Showcase Cup Game 06
Raptors 905: Darryl Morsell, Ron Harper Jr., Omari Moore, Makur Maker, Mo Gueye
Westchester Knicks: Brandon Goodwin, Jaylen Martin, Charlie Brown Jr. (TW), Jacob Toppin (TW), Isaiah Roby
Raptors 905: Ron Harper Jr. (TW)
Westchester Knicks: Jacob Toppin (TW), Charlie Brown Jr. (TW)
At the end of the day, a loss is a loss. It’s just another digit in the Win/Loss column. However, how the Raptors 905 took their sixth straight loss at the hands of the Westchester Knicks was unacceptable, trailing by as much as 39 points before making it look decent with a 125-101 final score.
Ron Harper Jr. and Kevin Obanor had 20 points apiece for the Raptors 905, with Obanor being the lone 905er with less than three turnovers for this game. Mo Gueye added 17 points, nine boards, and six blocks. Makur Maker had a bit of a bounce-back game, finishing with 12 points and nine boards.
The Raptors 905’s laundry list of inactive is as follows: Justise Winslow (ankle), Markquis Nowell (rib), Jaylen Morris (non-Covid illness), Javon Freeman-Liberty (ankle).
Jacob Toppin led the Westchester Knicks with 37 points and 10 boards, doing plenty of damage in transition and wide-open perimeter shots. Isaiah Roby chipped in 16 points, six boards, and six assists while shooting 4-for-7 from the perimeter. Raptors 905 old friend Obadiah Noel was a thorn in the 905’s side, tallying five picks for the night.
The story of the night was the Raptors 905’s ability to turn the ball over in every possible manner, committing 30 (20 in the first half) turnovers leading to 52 points off turnovers for the Knicks. This iteration of Raptors 905 set the franchise record for most turnovers in a game, beating the 28 turnovers made by the Fred VanVleet/Axel Toupane/Bruno Caboclo 905 team against Long Island Nets back in 2016. The Raptors also allowed several wide-open perimeter shots, allowing the Knicks to make 15 trifectas on 38.5% shooting.
The Raptors 905 made a pit stop in Westchester for their final road game of the month, and I’m pretty sure this banged-up team’s looking forward to returning home to regroup. After all, it’s been a bad four-game stretch for them, where injuries derailed any chance of winning. With Ron Harper Jr. and Jaysean Paige coming back for this game, they might have enough to steal this game, or at the very least, make it competitive.
Ron Harper Jr. and Darryl Morsell shared the ball-handling duties vacated by Markquis Nowell, who missed the game due to a bruised rib. Despite Morsell looking out of control for most of the game, the Raptors 905 managed to keep up with the Knicks in the first quarter. Maker looked good early, as he helped Harper Jr. get a layup, made his trifecta, and acute a lob from Harper Jr. as he rolled to the basket. Mo Gueye blocked almost everything, tallying four blocks in the first period.
Mo G's got 4 BLOCKS in the 1st quarter pic.twitter.com/Mh7ovadZTA— Raptors 905 (@Raptors905) November 21, 2023
The Raptors 905 made 3 trifectas in the quarter, and they could generate a decent offensive output through the first quarters. While the Westchester Knicks ended the first period with the 28-27 lead, it felt like the Raptors 905 could do more damage than what they’ve shown up to that point, as they left (or have given up) so many points on the board as they committed eight turnovers in the period, with mostly unforced.
Unfortunately, the Raptors 905’s compete-level ended there. The Knicks turned it up defensively, employing full-court press on almost every down. They blew the game wide open with a 25-4 run to start the second period, turning a one-point lead into a 53-31 lead. That full-court defense put the Raptors 905 in a blender, as they could barely make it past half-court several times, and if they did, they still unbelievably managed to cough up the ball with very little to no resistance from their defenders. Next thing you know, the Raptors 905 closed the half, committing more turnovers (20) than field goals made.
Even more disappointing was how the Raptors 905 allowed the Knicks to rack up their transition points, especially those that came off misses. Defensively, they also fell apart, missing rotations, miscommunications, and giving wide-open perimeter shots. The Knicks ended the half with a massive 69-41 lead. They led with at least 30+ points for most of the third and early part of the fourth period before the Knicks eased off the pedal and allowed the Raptors 905 to pad up their score in garbage time.
Help on the way?
The Raptors 905 traded for Kobi Simmons’ returning rights for Sterling Brown and Gabe Brown’s returning rights. Simmons had been a lifer in Charlotte Hornets stable, playing for Greensboro Swarm for the last three seasons, and even earning a Two-Way contract at the end of last season.