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Raptors 905 Struggle in Second Half of a Back-to-Back

The Raptors 905 lose 125-107 on a back-to-back against the Capital City Go-Go yesterday. The 905 had a competitive first half, but struggled in the second.

The game was over when Reggie Perry swung for Jordan Schakel’s head with 4:51 left in the fourth. Perry got a flagrant type 2 for the unnecessary contact, and the 905 were down by 20 points, 114-94. Perry left the game with 12 points, hiding his head inside his towel. 

Perry was blocked on back-to-back lay-ups attempts at the start of the fourth and complained to the refs for the non-calls. His frustration came out, but it represented what the whole team felt as they looked deflated throughout the entire fourth.

Unlike the season opener, the 905 were neck-and-neck with Capital City in the first half. The 905 trailed by three at halftime, but Capital City’s lead got bigger and bigger as they had an answer to everything. Eight lead changes in the first half, but there were none in the second, though the 905 made got within five and four in the third quarter. 

After Kenny Wooten Jr. tipped in Jeff Dowtin’s missed shot at mid-way through the third, Christian Vital hit a three narrowing the lead by five, 75-70. Ryan Hawkins’ 28-footer in transition inched the 905 within four and requires a replay here. 

Two-way player Jordan Schakel (who kind of looks like Steph Curry) destroyed the 905 with his dribble drives in the third frame. He had nine points in the third (he was 4-for-6 inside the arc), and tied as Capital City’s leading scorer with 19 points.

In the final minute of the third, Davion Mintz’s jumper and Makur Maker’s free throw put Capital City up by 11 points. In the fourth, the closest the 905 got to the Capital City was seven points.

The 905 will need to be consistent through four quarters when they return to Paramount. In the season opener, the 905 only played the second half; they were down by 15 points in first half, and were forced to step on the gas. On Sunday, they were competitive in the first half, struggled in the third, and didn’t show up in the final frame. 

The 905 will also need to do a better job protecting the paint. If the game was done when Perry was ejected, and if we discount the two outside-the-paint shots made after that point (Isaiah Todd’s above-the-break three and left elbow jumper by Vernon Carey Jr.), the only made fields goals outside the paint in the second half were two triples by this year’s 10th overall pick, Johnny Davis. 42 of Capital City’s 69 second half points (61%) came inside the paint.  

Team notes

The 905 roster is constantly changing, so in case you still wanted to know who’s actually on the roster, here it is:

#PlayerHt.Wt.Pos.Status
20Jeff Dowtin Jr.6’3”176GTwo-way
8Ron Harper Jr.6’5”242GTwo-way
44Gabe Brown6’7”207FNBA Affiliate
13David Johnson6’4”205GNBA Affiliate
33Ryan Hawkins6’7”233FNBA Affiliate
9Saben Lee6’2”185GNBA Affiliate
6Obadiah Noel6’4”196GReturning Rights
1Reggie Perry6’8”255FReturning Rights
3Christian Vital6’2”191GReturning Rights
0Kenny Wooten Jr.6’8”255FReturning Rights
55Melvin Frazier Jr.6’5”222GReturning Rights
5Devon Daniels6’5”200GDraft

An active G League roster can go up to 13 players if assignees coming down from the Raptors. Potential assignees include Justin Champagnie, Dalano Banton, Christian Koloko, Juancho Hernangomez and Malachi Flynn. Last year, Svi Mykhailiuk, Yuta Watanabe, Champagnie, Banton, Isaac Bonga and Flynn all played for the 905.

Two-way watch 

Jeff Dowtin Jr.

Dowtin finished the game with 17 points, shooting 5-for-13 from inside the arc. There were many isolation plays for Dowtin and he continued to get reps in. As Mikai Bruce wrote earlier, Dowtin has a great first step, but he needs to continue working on finishing in traffic or when the help comes.

Two games into the Showcase Cup season, he finishes well when he gets a defender on his hip and has a clear path to the rim. But when the help comes, he can get stuck in struck traffic; he doesn’t always finish through contact or above the trees. These type of reps are invaluable for him, and there’s a potential for development as he has great body control in the air.

Ron Harper Jr.

After dropping 18 points on 8-of-13 (62%) shooting in the season opener, Harper had a quiet offensive night, despite playing the same amount of minutes (around 25 minutes) in the second night of a back-to-back. He stopped a transition offense on his own in the second quarter when his team looked lackadaisical getting back. He continues to show his explosive drives to the basket, and having two 2-way slashers on the 905 is promising.

NBA watch 

Reggie Perry 

Perry was 23 and 10 in his season opener. He was Second-Team All-NBA G League, and signed 10-day deals with the Portland Trail Blazers and Indiana Pacers last season. 

That means expectations are high. He’s aggressive offensively; he can finish coast-to-coast, he can get inside the paint easily off-the-dribble, and can face up and make the right pass as well.

But his decision-making needs to improve and he needs to continue to work on not taking plays off.

Here, Perry was unaware or didn’t acknowledge Ryan Hawkins was wide open for another three. At this point in the game, Hawkins had hit half of 905’s threes (two in the first half), and this was not the optimal shot with nine seconds left on the clock.

Perry likely has the green light to shoot, and in-game threes are much-needed reps for his development, but his shot selection needs to improve. When his team is down, he needs to look for the best shot, rather than his shot (unless it’s the best one).

Gabe Brown 

Brown went 2-for-7 from behind the arc after going 3-for-6 the night before. The 22 year old is 6’7’’ with a 7’0’’ span, and has hoisted 13 threes in two games.

Saben Lee

Like Perry, Lee also made the Second Team honours and it’s easy to see why. Lee finished with 12 points on Sunday, and had 20 and 5 with four steals in the first game. He played 85 games under Dwayne Casey and despite standing only 6’2’’, he can get to the rim at will and is an explosive finisher. Some of his defensive reads have been questionable this weekend.

Bright spots from the supporting cast

Christian Vital 

Vital stepped up on Sunday, finishing with a game-high 24 points (4 made threes!), six rebounds, and four steals. 

Kenny Wooten Jr.

Wooten had four points and two blocks, but had the highest plus/minus on the team with +12. When you watch him play, you notice his 6’8’’ athletic frame forces opponents to think twice before driving the lane.

Ryan Hawkins 

Hawkins started his pro basketball career as a 25 year old, but showed his beautiful stroke he developed in college, shooting 3-for-7 beyond the arc. The confidence he showed in shooting that transition 26-footer is a telling sign of much more to come.

The 905 return to Paramount Fine Foods Centre this Thursday, November 10th. You can get tickets here.

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