Final Score | Raptors 905 113, Fort Wayne Mad Ants 96 | Box Score
Two Ways: Paul Watson Jr. (905)
Inactive: Oshae Brissett (905), Duane Notice (905), Jawun Evans (905), Brian Bowen II (Mad Ants), Naz Mitrou-Long (Mad Ants), Walt Lemon Jr. (Mad Ants), DJ McCall (Mad Ants)
Make that three in a row for the 905 as they win their third straight game at home. The Raptors 905 have figured out how to close games as they push for a playoff spot, even without key players in Jawun Evans, Duane Notice, and Oshae Brissett. Toronto are now sitting in 9th place after their win over Fort Wayne, and through a strong defensive effort, were able to keep the Mad Ants, a team who averages 112.6 points per game, to just 96 points.
Whoever Says Size Matters Has Never Watched the Raptors 905: The Fort Wayne Mad Ants are massive. For any other team to match up against them in the paint would be intimidating, but not for the 905, who figured out halfway through the game that heart and hustle will beat size nearly every time. Tyler Ennis finished with 9 rebounds, making him one shy of a triple-double. Matt Morgan, the smallest player on the floor, finished with 3, all of which were on the defensive end. For Morgan, who is listed at 6’2 to be able to out rebound multiple players head and shoulders taller than him is a testament to the 905’s hustle. Coach Jama Mahlalela had spoken before the game about asking Morgan to play more aggressively, and he did not disappoint.
Let’s Get Physical: Sagaba Konate is a very nice young man who is made up of approximately 96% muscle. His muscles have muscles. He could probably squish watermelons under his armpits if he wanted to. So when Travin Thibodeaux made the ever-wise decision to push Sagaba into the scorer’s table for absolutely no reason whatsoever, the arena held their collective breath while wondering if Thibodeaux had realized the gravity of his mistake. He didn’t, and after going to chest to chest, he and Konate were separated by a referee, though the animosity remained. Sagaba played almost 9 minutes, and Travin played almost 16. Had either played any more, things would have definitely gotten chippier, and Sagaba would have countered Travin’s push by swinging him around by his ankles and letting go like Mrs. Trunchbull in Matilda.
Big Bank Hank: Henry Ellenson had the quietest 30 points game that has ever been witnessed. Every shot was calculated with the precision of an open-heart surgeon, and only 2 of his 30 points came from free throws. The other 28 points came from everywhere and every way. Spinning past Alize Johnson in the paint, and dunking off of a hand-off from Devin Robinson, the Mad Ants could not game-plan for Ellenson, who shot 4 of 7 from 3, and 12 of 17 from the field, the best shooting percentage of both teams.
Get Well Soon, Devin: Devin Robinson has been playing the best basketball we have ever seen from him. He is proving that he is more than just a dunk machine, and is improving every aspect of his game. So much so that he is doing things that make you wonder how such a long, lanky body can do things like find his way through traffic and kick the ball out to a teammate with a better shooting opportunity. He has truly transformed from a human highlight reel into a Swiss Army knife of team basketball. This makes him getting injured with 1.8 seconds left in the third quarter all the more devastating. Injuries with such little time left are, objectively, the most crushing because they feel so easily avoidable. Robinson was taken to the hospital after being checked out by the team doctors, but there is no update on his health as of yet. Prior to injury, Devin had accumulated 16 points and 13 rebounds, the team’s only double-double outside of Tyler Ennis’ 21 points and 15 assists.
Hey you there! Raptors Republic is hooking you up with a sweet discount code for Raptors 905 tickets. Follow this link and use the code RR905. https://bit.ly/2pTZgn6 . The 905’s next home game is Saturday, March 7th.