It was a slow week for coach Jama Mahlalela and his Raptors 905, appearing in only two games last week. None of the Raptors assignees played against the Windy City Bulls last Wednesday, but Chris Boucher and Jordan Loyd were back in action last Saturday on the road against the Greensboro Swarm. (Dial 905 will cover both games on Thursday.)
Here’s how the Raptors’ key prospects did during the week of light(er) work.
24 PTS, 56% FG% (10/18), 43% 3P% (3/7 3PM/A), 3 REB, 5 AST, 2 STL, 1 TO, +18 +/-
For the most part of the game against the Greensboro Swarm, Loyd (along with Boucher), provided the Raptors 905 the 1-2 punch they needed to pull out a win on the road.
Loyd had an efficient three quarters with a well-balanced offensive attack — perimeter shots, drives to the basket, off-ball cuts, fastbreak points — easily netting 22 points leading to the final period.
Coach Jama’s gave Loyd more and more opportunities to be a play-maker, and we are starting to see his excellent court vision. Loyd’s passes are on-point, and there were a few situations where he looked like he was going out of control, yet was able to find an open teammate with a decisive pass.
It seems that Loyd wanted to take over in the fourth quarter, but the plan backfired. Loyd was pressing too much — often a bit out of control driving to the basket against multiple defenders. One of these moments led to a crucial turnover after Loyd forced a floater and got called for an offensive foul. He ended the quarter going 1-for-5 with a turnover.
Not much to add here, so enjoy his highlight package below.
37 PTS, 50% FG% (12/24), 30% 3P% (3/10 3PM/A), 14 REB, X AST, 2 STL, 4 BLK, 0 TO, +14 +/-
The swarm tried to take away Boucher’s three-point shot, so he had to put the ball on the floor and was very successful at it. Boucher’s quickness was too much for Chinanu Onuaku who had to guard him from the perimeter and just don’t have the lateral quickness to hang with Boucher.
This game was probably Boucher’s worst game defensively, as he was eaten alive by Chinanu Onuaku in the paint. Onuaku hung 27 points against the Raptors 905 primarily against Boucher, who offered very little resistance to his post moves.
Boucher’s non-existent box-out effort also reared its ugly head in this game, giving up multiple rebounds — especially on the defensive end — simply because he just failed to box out.
Boucher’s defensive awareness when he was subjected to several pick-and-rolls was also suspect, as he got exploited by getting caught in no-man’s land.
Overall defensively for Boucher, aside from excellent help defense blocking layups that are coming his way and staying vertical around the basket, it felt like I was watching 2014-16 Bruno Caboclo out there.
Opposing teams are contesting Boucher’s perimeter shots more and more, and it’s starting to reflect in the stats. The Swarm are much more aggressive with chasing Boucher off the three-point line — all three of his eventual three-point makes were uncontested.