Long Island Nets 114, Raptors 905 106 | Box Score
Assignees: Chris Boucher, Malcolm Miller (905)
Two-ways: Theo Pinson, Alan Williams (Nets), Jordan Loyd (905)
Despite a game-high 32 points from Jordan Loyd, the 905 could not make up an early deficit, losing to the Nets by eight. Chris Boucher played his first game with the 905 since signing his NBA deal, scoring 26 and adding 14 rebounds. But he was virtually matched by his counterpart Alan Williams, who scored 21 points, including a critical post-up late in the 4th.
“Boucher’s gotta improve on (his post defence),” Head Coach Jama Mahlalela said post game. “When he did establish good defensive position and forced Williams to the logo, he was able to defend him really well. That’s good because Williams is a heck of a player. But the early work is important and a continued part of his growth as a pro.”
While the 905 started three NBA-caliber players in Boucher, Loyd and Malcolm Miller, Long Island countered with its top NBA prospect, Theo Pinson, who scored a team-high 24.
With the loss the 905 fall out of a tie with the Nets for second place in the East. They play their third game in five days on Sunday against the Sioux Falls Skyforce.
- 905 Two-way notes
- Jordan Loyd – after starting the game 1-for-6 and 0-for-3 from deep, Loyd’s offence exploded. He made a number of tough threes, including two four-point plays. Loyd scored 32 points on 10-for-19 from the field, and 5-for-9 from three point range. He also had a couple good pocket passes to bigs for easy baskets, leading to five assists.
- Nets Two-way notes
- Theo Pinson – Pinson showed why he’s played 11 games with the Brooklyn Nets this season. At 6’6, he’s got the handle of an NBA point guard. While his first step was effective, his ability to handle in tight quarters and find space to get his shot off in traffic was even more impressive. Pinson also has range. His final line – 10-for-2o from the field, 3-for-6 from three, for 24 points. His best highlight came in the second quarter when he made miraculous scoop in transition to extend Long Island’s lead to 15. Shortly after, Pinson blew by Boucher and threw down a vicious two-hander in his face.
- Alan Williams – the Nets big man got his shot blocked a bunch by Boucher, but he also exposed an element of Boucher’s game that Mahlalela continues to harp on. While Boucher is exceptional at the art of the rejection, averaging 4.2 blocks a game, Coach Mahlalela says he has to improve on keeping his man from getting prime position before the catch, which was an issue on Saturday. Williams scored 21 points on 9-for-15 from the field.
- Assignee Notes
- Chris Boucher – there are very few NBA players at 6’11 that have his quality handle on the fast break. After barely playing since signing his NBA contract, Boucher got a lot of running in early, leading to multiple fast breaks where he was able to finish or draw fouls. Boucher also had several hammer dunks on pick-and-roll pocket-passes. Defensively he had five blocks and changed a number of other shots around the rim. However, as mentioned above, Boucher’s post defence was spotty at times. Also unfortunate – with the 905 down seven with six minutes left in the fourth, Boucher grabbed an offensive rebound. Instead of passing to a guard to reset the offence, he hoisted a quick, contested three from the elbow, which rimmed out. “I think shot selection is a big difference maker for him,” Mahlalela said. “He makes the offensive rebound, which is the big play. Then (the) errant three – there’s no value to it. Even it goes in it’s sort of just a prayer anyway. It’s about his shot selection, his growth as a player, his understanding score, time, situation, and learning about those things. We’ll be able to watch the film now, so when he’s in that situation in the NBA, he can hopefully make a better decision.”
- Important admin note
- The 905 play again at home on Sunday. Raptors Republic readers can get a discount on tickets using the code REPUBLIC905.