Raptors 905 Now Officially Out of Playoff Hunt

The 905 playoff hunt is officially over. What next?

Sharife Cooper snake dribbled after using Gabe Osabuohien’s screen, almost put Omari Moore in jail, and used a beautiful retreat crossover move. Splash. He buried the elbow jumper.

That shot put Cleveland up 116-102 with a minute and 24 seconds left. And it drained the 905’s playoff hopes for this season, losing the game 116-106 last night. Cleveland improved to a 12-15 record, though they too are struggling.

It’s been a tough two regular seasons for head coach Eric Khoury. He finished last regular season with a 16-16 record, and did not make the playoffs … yet again.

After the Dibaji Walker’s second defensive three-second violation, Kobi Simmons knocked the technical foul shot to tie the game at 95 apiece. But Cleveland went on a 8-0 run, highlighted by Tray Maddox’s putback dunk.

A little over six minutes left in the game, Drake Jefferies was kept on the floor despite being too aggressive on Cooper, allowing an easy back cut for a basket. A timeout was called, Jefferies didn’t hesitate to pull the corner 3 but missed. In the last five minutes, the closest the 905 got was within seven points. 

Kobi Simmons is best with the ball in his hands. He made great use of the push dribble after getting past the point of his screener in the third quarter. Simmons finished with a double-double of 16 points and 10 assists. 

Makur Maker showed his range in the second quarter. Maker scored his own three right after Morsell hit his open one, and made another one off a pick-and-pop with Kobi Simmons. In the third quarter, the playmaking of Maker’s screens showed when he set one for Omari Moore, who threw a boomerang pass back out to Kobi Simmons, who found Maker diving to the rim. Maker drew the foul and got to the line (Cleveland was unsuccessful in challenging the call).

Maker also showed ability to finish through contact, and secured his third straight double-double with 21 points and 11 rebounds.

Jaiden Delaire may seem gangly and uncoordinated (his shooting mechanics are weird), but he has great hands and touch around the rim. In the second quarter, he had a nice finish inside despite being triple teamed. 

Omari Moore looked like his body didn’t allow what his mind wanted to do. Moore was coming off his best game of the season, but struggled this game. Coach Khoury took an early timeout when the Charge got off to a 5-0 start, and though it looked like Moore blew a defensive assignment, he stayed on.

Moore showed fight even when things weren’t going his way. In the third, he was called for an offensive foul and then on the ensuing defensive possession, he deflected the ball with his hands high up in the air, but then got called for goaltending.

Darryl Morsell was consistent across four quarters. In the first quarter, he grabbed two offensive boards and completed an and-1 bucket down low. In the second, the defence didn’t respect his three-point shooting, and he made them pay by hitting an open look. In the third, he had two nice baskets inside the paint.

He showed lots of pride on defence with his active hands.  On a specific play, he followed Cooper from the corner to the top of the arc, forcing him to pass the ball out to Maddox. When Maddox traveled, Morsell was elated, clapping his hands, to see his defensive effort win a 905 offensive possession. 

Sharife Cooper had a one-handed bounce pass that fell right into Justin Powell’s shooting pocket as he waited in the weakside corner. Cooper was a treat to watch and finished with 29 points, 12 assists, and five steals. Zhaire Smith had a career-high 33 points, shooting 7-for-10 beyond the arc.  

The 905 and Charge run it back on Sunday afternoon. Tip-off scheduled for 4 p.m.