Little white snowflakes fell to the Mississauga ground outside the Paramount Fine Foods Centre, while inside the complex the Raptors 905 lost their eighth consecutive game and remained winless in the 2023-2024 season, after a 123-113 loss to the Capital City Go-Go.
It didn’t take long for things to go south for the 905, with the Go-Go starting the game out on a 10-0 run, which swiftly prompted 905 head coach Eric Khoury to call a timeout in just under two minutes into the contest.
“The start was rough obviously,” Khoury said. “The first play got blown up right off the rip and we couldn’t even break free. They did a really good job pressuring us and making us uncomfortable. I think it took us a little bit to figure out how to attack that pressure.”
Capital City took off and once they took the lead, they didn’t give it back all game. That was in large part due to another stellar performance by former Kentucky Wildcat Hamidou Diallo, who finished with 30 points, eight assists, six rebounds, and four steals. This comes on the heels of a 23-point double-double against the 905 on Saturday.
Another standout for the Go-Go was guard Devon Dotson, who ended the game with a near triple-double with 27 points, 14 rebounds, and nine assists.
Despite the loss, there were positives for the junior Raptors, especially with the new kid on the block Gradey Dick. After Dick’s G-League debut on Saturday which saw him go 1/12 from the field, 0/6 from distance, and finish with more turnovers than points. He responded with a solid 22 point, four rebound, two assist, and two steal performance.
“It feels good,” Dick stated. “I’m really just trying to be aggressive the whole game. There’s little moments where I find myself needing to be more aggressive. You learn how the refs are calling the game, there’s little things where I can kind of drive and if I see their hand on my arm, they’re calling that more and more.”
Khoury also highlighted the standout performance by Dick.
“He did a great job bouncing back, and he can shoot it even better than he did. He’s such a heck of a player, grabbing some pretty tough rebounds, getting in the mix, and being more aggressive with his shot selection and creation. I thought it was great. The first time you get assigned for the G-League, sometimes guys think it’s gonna be just a walk in the park and they don’t realize how intense these [games] are. I think it took him a little bit to adjust to the speed of that, and then he caught on.
Dick wasn’t the only one to impress from the 905 side of things, as newcomer Kobi Simmons did his thing, finishing with 19 points, three assists and three steals. Despite Simmons doing freakish stuff like this on offence.
It has been the other side of the ball that has caught Khoury’s eye.
“He’s been awesome,” Khoury said. “His defence has been a very pleasant surprise. His point of attack defence has been great and he navigates screens really well. He’s been able to pick up our playbook really quick. It’s only been a couple games but he’s getting us into sets, he’s attacking the paint and he’s shooting it well, so [there’s] a lot of faith in Kobe.”
Other notable performances from Mississauga’s team included Javon Freeman-Liberty with 26 points, six rebounds and two steals. Freeman-Liberty was a walking paint touch all night, seemingly getting to the key whenever he wanted.
Kevin Obanor also had a solid performance with 17 points and four rebounds, as did Mo Gueye with ten points, nine rebounds and five blocks.
In this one the 905 got killed in the transition game, had a multitude of defensive breakdowns, and couldn’t get any consistent offence going throughout. They remain somewhat disjointed and banged up with Markquis Nowell, Omari Moore, Justise Winslow, Myles Burns, and Darryl Morsell all on the mend.
The 905 will try their luck again against the Maine Celtics on Friday at Scotiabank Arena, as they still search for win numero uno.