G-League

Boucher Struggles in G League Return; 905 fall to Red Claws

Maine Red Claws 102, Raptors 905 89  | Box Score 
Two-ways: P.J. Dozier (Red Claws), Chris Boucher (905)
Assignees: Malachi Richardson (905)

The 905 welcomed back Chris Boucher after over two weeks with the parent club, and had Malachi Richardson on assignment, but the offence struggled for much of the night, shooting a combined 35% from the field, leading to a 13 point loss to the 6-and-14 Maine Red Claws.

Boucher may have been tired, having closed out the 4th quarter in Orlando the night before, landing in Toronto at 2am ahead of a 2pm tip in Mississauga. Hard to find another explanation for a season-low 14 points on a season-worst field goal percentage, going 4-for-14 (28.6%). Malachi Richardson was streaky, starting 1-for-6 before making six straight shots, finishing the game with 30 points on 9-for-22 from the field, 7-for-16 from three.

After trailing by 17 in the 2nd quarter, the 905 rode a 6-for-10 third quarter from Malachi Richardson to pull within 5 headed into the 4th. But the offence only managed 3 points for the first five minutes of the final frame, and the 905 never got closer than 6. Red Claw two-way PJ Dozier played a big part in the surprising road win, pouring in 26 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists. Another big reason for the loss was the absence of the reining G League Player of the Week Jordan Loyd, who left Thursday’s win over Lakeland with a sprained ankle. The 905 head into 2019 with a 14-and-7 record, good for second in the Eastern Conference.

Notes

  • Two-Way 905 Player Notes
    • Boucher went 3-for-3 from deep against the Magic, and he managed to shoot four more threes in the first 6 minutes against Maine, making two of them. After that Boucher seemed to have his legs back, adding a dunk and changing multiple shots on defence. But the G League’s leading scorer couldn’t get anything easy from the second quarter on, and it looked like frustration took over, with Boucher screaming audible F-bombs throughout the game. Whether it was after a miss where he wanted a foul call, or on defence, where he reemed out a teammate for a miscommunication on a pick and roll, Boucher did not appear to be himself on Saturday. Perhaps the late flight combined with the emotional switch going from NBA to G League played a part. 
  • Other 905 Player Notes
    • Richardson didn’t get a chance to practice with the 905, and it showed. Coach Mahlalela said before the game that he didn’t want his NBA assignee to go one on one, rather he wanted to simulate the parent Raptors’ offence from a wing perspective. But the ball often stopped in Richardson’s hands, and there was a lot of dribbling before he made his decisions. It’s not necessarily an indication of selfishness, but more likely an unfamiliarity with his teammates. Either way, Richardson started cold, but showed why he was a late-first round pick in the third quarter, drilling a number of tough jumpers with that tantilizing elevation and follow-through.
    • MiKyle McIntosh – the Toronto native joined the 905 in Vegas last week during the G League Showcase, becoming the team’s fourth Canadian. At 6’7, 240 pounds, McIntosh has shown a great ability to create space and finish down low. He went 5-for-8 for 14 points on Saturday, with early returns showing the 905 have made another excellent mid-season pickup. (The other being sharpshooter Rodney Prior, who left Saturday’s game after falling hard on a layup attempt in the 2nd quarter.)
  • Two-Way Red Claw Player Notes
    • PJ Dozier – the Red Claw two-way was problematic all game. His touch inside is silky, able to use his length to find tough angles a la Paskal Siakam. Dozier was ice cold from three, going 1-for-7, and the 905’s defence adjusted by giving him more room outside. But all it did was give Dozier more runway to drive the lane to work his magic.
  • IMPORTANT ADMIN NOTE
    • Once again this year, the code REPUBLIC905 will get you a discount on Raptors 905 tickets. Do it! The team is fun.

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