G-League

905’s New Addition Baldwin Stars in Blowout Win

Capital City Go-Go 119, Raptors 905 135 | Box Score
Two-ways: Jordan Loyd (905), Jordan McRae (Go-Go)
Assignees: Chris Boucher, Malcolm Miller (905)
Highly notable pickup off waivers: Wade Baldwin IV (905)

In just his second game with the 905, Wade Baldwin IV scored a team-high 27 points en route to a blowout win over Capital City Go-Go. Go-Go swingman Jordan McRae had a game-high 44 points in the loss. The game was virtually decided by half time, as the 905 shot 13-for-23 from behind the arc through two quarters, resulting in a 29 point lead. Also helpful was the 905 boasting their best starting lineup of the season, which featured four NBA-caliber players in Baldwin, Chris Boucher, Malcolm Miller and Jordan Loyd.

Boucher had a quiet scoring night by his standards, tallying 19 points while adding eight rebounds and two blocks. After going just 1-for-5 in the first half, Loyd made five of eight shots in the second leading to his fifth straight game of 20-plus points.

The 905 are in third place in a very tight Eastern Conference race. They are just a game back of Lakeland for second, who they face in the final two games of the season. Those may be critical, as the top two teams in each conference get a bye to the second round. The 905 go on their annual west coach swing, starting in Salt Lake City against the Stars on Monday.

Notes

  • 905 Two-Way Notes
    • Jordan Loyd
      • Loyd had scored over 20 in each of his last four games coming in, but with so much scoring punch alongside him on Saturday, he didn’t feel the need to hunt his shot down early on. It also helped that his team shot 56.5% from deep thru two quarters. Loyd played the more traditional point guard role early on, dishing out seven assists in the first half. In the second half Loyd was more aggressive in terms of driving, hitting a couple tough shots around the rim. After the quiet first half Loyd still managed another 20 point game.
      • Loyd has had to undergo multiple transformations throughout the season. When 5’9 point guard Key Felder was on the roster, Loyd was mainly a two / combo-guard, tasked more often with scoring than running the offence. When Felder was cut, Loyd assumed the modern NBA point guard role, playing the one, but asked to score a lot, especially with Boucher spending significant time with the Raptors. Now, with Baldwin (and his NBA resume) joining the backcourt, Loyd will have to balance his facilitation of the offence with his scoring while complimenting the needs and talents of another 6’4 guard with a similar skill set. With just eight games left in the regular season, another adjustment will be a tough, but achievable task. “We have a plethora of riches,” Head Coach Jama Mahlalela said pregame. “We got multiple guys that can handle. Canton (their last opponent) runs a 2-2-1 press and it had no effect because you got three point guards out there so it’s just easy. As we continue to move forward we gotta keep finding each guy their exact right role and put them in their position of strength.”
  • Assignee Notes:
    • Chris Boucher  
      • Boucher’s scoring remains impressive and efficient, going 8-for-13 on Saturday for 19 points, but his development defensively is part of what will help him stick in the NBA. On Saturday, Boucher was solid, never jumping out of position on up fakes, which has been an issue at times, and being content with a good contest rather than the spectacular block. On a couple possessions he was forced to switch onto G League leading scorer Jordan McRae, and he handled himself well. Boucher diligently moved his feet, didn’t foul, offered excellent contests, and avoided getting blown by. One notable exception to Boucher not going for the big block – in the fourth quarter he flew at a Pe’Shon Howard corner three, swatting the ball past the hockey side boards, a good 15 feet from the sideline. It was ridiculous.
  • Other player notes:
    • Wade Baldwin IV
      • In just his second game with the 905 after getting cut by the Pacers, Baldwin looked comfortable. In the first quarter Baldwin dominated, drilling threes from the corner and elbow, hitting a foul line jumper, and making a nice euro step in transition. Midway through the second he showed some nice chemistry with 905 centre Derek Cooke Jr., waiting patiently on a two-on-one for the defender to commit before throwing a perfect lob for an alley oop, hitting him with a great touchdown pass in transition for a layup, which drew a foul, and throwing another nice lob in semi-transition with Cooke’s defender napping.  After missing a couple tough shots early in the third, he had a strong baseline drive that ended with some eye-popping elevation and a dunk. In the fourth Baldwin threw an impressive Lebron-like whip-pass from his side to a cutting Malcolm Miller, who drew a foul. Otherwise Baldwin was quiet in the fourth until he made perhaps the game-clinching play. With four minutes left and a once-huge lead down to 14, Baldwin jumped the passing lane for a steal and threw down a one handed dunk in transition going full speed.
      • The Grizzlies selected Baldwin 17th overall in 2016. After one season, Memphis waived him. From there he spent two seasons in the Blazers system, where he played 23 total games with the parent club. This past trade deadline Baldwin was dealt multiple times within a few days, eventually getting cut by the Pacers. It’s surely been a trying few pro seasons for Baldwin, but his transient career hasn’t shaken his confidence. “The experience taught me it’s a business,” Baldwin said post game. “One day you’re up, one day you’re the man because you’re guarding James Harden, the next day you’re traded three times and then waived. You never know. They always talking about having an even keel, and that’s the approach I’ve gotta have. I believe I’m an NBA player, rotation guy, talent, all that. It’s opportunity. That’s the business it is.”
  • Go-Go Two-Way Notes
    • Jordan McRae
      • At 30.9 points a game, the G League’s leading scorer loves making difficult shots. McRae hit a number of pretty and contested mid-range shots in the first half, along with a couple smooth drives and finishes at the rim. With his team down 29 at half, McRae scored 15 in the third in a similarly impressive fashion. His final line – 15-for-26 from the field, 44(!) points.
    • Admin note
      • The 905 play again at home on Monday March 11. Raptors Republic readers can get a discount on tickets using the code REPUBLIC905.

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