87ers edge out the Raptors 905 in a shootout
MISSISSAUGA, ON --- The Raptors 905 were looking to improve their record to 3-4 against the Delaware 87ers on Sunday.
Early on things were looking good for the 905. At the end of the first quarter, the Raptors 905 were up 37-23. The 905 were shooting nearly 52 percent from the field. In the second quarter the 905 looked poised to take this game, then the momentum suddenly switched.
Sean Kilpatrick and Jordan McRae caught fire to lead an offensive barrage for the 87ers. McRae finished with 31 points, while Kilpatrick had 37 points and 18 of Kilpatrick’s points where from the land beyond. Those two lead the 87ers to a 125-109 victory of the Raptors 905.
Defense was a big issue for the 905, giving up 73 points in the second half and a total of 102 points from quarters 2-4. Much of it was due to the perimeter offense that McRae and Kilpatrick brought for the Sevens (87ers).
McRae was responsible for getting the Sevens going as his ability to get the rim was key in opening up the floor.
“McRae going downhill on us and us not being able to force tough two and mid-range shots which got him in the paint," said Raptors 905 head coach Jesse Murmuys when asked about the play of McRae. "Then when we tried to put the pressure on McRae and have our big up and maybe trap [him], it opened up layups for their bigs, offensive rebounds for their bigs and open threes. It’s just a domino effect of things that happen when you can’t get control a guy.”
Murmuys also attributes much of the bad defense to mistakes on the offense end, “some bad offense resulting in easy baskets and runouts for them.”
A bright spot for the Raptors 905 was their play in the half-court offense. There was good ball movement that led to a lot of good looks. In spite of shooting 42.7 percent from the field, the 905 still netted 109 points. Also, despite having seemingly untimely turnovers, especially in the fast break, they only had 13 turnovers.
Five Raptors 905 players scored in double figures. Two players who impressed me in particular were guard Delon Wright and power forward Ronald Roberts Jr. So far in their stints with the 905, Roberts and Wright have looked very good. Wright finished with 20 points, 8 assists and 8 rebounds, while Ronald Roberts Jr. had 22 points, 9 boards.
A theme that is becoming ever so apparent is the 905’s inability to play a solid 48 minutes. The Raptors 905 in this game looked like two completely teams between quarters. This was the case against the Idaho Stampede as well.
When I asked Delon Wright about the intensity he said “Yeah we do have an issue with intensity carrying over quarters, everybody just has to keep their intensity up and I think as a team it will carry over.”
It was a disappointing result but the 905 once again showed their talent and athleticism. Their next game will be December 5th as they host the Grand Rapids Drive.