Westchester Knicks 111, Raptors 905 102 | Box Score
Two-ways: Isaiah Hicks (Knicks), Chris Boucher (905)
Assignees: Malachi Richardson (905)
The 905 were shut out in the final three minutes of the 4th quarter, allowing the Knicks to pull away for a nine point win, snapping the 905’s three-game winning streak. Early in the season Jama Mahlalela said one of the biggest differences between professional basketball and the college ranks is that in the pros, the outcome comes down to crunch time way more often.
“We missed a lot of plays. We were in the wrong places, wrong spaces,” 905 Head Coach Jama Mahlalela said after the game. “A lot of them are players not knowing each other. Having (new point guard) Josh Adams lead the charge and not having a practice with us really makes it unique and different. It’s about growth. We’re gonna get better at execution once they have a practice or two under their belt. Either way – to my earlier point – being a professional player is the ability to execute and we didn’t do that.”
Chris Boucher was playing his third game in three nights, including two games with the 905, sandwiched by an eight-point, 12 minute performance with the parent club. Despite the heavy workload, he still managed to put up some gaudy stats – 25 points 13 rebounds, four blocks, and yet, the Knicks decisively won the battle inside. Their bigs of Isaiah Hicks and Jameel Warney hammered the 905 for 20 and 18 points respectively, many of them coming on postups.
“This would be a great case study for us in terms of learning post defence,” Mahlalela said. “You gotta do your work earlier. Once (the opposing big) has caught the ball now it’s really tough. The work you do before he catches the ball, and winning the battle of two or three feet, pushing him six feet vs three feet makes a difference in your defence. And that’s what we gotta get better at, because they really took it to us in the paint.”
- Two-Way 905 Player Notes
- Boucher – looked like the back-to-back-to-back was affecting him early. In the first quarter, Boucher didn’t contest a bunch of paint touches where you would have expected an emphatic block, and he was scoreless in the opening frame. But he woke up in the second – hitting his patented elbow three, then throwing down a right handed dunk while drifting to his left, away from the basket. On the ensuing defensive possession he stole the ball from Knicks small forward Billy Garrett at half court and jumped approximately eight feet for another monster slam. He had 14 in the quarter. He scored 13 in the second half, mostly inside, but the Knicks went after him on defence in the post, with their bigs constantly getting deep position, leading to easy shots around the rim.
- Jordan Loyd – out – with Raptors in Indianapolis.
- Other 905 Player Notes
- Malcolm Miller – returned to pro ball sic months after hurting his shoulder in summer league. As expected Miller looked a bit rusty. He went 1-for-4 in 16 minutes, including 1-for-3 from distance. “This was sort of the old car that hasn’t been turned on in a while,” Mahlalela said with a smile. “I think he’s 3-4-5 games before we can really expect anything of real substance. But happy with his effort. He enjoyed being out there. First one’s out of the way, now he can lock into basketball again and figure out what areas he actually has to improve in his game.”
- Malachai Richardson – was relatively quiet, but for a couple timely threes to keep the game close. 4-for-11 from the field, 3-for-8 from three. I’m not sure what his NBA career might be but his three point shot looks amazing at times. On defence, Mahlalela is hoping for Richardson to improve covering gaps and effectively using his lead-hand (or “stick hand”, as Mahlalela calls it) to disrupt / contest.
- Josh Adams – playing his second game with the 905, Adams looks like a tantalizing prospect. He’s only 6’2 but he’s hyper-athletic, and has incredible elevation and accuracy on his jump shot. Mahlalela has already called some of his skills “elite”. Adams went 7-for-12 from the field, including a couple late-clock bail-out jumpers (yes that’s a term) to keep the game tight. There was some chemistry developing with the 905’s bigs, as he racked up 5 assists. Granted, nine turnovers sticks out, but Adams has yet to practice with the team, so the sharpnesss will come.
- 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. Next up: the 905 host the Windy City Bulls on Saturday at 2pm.