Raptors 905 fans got a chance to see the once college superstar Jimmer Fredette in action. 1,131 were in attendance to see the first meeting between the the Raptors 905 and Westchester Knicks , and every single one of those 1,131 were lucky to have been there.
14 lead changes, 10 ties, a combined 3 double doubles, and a combined 11 players in double figures scoring.
In the end, the 905 came short as the Westchester Knicks walked out of Mississauga with a 107-101 victory. The Knicks were led by Jimmer Fredette’s 21 points and Sean Marshall contributed 20 points off the bench. Despite the 905 allowing the Knicks to score 107 points on 49% shooting, there was clearly effort shown by the 905, especially in the half court sets.
“I think they’ve put three games together of high energy and effort and that’s a good step in the right direction.” Said Coach Jesse Mermuys on his team.
Considering the last three games, every fan should agree with Mermuys. In their last three games they have had these results: 101-80 win over the Erie Bayhawks, a 95-96 heartbreaker against the Maine Red Claws, and a 107-101 war that ended up going Westchester’s way.
Jimmer Fredette did not really amount to much in the NBA, but in the D-League he is tearing it up. This game marks the 6th 20+ point game for Jimmer in the D-League this season… considering he’s only played 7 games, that’s pretty good. Fredette’s 7/14 shooting is a major reason why the Westchester Knicks shot 49% from the field.
Side note: Shout out to Jordan Bachynski, the Canadian kid out of Arizona State who posted a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Westchester Knicks
What about the 905? There were a lot of positives for the 905.
Delon Wright had an impressive 18 points and 10 assists. He was one of five 905 players with double-digit points (Toupane 18, Roberts 21, Suggs 11, Johnson III 18 were the others). I am not a “glass half full” or a “moral victory” kind of guy, however, the 905 has reasons to be excited and Roland Roberts should be one of them. When asked if he thought anyone could stop him he responded with an interesting and truthful way.
“To be honest, no. I wouldn’t lace up and play the way I do everyday if I thought that.”
More often than not, when a question like this is posed, a player will give the cookie cutter answer but Ronald Roberts gave an answer that I absolutely loved for two reasons.
One, it’s the attitude a person should have when doing anything in life, and two, if you take look at his stats, you can see he is right. A double-double from Roberts is almost expected at this point, but a 21 point, 20 rebound game at 6’8 is absolutely impressive. Anyone who says “I was too small to play basketball” go buy a ticket at the next game at the Hershey Centre and watch Roberts play. He is intense, gritty, strong, and full of energy. Mix those qualities with the skill level he has and it is no wonder why he is averaging a double-double this season (15.3 points 12.7 rebounds).
It was not all rainbows and sunshine for the 905. The Raptors 905’s Achilles heel all season long has been turnovers and once again the 905 turned the ball over a head scratching 21 times.
“Until I can figure out how I can help these guys stop turning the basketball over, were going to have a lot of nights where we’re on the losing side,” Coach Mermuys said about their turnover issue. “If you give up 32 points on [turnovers], it’s just hard to overcome that.”
The saying ‘turnovers are for bakeries’ was not just created for fun. The 905 have to be kicking themselves for their turnover issues because in this game and many games this season, it costed them victories. The 905 can surely improve on their turnover issues and the D-League is definitely the place to do it.
Next game for the 905 is Wednesday December 16th against the Grand Rapids Drive. The Raptors 905 look to avenge their 128-99 loss over the Grand Rapids Drive in their first meeting. Tipoff is at 7:30 eastern time.