Fan Duel Toronto Raptors

905 Lose to Wisconsin, But Kobi Made It

A three-point rainstorm on the weekend deflated the 905, but the end is near.

After setting two screens and receiving a give-and-go pass from TyTy Washington, Wenyen Gabriel threw down a monster dunk over Makur Maker, letting out a war cry. That was immediately followed by a 905 backcourt turnover – stolen by none other than Gabriel – and threw down a reverse dunk.

Commentator Matt Cullen called it “back-to-back showtime,” and Gabriel hit a triple to go on his solo 11-0 run, forcing a 905 timeout. 

That 20-6 start could have demoralized the 905, but they fought back through the second and third quarters. The 905 had a short-lived one-point lead and in the third quarter, Kobi Simmons took a charge, helping the 905 gain possession. Kevin Obanor rejected Maker’s screen, drove baseline and finished a reverse lay-up, putting the 905 within four points. 

Simmons also took Gabriel’s sharp elbow to the side of his head, but returned for the fourth quarter. The tough guard recently signed a 10-day contract with the Raptors. Coach Khoury has praised his ability to not only thrive with the ball in his hands, but for adapting to limited touches when the 905 were healthy.

Near the end of the third quarter, Morsell’s right corner triple put the 905 within 10 points, and Maker copied Morsell to put the 905 within seven.

However, Wisconsin’s eight-point lead at the start of the fourth started to spread like food at an iftar. Or zataar on a manakeesh, hummus on a shawarma wrap.

Drake Jeffries didn’t know what he was doing on an offensive possession, and a 905 turnover led to an easy basket. Then, Wisconsin converted a 905 shot clock violation into another two points. After Wisconsin pushed the lead to 12, a rainstorm of three-pointers (in lieu of Friday’s snowstorm) – three consecutive 3s – descended on the 3,300-plus crowd at Paramount. A 9-2 run deflated the 905 like a cheap ball from Walmart sitting in the puddle.

That’s two consecutive blowout losses but with two home games left, the 905 look to finish strong; both games against the Motor City Cruise.

Individual Performances

Kobi Simmons is him. Period. Let’s trust he’ll take full advantage with the big club. 

Justise Winslow, the Raptorsy southpaw wing, is making sure the NBA hasn’t forgotten about him. He can handle the ball and attack relentlessly from the perimeter. Coming back from a wrist injury, he airballed two 3s, but kept shooting. When he airballed a 3 in the second, he made up for it by attempting a massive block on the other end of the floor. He had a great block on Gabriel in the third quarter – as Gabriel attempted to finish a left-handed lay-up, the southpaw chased him down and swatted the ball with his strong hand.

Omari Moore and Makur Maker showed no fear of Gabriel. Gabriel played 10 playoff games with the Lakers last season, and plays with a “I don’t belong in the G” swag. When Wisconsin got going in the first half, Moore and Maker drove right at Gabriel. Moore had 13 points on 6-for-9 shooting, and attacked well when he had a running start. 

Darryl Morsell was pushing his comfort zone. He threw a skip pass in transition from the right wing to Winslow in the weakside corner. Winslow caught the ball, though it wasn’t anywhere close to his shooting pocket (Winslow got a good look but missed). Morsell also didn’t hesitate to attempt shooting back-to-back 3s to help his team inch closer in the third quarter. 

Jaiden Delaire is a fascinating 6’9’’ big man. He played four years at Stanford, and in his first pro season, he played four games with Maine and one with Long Island before the 905. In the first of the 905’s back-to-back with Cleveland, Delaire showed great touch around the rim. On the weekend, he showed an ability to comfortably attack from the perimeter with guard-like handles.