes, added 17 points, a ridiculous 18 rebounds, 2 assists and a block. It wouldn’t be surprising if a team signs Meeks to a 10-day NBA contract sometime this year.
- Malcolm Miller ended his recent slump, contributing 15 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists and a block in 28 minutes.
- Alfonzo McKinnie continues to produce in the G League, this time with 13 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists in 27 minutes of action.
- Shevon Thompson is still not getting enough minutes, in my opinion. Case in point: in just 17 minutes, Thompson had 9 points, 13 rebounds and a block.
- Andre Washington was inactive for this game, while Negus Webster-Chan, Kethan Savage and Kuran Iverson only got one minute of playing time each when the game was out of reach.
Saturday Jan. 13th — vs. Sioux Falls SkyForce
Final Score: 108-107 SkyForce in OT
This game may have been the best one at the Showcase, a back-and-forth nail-biter that came down to some last second shots (and misses) from Bruno Caboclo. The 905 had an open look to win the game but missed, and Sioux Falls ended up taking it.
Meeks Puts on Show at the Showcase
When will somebody give this guy a shot in the NBA? If it isn’t this season it seems likely Meeks may get another training camp look next season or be signed as a two-way player. Meeks has been the go-to guy for the 905 in the post or when the shot clock is running down late, similar to what Edy Tavares was last year for the 905 (he got a late call-up to the Cavaliers).
In front of all the basketball scouts and executives, Meeks was not scared of the spotlight, recording 18 points, 9 rebounds, 1 assist and a block in 30 minutes. Meeks was also awarded G League Showcase Second Team honours for his terrific play.
Bruno Caboclo Plays Big For the Most Part
Inconsistency is killing Caboclo in the G League. One game the Brazilian looks like he could be part of an NBA rotation, the next he looks like he doesn’t even belong in the G League. In the 905’s first Showcase game, Bruno struggled; but against Sioux Falls, Caboclo turned around and led the 905’s offense.
Bruno finished with 19 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals and a block in 33 minutes for an all-around good game. He sadly missed the wide open three at the end to seal the win for the 905, but we can’t have everything.
- Kaza Keane got more minutes off the bench than normal and produced with 12 points and 10 rebounds in 29 minutes.
- Aaron Best, removed from the starting lineup in favour of Negus Webster-Chan, played just 18 minutes but had 11 points and 4 rebounds, while shooting 4-of-6 from the field in one of his better games in the G League.
- Andre Washington and Kethan Savage were hit with the DNP-CD in this game.
Wednesday Jan. 17th — vs. Canton Charge
Final Score: 102-97 for the Charge
Coming out of the Showcase, the 905 headed to Canton for an 11am school day game for the Charge. The 905 were deadlocked at 22 after the first, but the rest of the way Canton seemed to take over. The Charge led by as many as 16 at one point, and it was just too much to come back from for the 905.
Davion Berry Has Big Outing
With no Lorenzo Brown, Malcolm Miller or Alfonzo McKinnie, Davion Berry took the role of leader on offense. Admittedly, Berry has been hit and miss sometimes this season, but when he plays to the best of his ability, he’s been dangerous from all over the court.
Berry played 37 minutes in this one, well more than his average, putting up 29 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists while also shooting 4-of-9 from three. Berry tried to carry the 905 to the finish in the last minute, as he was hitting all his shots including two huge threes, but the lead was just too much for the 905.
Kaza Keane Produces Off the Bench
With Lorenzo Brown on the Raptors, it meant more minutes for Keane. He came off the bench for the 905 in this one to keep the majority of the rotation intact but did get the bulk of the point guard minutes.
Keane he played 28 minutes and scored 12 points, while adding 6 assists, 4 rebounds and two steals for a solid game from the Carleton University alumni.
- Negus Webster-Chan shot lights out against the Charge, as he had 12 points, 5 rebounds and an assist while shooting 4-of-6 from three.
- Bruno Caboclo, on the other hand, had a rough day shooting the ball as he went 4-of-13 from the field and 2-of-7 from three. Caboclo did finish with 10 points and 9 rebounds though.
- Kennedy Meeks continues his success as he added 10 points, 3 rebounds and a steal in 25 minutes.
- In case you were curious, Fuquan Edwin was hit with a DNP-CD in this one.
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