Raptors 905 Begin Road Trip with Win Over Cleveland Charge

In a rare occurrence for the G League, both the Raptors 905 and the Cleveland Charge had all of their two-way players available.

Final Score | Raptors 905  110 –  Cleveland Charge 99 | Box Score

Two Ways: David Johnson (905), Justin Champagnie (905), Brandon Goodwin (Charge), RJ Nembhard (Charge)

On Assignment: Isaac Bonga (905), Dylan Windler (Charge)

Inactive: Reggie Perry (905), Jodie Meeks (905), Justin Smith (905), Breein Tyree (905), Jawun Evans (Charge)

In a rare occurrence for the G League, both the Raptors 905 and the Cleveland Charge had all of their two-way players available. David Johnson has spent his time primarily with the 905 while Justin Champagnie has seen impactful minutes with the main club. Johnson has since signing been more of a facilitator rather than a primary scoring option, while Champagnie has been aggressive on the boards and with his shooting. Against Cleveland, Champagnie could not miss. Hitting 4 three-pointers in a row, Champagnie was unstoppable in the third quarter, shooting the lights out from everywhere on the floor. He finished with 27 points to accompany his 10 rebounds for his first career double-double. Johnson continued to do what he does best and facilitate, even after being mismatched on the opening tip when he was tasked with jumping against Tacko Fall (because that’s that positionless Raptors 904 basketball, baby), and blocking 2 shots from the much larger Charge. He finished with 12 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 blocks, almost identical to his season averages.

The Good:

Bench Production: I have been waiting for a game like this from Josh Hall, whose season thus far had been the victim of the stop/start rhythmless movement caused by managing injuries. He entered the game in the second quarter and played arguably one of the best 8 minute stretches I have ever seen from a G League player coming off of the bench. He could score from almost anywhere on the floor, putting up 8 shots, making 5 of them, and drawing back to back fouls. His energy was the nail in the coffin for the Charge during the first half, and carried on through his teammates during the second half, even though he didn’t touch the floor. What Hall started, Obadiah Noel finished. We had not seen Noel play meaningful minutes in some time, but this game was a reminder of why it was so baffling that he made the roster as a try-out player. His 4 assists, 4 rebounds, 2 steals, and 17 points off of the bench completely deflated the Charge in the second half and set Noel up for more minutes going forward.

I Can Do That Too: The Charge had a very simple strategy this game, and it was “Run everything with the end result being the ball in Tacko Fall’s hands” and for a while, it was working. There was virtually nothing Fall, at 7’6, could not get up into the basket, and his second chance points were the only thing keeping Cleveland in the game. Then the 905 remembered that they too have an extraordinarily large rim protector, and subbed in 7’2 Romaro Gill. Though only credited with a single block, Gill’s presence inside forced the Charge to rethink their strategy and shoot more from the outside, because nothing was getting past Gill. It was chess, not checkers, and the chess pieces were large, wonderful humans who will do anything to get the ball in the net or to keep it from entering theirs.

The Bad:

56% From the Line: Why are you hitting everything else and missing your free throws? They are literally free.

The Raptors 905 head to Delaware to take on the Blue Coats on Saturday, February 12th at 7:00 p.m.