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Prospect Report: The 905 head into the second half of the season

We’ve reached the midway point of the G League season for the Raptors 905. How are the team’s top players doing?

G-League Showcase - Raptors 905 v Santa Cruz Warriors Photo by Randy Belice/NBAE via Getty Images

Following the G League Showcase, the Raptors 905 opened their second half of the season with a split: the first one was a losing effort versus Canton Charge, where Bruno was the lone prospect to play, followed by a win over the Greensboro Swarm which snapped their two-game losing streak.

Alfonzo McKinnie

(25 Years, 4 Months)

This Week: N/A

I can’t find any information as to why he hasn’t played with the Raptors 905 since the G-League Showcase. The obvious guess is that he’s getting more practice reps with the main club in preparation for getting DeRozan some time-off now and then. That’s got to be it, right?

Malcolm Miller

(24 Years, 10 Months)

This Week (vs. Swarm): 20PTS (6/15 20%); 4/9 3PM/A (44.4% 3P%); 9 REB; 1 AST; 2 STL; 3 TO

Malcolm Miller took full advantage of McKinnie’s absence, and we were able to see more of what he can bring to the table.

Good:

Miller shot 50 percent from the 3-point line against the Swarm, as one attempt was from 75 ft trying to beat the buzzer. When he’s wide open, or if his man is late at getting a hand on his face, it’s almost automatic.

Miller did an excellent job finding open spots around the perimeter, even taking advantage of a quick transition to get to an open spot while the defense is still sleeping. He seems to have a good idea whenever his defender is going strong to contest his 3-point shot and was able to counter this aggressiveness by driving to the basket. The box score does not reflect how active Miller was on the boards; he’s always flying trying to crash the boards to get an offensive rebound.

Bad:

Miller had a hard time scoring inside the arc on semi-isolation/post plays, which can be attributed to his lack of explosiveness in his first step and average handle.

Misc:

Miller received the ball near the top of the key and his defender took the shot away, so he decided to make a move to the basket, attracted multiple defenders, and found Bruno Caboclo cutting around the baseline for a dunk.

Lorenzo Brown

(27 Years, 4 Months)

This Week (vs Swarm): 8 PTS (3-15 FGM/A 20% FG%); 9 REB; 13 AST; 3 ST; 2 TO

Lorenzo Brown only played one game against the Swarm, and while he had a rough game offensively, his court vision was excellent.

Good:

Brown demonstrated excellent awareness of where his teammates are and did an excellent job attracting multiple defenders while threading the gaps with perfect passes that usually led to an assist. His court vision and passing were on fire — they’re truly at an NBA level. Had Brown’s teammates made some of the shots that he created for them, he could’ve easily broken Keane’s record for the most assists in a game for the 905 (15 AST).

Bad:

It was hard to tell whether Brown was just having an off day, or Swarm’s quicker and more physical defenders were giving him a hard time, or maybe a combination of both. The bottom line is, when Brown’s iso-mode didn’t work, he had a hard time scoring, as he either bricked perimeter shots (0-of-4 3PA) or turned them down to drive into the teeth of the defense. Think of DeMar DeRozan or Kyle Lowry in the playoffs.

Misc:

It didn’t show on the box score, but Brown had a clutch block on Cat Barber’s drive to the basket with about 12 seconds left in regulation. This defensive stop is crucial as the Swarm was trying to keep the game alive, down 4. The block resulted in a Swarm turnover and an end to that hope. It was also sweet revenge for Brown because Barber had been scoring at will, and even blocked him at one point.

Bruno Caboclo

(22 Years, 4 Months)

This Week (2 Games: vs Charge, vs Swarm): 11.5 PPG (31%), 2.5 3PM (28%), 5.5 REB, 1 AST, 1.5 STL, 0.5 BLK, 1.5 TO

As the only prospect (assignee/two-way) to play both games, Bruno was overall disappointing, highlighted by the quick hook that he received from coach Jerry Stackhouse during the first few minutes into the second half against Canton Charge.

Good:

While Bruno went 5-of-18 on 3PA altogether, aside from Davion Berry, he’s the only 905 player that can hit a contested three, mainly because of his length. He’s also not shy hoisting up a 3PA even though he’s struggling, as evident when he hit a dagger three against Swarm with 1:15 left in the game, which essentially sealed the game for the 905. In the same game, Bruno’s shown that he’s capable of cutting through the passing lane and finishing strong.

Bruno shot poorly in both games (2-of-7 and 3-of-11 3PM/A, respectively), but it’s also good to see him not shy away and aggressively look for his shots for most of the game, as his FGA have been trending down each month (November 14.5, December 13.3, January 12.3).

Defensively, this was not Bruno’s best week, but he’s doing a great job utilizing his length to stay with his man or as a help defender. I have to check whether NBA G League compiles stats based on the opposing shooting percentage, but my take here is this: the probability of a made shot feels low if Bruno can contest it, whether as a one-on-one or help defender (if he’s not too late).

Bad:

Rebounding and boxing out remain an issue for Bruno. For both games, he found himself in multiple situations where he was able to position well but couldn’t squeeze the rebound, or he was out of position to make a play for a rebound. Bruno’s had a few occasions where he would do a great job contesting the shot at the rim, only to surrender a put back because he couldn’t grab the rebound that’s within his reach.

Also, for a big man, it’s disappointing not to see Bruno have a single free throw attempt in two games.

Misc:

Bruno’s reach is so crazy; there was a sequence against the Swarm where Bruno and Aaron Best defended the pick and pop very well. Best got the deflection that got the ball all the way up, and Bruno’s arm just kept extending to tap the ball to Malcolm Miller for a fastbreak dunk.