Raptors 905 123, Memphis Hustle 135 | Box Score
Two-ways: Jordan Loyd (905), Yuta Watanabe, D.J. Stephens (Hustle)
The 2018 NBA G League Winter Showcase kicked off today with Raptors 905 taking on Memphis Hustle at the Mandalay Bay Convention Centre for the two teams’ first and only meeting this season.
Tyler Harvey led the Hustle with 25 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists, and two-way player Yuta Watanabe added 23 points and 11 rebounds as they held off the 905 for a 135-123 win. Seven players scored in double digits for Memphis in front of a crowd of scouts, team personnel and NBA staff.
Jordan Loyd led all scorers with 30 points, while Duane Notice and Deng Adel recorded 25 points and 20 points for the 905, respectively.
Loyd finally broke out of his 3-point shooting slump on the 905’s last possession of the half, pulling up off of a screen to cut the Hustle’s lead to single digits. But the 905’s lack of low interior defence continued to get exposed as Dusty Hannahs drove coast-to-coast for 2 of his total 17 points on the afternoon, giving Memphis a 71-60 lead heading into halftime. Without Boucher’s league-leading 4.8 blocks per game, Memphis would outscore the 905 in the paint 42-30 by the break.
Adel opened the second half with his first 3-pointer of the game, and a few possessions later he would make a play most scouts probably came to see, as he grabbed a rebound on the defensive end and ran the fast break before dishing a behind-the-back pass to Notice for a lay-up to cut the lead to 75-69.
The 905 managed to keep the game at bay, and a Watford 3-pointer cut their deficit to 104-99 with 9:38 left in 4th, but it was the closest they would come since they lost their lead in the first quarter. The 905 have now lost three in a row and are 0-4 this season with Boucher out of the lineup.
Previously held in the past two seasons at the then-Hershey Centre in Mississauga, the Winter Showcase is part of a four-day, 27-game event aiming to give NBA teams and scouts a chance to evaluate prospects ahead of a few key dates including the commencement of 10-day contracts on January 5th and the last day to sign NBA Two-Way contracts on January 15th. The 905 will square off against Texas Legends for the second and final game of the Showcase on Friday at 8PM eastern time.
- Two-Way 905 Player Notes
- After going 7 for 23 in his last outing, Jordan Loyd bounced back with a strong performance, scoring 30 points 8 of 18 shooting, including knocking down all 12 free throw attempts before fouling out late in the fourth quarter.
- Chris Boucher was not in the lineup after getting called up to Toronto on December 13th and his defensive presence was a blaring absence. With a lack of help defence and paint protection, the 905 were outscored 78-56 in the paint. Boucher had been leading the G League with 4.8 blocks per game.
- Other 905 Player Notes:
- Deng Adel likely impressed the most from the 905. He has the right combination of size, length and athleticism that NBA teams are craving, and his ability to play an all-around game was on display this afternoon. Adel finished with 20 points on 7 of 17 shooting, including two 3-pointers. He also had 7 rebounds and 2 blocks. Because Adel is not on a two-way contract, any NBA team could potentially bring him up and it wouldn’t be a surprise if Adel gets a few calls in the new year.
- Rodney Pryor has looked really good in his time with the 905 and was certainly a player that was expected to get a longer look from NBA teams during this four-day stretch. He immediately hit a 3-pointer on his first attempt off the bench and finished the game with 12 points, going 4 of 9 from long-range. Pryor had been shooting 47.3% from the field and 37.2% from beyond the arc since joining the 905 in November.
- Hustle Notes:
- Two-way player Yuta Watanabe returned to the Hustle for his first game since being placed on concussion protocol after a collision on December 7 versus Iowa Wolves. Watanabe became only the second Japanese player to ever play for an NBA team when he made his Grizzlies debut on October 27th against the Phoenix Suns. Watanabe is a 6-foot-9 forward that has good mobility and can shoot long-distance as well as provide a defensive presence. He recorded a double-double this afternoon (23-11), shooting 50% from the field and knocking down 11 of 12 free throws. The George Washington grad also had 3 blocks and 4 assists.