Myles Burns shined with a team-high 21 points off the bench for the undermanned Raptors 905 at home, as they fell 108-85 to the College Park Skyhawks on Wednesday night.
After putting up just two points in 12 minutes of action on Sunday, the rookie knew he was going to have an opportunity to make up for it in this one as his squad had just eight players available to play.
“I think last game just lit a fire under me,” said the 11th overall pick in this year’s NBA G League draft after shooting nearly 60 per cent from the field in his 28 minutes. “I prepped the night before, got my mind right… I could feel it when I woke up this morning that I was going to have a lot of energy to give to the team to try and get a win.”
905 head coach Eric Khoury even made it a point to commend the six-foot-six guard post-game for competing all the way through in a blowout loss.
“Playing with energy and force is a skill,” Khoury said. “Everybody says just play harder, but there’s very few people who can actually just do that.
Myles brings it…playing with that much force is a skill too and he’s got that skill.”
Despite his efforts, the 905 suffered a second consecutive defeat to the Skyhawks, this time in an even more convincing fashion than the last. Burns did receive a bit of help from forward Makur Maker who tallied a 14-point, 11-rebound double-double, and guard Markquis Nowell who had 14 points and eight assists.
Meanwhile, the Skyhawks were led by Seth Lundy who had a double-double of his own via 22 points and 10 rebounds, and Chris Silva who had 18 points on 5-7 shooting. It was also an impressive night for their bench (+13) as the squad had three different players score in double figures off the pine.
Things got out of hand for the 905 rather quickly in this one as College Park began the game scorching from downtown going 4-5 and propelling themselves to an early 13-6 lead.
It snowballed from there even as the Skyhawks cooled down from distance. The 905 couldn’t keep a hold of the ball as they committed 14 turnovers in the first half, trailing by as many as 19 points before ultimately being down 62-43 at the half.
With five players out for the 905, including two-ways Javon Freeman-Liberty (ankle) and Ron Harper Jr. (illness/non-COVID), it would’ve been easy to attribute the ball-handling errors to a lack of continuity amongst lineups. However, coach Khoury thought it was more about a lack of physicality from his team than anything.
“Lots of the turnovers were not chemistry-based,” Khoury said after his team finished the night with 21 turnovers. “I think 10 of them were live ball, the other 11 were dead ball turnovers.
Not catching the ball clean…We just have to lift our elbows up and grab the ball and snatch it out of the air…We just have to be more nasty.”
The 905 did show some signs of life in the third quarter as they went on a 9-2 run that cut a 24-point lead down to 15, but that was as close as the squad could get. The contest ultimately ended in a 23-point margin of victory for the Skyhawks even with the team being outshot from both the field and distance.
Along with losing the turnover battle, the 905 struggled on the glass as they finished minus-seven on offensive rebounds, giving up an extra 10 second-chance points as a result.
Coach Khoury didn’t want to dwell on the loss but also recognized that at 0-3, the squad needs to get in the win column sooner rather than later.
“It’s extremely frustrating but we have to figure it out,” said the second-year head coach. “You need to figure out what you can take from each game…but at the end of the day, it’s still measured in wins and losses.”
The 905 return to action on Friday as they hit the road to take in the Greensboro Swarm.