With the Raptors on the road in Orlando and Atlanta late this week, it was a different setup for the 905.
Injuries to OG Anunoby, C.J. Miles, and Norman Powell have forced Chris Boucher and Jordan Loyd to shade towards the NBA side, just so the Raptors can field a full roster. While those two didn’t see much meaningful action for Toronto, they were with the team just the same — leaving some new guys to step up in Mississauga.
The new centrepieces this week were Kay Felder and Duane Notice. Felder, the score-first point guard who played 42 games in 2016-17 with the Cleveland Cavaliers (4.0 points, 1.0 rebounds, 1.4 assists per game), did what he knows how to do — shoot and score in high volume. With Felder pacing, Notice also had a couple nice games next to him in the starting backcourt. The Woodbridge, Toronto native is emerging as a cool story for the hometown 905 this season, and is definitely a guy to watch when the two-way players are called up.
Let’s get into what else happened in this week’s recap.
Thursday, November 15 at Maine Red Claws
Both the 905 and Red Claws were geared to the teeth in this one, with Loyd and Boucher present for the Raptors and two-way players P.J. Dozier and Walter Lemon Jr. (great name!) for Maine.
This was another massive game for Boucher, who had 32 points on just 18 shots, eight rebounds, and four blocks. The game was mostly even going into the fourth quarter, which is when Kay Felder — strong in a supporting role — ran off a short run of points to get the narrow 905 win. Felder would finish with 29 points (8-for-19), seven assists, and four rebounds.
Watford continues in a bench role
Christian Watford continues to be the 905’s bench scorer, as he had two key triples in this one to keep the game close in the second half. He ended up shooting 3-for-7 total from distance, helping prop up an otherwise 29 per cent night from three for Toronto.
Saturday, November 17 vs. Delaware Blue Coats
Fresh off an overtime loss to the Celtics, the Raptors lightened up their roster with the usual Kawhi Leonard rest game — meaning Boucher, Loyd, and Malachi Richardson were headed for the Windy City.
The 905 played just eight guys on Saturday without their two-way players in tow (using a roster spot on a rehabilitating Malcolm Miller is a necessary evil, but one just the same), and looked ragged in a 126-111 loss to Delaware.
Felder would lead the team in points with 23, albeit coming on 23 shots. It was Duane Notice and Kyle Collinsworth who offset those percentages, as the two had solid evenings — combining for 33 points on 21 shots.
The 905 couldn’t slow down Blue Coats shooting guard Shake Milton, though, who had 33 points and ten rebounds — marking a game-high +26 in the win. Toronto actually led early in the game, but by the second half were looking fatigued. Delaware built an 18-point lead after three quarters and it was over from there.
Defence from Adel
A good all-over-the-court game from starting small forward Deng Adel. In 34 minutes, the rangy wing had 13 points, eight rebounds, and two steals, and continues to show some good intensity on the defensive end. While the 905 are skinny inside, having perimeter defenders like Adel definitely helps.
Wednesday, November 21 vs. Windy City Bulls
Windy City 99
The 905 would get some rest headed into this game, but would once again have just eight players with the Raptors in Atlanta on the same night. This one went as well as you could expect considering the beginning, where the Bulls opened up a 32-9 lead after one quarter.
It was a rough shooting night overall for Toronto. They finished 7-for-36 on three-pointers, including Kay Felder going just 3-for-16. Not shy to gun, the point guard had 33 points, but needed 32 shots to get there.
The 905 made two runs to try to make it a game. In the first half, Duane Notice went off for 11 straight points to get the game into single-digits. In the second half, some great two-way play from Adel got the game within three points.
The game got a little ugly late, overall, and the 905 just weren’t able to close with any meaningful offence. Eventually, the bad shooting caught up with them.
Khadeem Latin sighting!
On a night where only two 905ers shot better than 50 per cent — one of them being Notice’s 8-for-15 — it’s worth mentioning centre Khadeem Latin, who went 4-for-7 for ten points, adding 12 boards. The Oklahoma alum isn’t huge at 6’9”, 215 pounds, but (surprise surprise) has some impact on the game with his wingspan. Nice to see him get a run, even if it’s in a loss.