Struggles in the Hershey Centre
Recently the Raptors 905 were on a very important homestand. December 30th, December 31st and January 2nd were three dates that the 905 coaching staff had to circle as important due to the scarcity of home games the 905 will have in the months of January and February.
Unfortunately, the 905 were unable to capitalize, going 0-3 and losing to the Los Angeles D-Fenders 110-111, and the Sioux Falls Sky Force twice; first defeat was on New Year’s Eve, 119-105, and the second defeat was on January 2nd,104-88.
The 905 have now lost 5 straight and 6 of their last 7.
All three loses were heartbreaking if you are a 905 fan, but each game was heartbreaking in its own way.
The North Side's December 30th matchup against the D-Fenders ended in a nail-biting defeat. This was in stark contrast to the club's New Year's Eve and January 2nd matchup's against the Sky Force, which saw the Raptors 905 get overwhelmed, overmatched, and overpowered in a rather convincing manner.
In all three losses, the Raptors 905 squad were unable to control the flow of the game. For example, the Raptors 905 were unable to handle the D-Fenders adjustment of playing small and playing with, essentially, 5 players playing on the perimeter (5 out). That was interesting because the Sky Force beat the 905 with a complete opposite style, playing inside out. Continuous posting up, as well as slowing down the tempo, led to the floor opening up for the Sky Force.
For any reader who is a supporter of the Raptors 905, just know that there are three areas that the 905 struggle in --- turnovers, defensive lapses and lack of consistency throughout the game.
In all three losses, the 905 failed to hold a team under 100 points and had 15 or more turnovers. Consistency was concerning, however, effort is not the issue. For some reason, the 905 team have trouble starting the 2nd half strong and closing out games. In terms of experience, the team is still very young and that possibly could be to blame for these three negative areas.
It will be interesting to see if this team can improve on defense, turnovers and consistency; especially since this league is about development.
Speaking of development, the Raptors 905 do have some positives to take out of this 3-game stretch and that is their development as a team.
Norman Powell, Delon Wright, and Ronald Roberts have all played exceptionally well. In their individual stints with the 905 club, all three members are averaging double figures in scoring (Roberts 17.8 ppg, Wright 17.9 ppg, Powell 25.6 ppg). Also, in the case of Ronald Roberts, those two are averaging a double-double in this league (Roberts 17.8 ppg 12.6 rpg). 905 fans have to love the production that they are getting from the three hoopers. With those three and the emergence of Scott Suggs, the 905 are in a good position to develop into a good team for years to come.
The 905's next home game will not be until January 16th as they take on the Westchester Knicks. However, if you're like me and like seeing basketball, you can catch the Raptors 905 as soon as on January 12th. It will be a third straight matchup against the Sky Force, but this time the 905 will be in the away barn. Tip will start at 6:30 pm.
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