Five Things from 905’s Back-to-Back Against the Indiana Mad Ants

Five observations from a back-to-back against one of G League's finest.

The 905 split their back-to-back match-up against one of the G League’s best. On the first night, Jahmiu’us Ramsey’s debut game went right down to the wire. The 905 defeated the Mad Ants 113-117.

The second night was a totally different story. The game was close until early in the second quarter, but then the gap started to widen, and resulted in a 141-102 blowout. Justise Winslow was sidelined due to injury, and his toughness was missed, his absence felt. Indiana improved their record to 16-10.

Here are five takeaways from the back-to-back against a premier G League squad.

1. Making the most out of an non-ideal situation

The Toronto Raptors and 905 both live in the basement, but are making the best of their situation. Mo G and JFL’s call-ups have provided a proof of concept for other 905ers to aspire to. There was one thing markedly different from the last 905 game I attended, which also ended in a similar blowout against the Maine Celtics.

The vibes post-game were super high. Coach Khoury spoke to the media. Perhaps, celebrating International Women’s Day helped. Maybe it’s because spring is around the corner. Like 99.8% of things in this life, I don’t know, I can only speculate.

2. Raptors keep finding smart people

What I do know is that the Raptors signed Jahmiu’us Ramsey. When Janet asked Coach Khoury about him, Khoury joked, “He knows some of our plays better than our guys. He picked up so quickly. Really smart guy.” 

Khoury elaborated about Ramsey’s 905 debut game: “I think he did a good job of keeping Kobi [Simmons] involved down the stretch too. He wasn’t sulking, he wasn’t saying, ‘Hey, I’m here on assignment, give me the ball.’ He was a team player and then giving it all on defence too.”

It’s hard to consistently keep smart, solid people onto a roster, and that’s crucial in maintaining good vibes and preserving a certain culture.

3. 905 developing dogs

Speaking of culture, Myles Burns is the type of player any team wants. He’s not the most talented, but plays his ass off every time. In the blowout loss, he was taking the ball to the rack with reckless abandon, and using his PT to risk making mistakes. He had 18 points on 6-for-10 shooting and grabbed five rebounds. The night before he only dropped three points.

4. Hope for Justise

Justise Winslow still has a chance for another 10-day. When Andrew Damelin asked Coach about Winslow’s early struggles on the first night, he responded, “I think a lot of the times, it’s easy to uhhh – I’m not trying to throw you under the bus or anything,” he paused and smiled.

“To look at the offensive side only and not the defensive side when we’re talking about how guys perform. He didn’t probably have his best offensive first half, but I think he was still impacting the game quite a bit defensively. He was part of the reason that [Elfrid Payton] couldn’t get going in the first half.”

Check out Damelin’s interview with Winslow if you haven’t yet.

5. Coach Khoury’s insights

Speaking of Elfrid Payton, Khoury’s defensive game plan the first night forced him to take five three-pointers. Shooting 3s is a glaring weakness for the former All-Rookie First Team member. This shouldn’t be lost as defensive game-planning to exploit an opponent’s weakness is never easy to do.

Simmons finished the first night with a 25-point, 12-assist double-double – a season-high in assists. Khoury was impressed more by Simmons’ ability to adapt to less ball touches when the 905 had Kira Lewis, JFL, and Markquis Nowell on the squad, more so than Simmons’ ability to score in isolation.