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Delaware Blue Coats v Raptors 905

Dial 905: Last Week’s Homestand In Review

The Raptors 905’s 2-2 homestand cost them the East’s top spot, but things are trending up for David Johnson and the bench mob.

Photo by Christian Bonin/NBAE via Getty Images

The Raptors 905 were home last week and had a subpar performance given how they started the regular season. They split their four games, 2-2, with their two wins coming at the expense of the not-so-good Windy City Bulls.

The Raptors 905 started the week with a loss against the Capital City GoGo, losing 116-112. It was a winnable game, but the team just didn’t have enough defensively to contain the GoGo’s guards. The mid-week series with the Bulls was a walk in the park, sweeping them on consecutive games.

Then the Raptors 905 capped off their week with a tilt against the Delaware Blue Coats, who almost ran them out of the gym. They managed to come back from a 26-point deficit, only to choke the game away. Perhaps, if the Raptors 905 played in front of a good crowd, they would have enough to close the game. However, it was a contrast of the talent level difference between the Philadelphia 76ers and Toronto Raptors assignees. The 76ers’ blue chips came up big when it mattered.

Reggie Perry looked more comfortable last week, averaging 24 points, 14 rebounds, 3.5 steals, and 1.5 blocks in two games. He’s been playing well enough that it wasn’t a surprise when the Indiana Pacers called him up for a 10-day contract.

Isaac Bonga’s fully settled in on his role as the “do everything else” guy for the team, where he’s got his fingerprints everywhere offensively and defensively. He’s basically the team’s starting centre now that Perry is expected to be out for a while. Bonga’s got a modest 14 points, 8.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 2 blocks per game, but what’s alarming is that his 3p% is plummeting, converting on 2-for-12 behind the arc last week. Unfortunately, Bonga had the game-ending turnover inbounding the ball against the Blue Coats.

The Raptors’ 2-way players showed some signs of life last week — David Johnson had a pair of excellent first-halves, and his three-point shooting is starting to pick up (he’s had better games during the Showcase Cup). He averaged 13.8 points and four assists per game while shooting 36.7% from the distance. He was only one of two 905ers that registered a positive +/- last week, a tough task to do if you are a starter, given their slow starts and that horrendous start against the Blue Coats. One thing for sure, Johnson was a good supporting cast offensively and defensively when the team made a few runs last week to turn things around during the game.

Justin Champagnie played in one game last week against the Blue Coats. He was part of the Raptors 905’s slow start, got his bearings back mid-game to help the team get back in the game, but was non-existent during crunch time. He finished with 15 points and six rebounds while hitting one three-pointer.

Before we go, we should give the bench their flowers for their excellent work last week. Last week, the bench averaged 44.5 points per game, including a 70-point explosion against the Windy City Bulls. Breein Tyree continues his resurgence, finishing with 14.5 points and 2.4 assists, but more importantly, shooting lights out. He shot 61.5% from behind the arc last week and 54.1% from the field overall. Those numbers are excellent, given how Tyree struggled after returning from his injury. Justin Smith was the main recipient of Reggie Perry’s call-up, and he put up 12.8 points and 7 rebounds last week, including his career-high 20 points and 11 rebounds against the Blue Coats. Not to be left off, but Raptors legend Jodie Meeks shot 71.4% on 2.3 attempts behind the arc last week. Masai, waive Svi and give this guy a contract!

Now, on to the games!

Capital City GoGo snap Raptors 905’s four-game winning streak

January 31, 2022, @ Paramount Fine Foods Centre, Capital City GoGo def Raptors 905, 116-112

Starters

Raptors 905: Kevon Harris, Isaac Bonga (NBA), David Johnson (2W), Ashton Hagans, Reggie Perry

Capital City GoGo: Jordan Schakel, Isaiah Todd (NBA), Jaime Echenique, Joel Ayayi (2W), Jordan Goodwin

Assignees

Raptors 905: Isaac Bonga (NBA), David Johnson (2W)

Capital City GoGo: Isiah Todd (NBA), Joel Ayayi (2W), Cassius Winston (2W)

The Raptors 905 is susceptible to a slow start despite a winning record. Such was the case last Monday against the Capital City GoGos, where the GoGos raced to an 8-0 lead out of the gate, as the Raptors 905 looked lethargic. Isaac Bonga and Reggie Perry kept the GoGos from pulling away, as the GoGo’s balanced attack got the Raptors 905 on their heels in the first quarter. The wheels came off a little bit midway through the second quarter for the Raptors 905. GoGo’s Jordan Schakel and Jordan Goodwin pretty much got what they wanted, building their biggest lead at 59-45.

Coach Patrick Mutombo’s starters responded much better to start the second half, going on a 16-2 run to briefly take a 66-63 lead midway through the third period. David Johnson’s 8 points in the 3rd period kept the Raptors 905 neck and neck with the GoGos. Still, a late quarter slippage allowed the GoGos to go on a 14-6 run behind Cassius Winston’s 8 points in the last three minutes to take an 85-80 lead heading into the final frame.

The Raptors 905 tried to claw back a few times in the fourth period, coming within two points several times in the quarter. Perhaps their best chance came midway through the quarter, with the Raptors 905 trailing 98-96. The hosts failed to capitalize on several opportunities, as both teams went scoreless over the next two minutes. Credit the GoGo’s defense. They forced the Raptors 905 into three misses and a costly shot-clock violation during that stretch. The Raptors 905 tried to extend the game by sending the GoGos to the line, but they ran out of time, as the hosts opened up the week with a loss.

Reggie Perry led all scorers with 27 points and 13 rebounds, while Isaac Bonga filled the stat sheet again with 16 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and two blocks. He did, unfortunately, have five turnovers. David Johnson added 13 points and five assists but was 3-for-10 from behind the arc. The GoGo’s guards were a handful for this game, as Jordan Goodwin dropped 23 points, while his backup Cassius Winston added 24 points off the bench.

Raptors 905 bully the Windy City Bulls at home

February 1, 2022, @ Paramount Fine Foods Centre, Raptors 905 def Windy City Bulls, 130-93

Starters

Raptors 905: Kevon Harris, Isaac Bonga (NBA), David Johnson (2W), Ashton Hagans, Reggie Perry

Windy City Bulls: Ethan Thompson, Daniel Oturu, Marko Simonovic (NBA), Kerwin Roach, Perrion Callandret

Assignees

Raptors 905: Isaac Bonga (NBA), David Johnson (2W)

Windy City Bulls: Marko Simonovic (NBA)

Reggie Perry and David Johnson’s hot start was too much for the Windy City Bulls, as the Raptors 905 build an early 14 point lead in the first quarter. The Bulls’ Daniel Oturu tried to keep them in the game, cutting the Raptors 905’s lead to five a couple of times. Too bad for the Bulls as Breein Tyree caught fire, scoring 14 points in the final four minutes of the first half, outscoring the Bulls 14-11 in the same period, building a 69-53 lead at the half.

Kevon Harris had quick seven points to start the second half, kickstarting an avalanche of scoring output pretty much from every Raptors 905 player. The Raptors 905’s bench crew led by Jodie Meeks and Aaron best closed the third quarter with a 21-6 run to put the game away at 104-67. The Bulls had no shame and allowed the Raptors 905 to lead by as much as 42 points in garbage time, eventually bowing out at 130-93. If this was a back-to-back game, the Bulls should have considered throwing the towel at the end of the third period.

Reggie Perry led all scorers with a fantasy line of 21 points, 15 rebounds, five assists, and two blocks. The Raptors 905’s bench had their season-high 70 points (whoa!) led by Breein Tyree’s 17 points and six assists. David Johnson cooled off in the second half and finished with 18 points. Daniel Oturu led the Bulls with 19 points and 10 rebounds, but nobody else on the team showed up.

Raptors 905 thump the Windy City Bulls for the second time in as many days

February 3, 2022, @ Paramount Fine Foods Centre, Raptors 905 def Windy City Bulls, 104-89

Starters

Raptors 905: Kevon Harris, Isaac Bonga (NBA), David Johnson (2W), Ashton Hagans, Justin Smith

Windy City Bulls: Ethan Thompson, Daniel Oturu, Marko Simonovic (NBA), Kerwin Roach, Bryce Alford

Assignees

Raptors 905: Isaac Bonga (NBA), David Johnson (2W)

Windy City Bulls: Marko Simonovic (NBA)

The Windy City Bulls are bad, but not bottom-of-the-standings bad. One thing for sure — the Raptors 905’s defensive gameplan is a bad match-up for the Bulls. The Bulls coughed up 21 turnovers and left their defense at the border, allowing the Raptors 905 to send them home via broomstick.

David Johnson had another strong first half, with he and Bonga scoring 12 points each as the Raptors raced to an 18 point lead in the second quarter. Kevon Harris and Breein Tyree took turns in the third quarter. They built a 20+ point lead several times before things got sloppy late in the third, and the Bulls cut the lead to 76-64 early in the fourth period. The Raptors 905 responded with a 16-4 run, building a 24 point lead, essentially turning the last seven minutes of the game into conditioning reps for Jodie Meeks.

Kevon Harris led the Raptors 905 with 18 points, 7 rebounds, and five dimes, while Isaac Bonga stuffed the stat sheet with 16 points, six rebounds, five assists, and two blocks. David Johnson finished with 16 points. Bulls’ rookie Marko Simonovic led all scorers with 24 points and 14 rebounds but had another nightmare game turning the ball over six times.

Raptors 905’s big comeback ends with choke job

February 5, 2022, @ Paramount Fine Foods Centre, Delaware Blue Coats def Raptors 905, 126-121

Starters

Raptors 905: Kevon Harris, Isaac Bonga (NBA), David Johnson (2W), Ashton Hagans, Justin Champagnie (2W)

Delaware Blue Coats: Jaden Springer (NBA), Shaquille Harrison, Paul Reed (NBA), Braxton Key, Haywood Highsmith

Assignees

Raptors 905: Isaac Bonga (NBA), David Johnson (2W), Justin Champagnie

Delaware Blue Coats: Jaden Springer (NBA), Paul Reed (NBA)

This game turned out to be a rollercoaster ride going from “worst game ever” to “best comeback ever,” only for the game to end up with a choke job. The visiting Delaware Blue Coats punched the Raptors 905 in the mouth early and often, holding the hosts to four points for the first eight minutes of the game. The Blue Coats’ aggressive transition game combined with the Raptors 905’s non-existent transition and interior defense allowed the Blue Coats to build an early 26-point lead.

For what seemed to be the theme of the game, the Philadelphia 76ers assignees set the tone and were the difference, as they dominated their Raptors 905 counterparts for the entire game. Jaden Springer and Paul Reed combined to score 16 points in the game’s first 15 minutes, while the threesome of Isaac Bonga, Justin Champagnie, and David Johnson combined for eight points.

It took a 26 point Blue Coats lead before the smelling salts kicked in, as coach Patrick Mutombo finally got the team to play their patented defense. Bonga, Champagnie, Ashton Hagans, Johnson, Aaron Best, and Justin Smith played lock-down defense, holding the Blue Coats to 5-for-15 shooting for the rest of the second frame. This time, it was Bonga and Champagnie’s turn to impact the game offensively, scoring eight and seven points, respectively. Still, Shaquille Harrison’s desperation heave went in, giving the Blue Coats a 59-44 lead at the half.

The Raptors 905’s assignees had a much better showing to start the third. Nevertheless, it wasn’t until the Bonga+bench units made a run to cut the lead to as little as six points before closing the third period with an 89-81 deficit. The Raptors 905’s bench mob continued to pressure the Blue Coats on both ends of the court, behind Breein Tyree’s 14 and Justin Smith’s 12 fourth-quarter points, as they broke the Blue Coats and put up a 113-105 lead with 4:30 left in the game.

Crunch time’s typically reserved for the team’s best players, and the 76ers’ assignees showed the Raptors how it’s done. Springer and Reed imposed their will to get the Blue Coats to go on a 23-8 run to finish the game, outscoring their counterparts 23-4 and stealing the game back. Breein Tyree led the Raptors 905 with 22 points, while Justin Smith and Kevon Harris had 20 points each. Isaac Bonga had another all-around game of 14 points, 8 rebounds, four assists, and four blocks. Jaden Springer had 23 points and Paul Reed with a monster double-double of 26 points, 15 rebounds, and three blocks for the Blue Coats.

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