Dominant first half, complacent second half in Greensboro

The 905 dominate the first half, but a complacent second half almost results in a coin flip.

When you live on Mississauga Road, you have a large margin of error. You can make some life mistakes others can’t afford, and it’ll be very hard for you to lose your privilege.

Look at the boxscore, and the 905 won their matinee road game against the Greensboro Swarm by seven, 123-116. They were money behind the arc in the first half, shooting 8-for-14 (57.1). They built a 23-point lead, 76-53, before going to the locker room.

But it was an ugly second half. The 905 went 5-for-21 (24%) from the field while Greenboro shot 9-for-20 (45%), four of them made 3s. The 905 lost the third and fourth, 15-26 and 32-37.  

In the third, Greensboro went on a 5-0 run, forced the 905 to take a timeout, and then went on another 5-0 run. Saben Lee’s and-1 — a great move to the basket where he kept his defender on his hip and bullied him him inside — snapped the 12-2 run. But Greensboro went on another 12-2 run that started with Jalen Crutcher’s layup. The 905 were only up 12 points at the end of the third.

The 905 got off to a good fourth quarter, pushing the lead back up to 20, until a Crutcher three, an Anthony Duruji fast break dunk, and Obadiah Noel’s offensive foul forced the 905 to take a timeout. But that timeout wasn’t effective as Greensboro went on a 11-2 run.

Then, a back-and-forth affair ensued — the lead was within 8 or 6 until Duruji drew a foul, hit both free throws, and completed an and-1 to inch within three. A Mark Williams goaltend gave the 905 a five-point buffer with 50 seconds left, and the 905 almost lost all the wealth they built in the first half.

For Coach Khoury, who doesn’t want coin flips, the Swarm were too close to beating the 905 in a late-game surge, one which the 905 had to ironically rely on in their last home game.

The 905 only had three turnovers in the first half, but 10 in the second. To avoid coin clips, they will need to play consistently across the game. Allowing an opponent to go on two 12-2 runs in the third, and 16-2 in the fourth should never happen.

To put it simply, when the 905 have big leads, they can’t be complacent with their large margin of error. They need play the game with the urgency and the hunger of someone trying to make it off Paisley, Bromsgrove, or Orenda.

Season notes  

The snow has fallen, the season has changed, so five games into a G League season, why should we care?

For those who forgot, the G League has divided their season into two — an 18-game Showcase Cup season and a 32-game regular season with the G League Playoffs.

NBA teams will start signing players to 10-day contracts on January 5th, 2023, so this Showcase Cup is a scouting opportunity for NBA offices. Perry was offered 10-day contracts after playing in the Showcase Cup with the 905 last season.

Player notes 

Two-way watch

Jeff Dowtin

[Draw on some of his Raptors success – he received 15 minutes of play against Detroit. Link to Kelsea’s article.

With so many Raptors injured, this is a huge window of opportunity for Dowtin to gain valuable reps. He got to play bits of the second, third, and fourth quarter against the Pistons. When the Raptors were up six with 1:04 left, Nurse subbed Dowtin in for Bo Cruz, so that’s a positive sign.

If you haven’t read Kelsea’s awesome feature on Dowtin yet, you can do so here.

Ron Harper

He led all scorers with 29 points on 11-for-15 shooting, grabbed seven boards and had a plus/minus of 18. He played a pivotal role in keeping the 905 lead sky high in the first half.

NBA watch 

Reggie Perry 

Perry had 25 points and limited his turnovers to three (compared to 10 against Westchester). Perry tied Greensboro wing Bryce McGowens with most free throws attempted with eight. Perry also led all players in field goal attempts with 22. He was 0-for-5 from downtown, 1-for-3 from mid-range, and his other 14 shots came inside the paint.

Perry took good shots within the flow of the offense. His only bad shot came late in the fourth when he settled for a jumper, rather than attacking the basket. Kenny Wooten cleared the lane by taking his man to the baseline with him, but Perry didn’t take full advantage of it.

But here’s a good mid-range jumper within the flow of the offense:

Even when Perry turns the ball over or misses, attacking the basket is always a good decision. When the 905 were only up six, late in the fourth, Perry made good decisions, even though both shots didn’t fall.

Saben Lee 

Lee was one dime shy of a double-double, scoring 19 points on an efficient 7-for-13 shooting. He continues to show his relentless attacks to the basket.

Gabe Brown 

Free Gabe Brown.

Brown had the best game of this season. Like Lee, he shot 7-for-13, but more importantly, shot 5-for-8 behind the arc.

Hopefully, he will bring this back after the two-game road trip and keep lighting it up at Paramount. Even better, would be to get the call-up. He fits Vision 6’9” perfectly with his height and 7-foot long wingspan (in person, you realize how much length he has).

The 905 face the Delaware Blue Coats this Friday night at 7 pm. For the diehards, you can stream the game live here. They face former Raptor Patrick McCaw, former 905 Justin Smith, Canadian Karim Mane, and Justin Champagnie’s brother, Julian.

1 thought on “Dominant first half, complacent second half in Greensboro”

Leave a Comment