Capital City Go-Go 104, Raptors 905 137 | Box Score
Two-ways: (none for Go-Go), Chris Boucher, Jordan Loyd (905)
The 905’s bench exploded for 23 points in the second quarter to blow the game open, then the starters buried the Go Go in the third, en route to a blowout win. The 905 set a franchise record with 23 three pointers, beating the old mark of 20, which was set earlier this year on another 11am tip time. The 905 are now 3-and-0 in that time slot, with an average margin of victory of 29 points.
Rodney Pryor had his best game since joining the 905, scoring a personal and team-high 27 points, including seven threes, many of them well-contested.
“He’s a really elite shooter. He really finds a way to stroke it,” Head Coach Jama Mahlalela said after the game. “He’s almost Lou Williams-esque, in terms of his ability to score off the bench, and that’s a really good commodity. He’s gotta continue working on his defence and working on his skill set. But he’s a Summer League and potential NBA guy in terms of the way he can shoot it, without question.”
Outside of Pryor, no player cracked the 20 point mark, but the efficiency was brutal (in a good way). Chris Boucher went 8-for-10 for 18 points, to go with 11 rebounds and five blocks. Malcolm Miller continued his ascent in his fourth game back from injury, going 5-for-8 for 12 points, 2-for-5 from three, four assists, and a plus-10. And Jordan Loyd was steady, going 4-for-9 for 15 points, 2-for-5 from three, with nine assists, and seven rebounds, all en route to a 137-104 beat down in front of thousands of screaming children on Bell Let’s Talk Day. It also helped that the Go Go were fielding an eight man roster, with both of their two-way players out of the lineup.
- Two-Way 905 Player Notes
- Boucher – Before the game Mahlalela mentioned the importance of Boucher increasing his efficiency, perhaps hoping to curtail the seven threes he attempts per game, at a 30.9% clip. He obliged (or just took what the defence gave him), shooting 80% from the field, with just one three pointer attempted.
- Boucher also showed off a new wrinkle to his skill set that’s been evident over the last few games. In reacting to different coverages, including being matched up against smaller, quicker players, Boucher has been doing a great job sealing off his defender when he’s being fronted. The space Boucher creates combined with his soft hands leaves the 905’s guards a hefty margin for error on entry passes over the top. After the catch Boucher is great at elevating in tight spaces to lay it in.
- Defensively Boucher had three soul-crushing blocks in first quarter – one on a three point shot, one at the rim, where he essentially swallowed Duje Dukan’s layup, and one from mid range. In the third quarter Boucher had two virtually identical, eye-popping swats on the baseline where it looked like he nearly hit his head on the backboard.
- The blocks mentioned by Boucher above were (I believe) all off help defence. In terms of one on one “D”, Mahlalela has harped on Boucher working to have his man catch the ball further from the basket, since he’s often out-muscled when the opposing player catches inside. Today the Go Go went at Boucher early, with centre Darel Poirier able to back him down from outside the key for a couple bunnies. But after four points in the first few minutes, Boucher adjusted, and Poirier only managed four more.
- Jordan Loyd – his continual evolution from score-first combo guard to facilitator is impressive. He had six assists to just one turnover in the first half. His best pass didn’t even count as an assist, since the shooter missed, but in the first quarter Loyd made a great ball fake for a pass inside in semi transition, sucking in the defence, then whipping a crosscourt pass to Rodney Pryor who missed the corner three. Loyd and I had the same vantage point on that pass, and I don’t know how he saw him. He also had a brilliant pocket pass to Christian Watford in a tightly guarded pick and roll (Watford made the three). In the third quarter Loyd’s offence got rolling. He went 3-for-5 in the frame, including a nasty step- back three to stretch the lead to 31.
- Other 905 Player Notes
- Malcolm Miller – playing his fourth game, and second straight start since a shoulder injury kept him out of action for six months, Miller looked spry. He started the game with a big dunk to get the packed house roaring, then he made a smooth elbow three. Later in the first half there was some play making we hadn’t seen since his return. On two sequences Miller caught a pass while curling just above the free throw line, creating a mini 2-on-1 with Boucher. On both plays, Miller did a nice job with his eyes to keep the defender from anticipating if he was going to pass or go up himself. The first play led to a layup for Miller, the second led to an assist to Boucher for a basket of his own.
- Josh Adams – the athleticism on the 6’2 guard is undeniable – he had a Dr. J-esque reverse layup, a Jordan Loyd-esque Statue of Liberty Layup, and another layup while nearly doing the splits in mid air. His jumper is also pretty, the touch is soft and he gets great elevation, leading to a solid 7-fot-15 night for 16 points (just 1-for-6 from three). But after four turnovers today he’s averaging nearly five in five games with the team. Mahlalela doesn’t want to discourage his fearlessness when he goes to the hoop, but Adams makes a habit of trying very ambitious finishes leading to scary falls. Over the last couple games, Adams can be seen holding his lower back in pain on a few occasions.
- Rodney Pryor – such a pure stroke. Pryor hit three big threes with the starters out to open the second quarter, and a heat-check step-back jumper extended the lead to 55-32. He stayed hot in the second half, making one difficult jumper after another. 10-for-15 from the field, 7-for-11 from three in his best game with the 905.
- 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.