Freezing Weather Cannot Stop Raptors 905
On Friday, the Raptors 905 defeated the Greensboro Swarm 119-117 behind 25 points from Malachi Richardson and 22 points from Jordan Loyd.
With the 2pm tipoff resulting in a short turn around for both teams, it was the 905 who looked ready to play. Behind 13 points from Chris Boucher (5-7) and 10 points from Jordan Howard (4-4), the 905 shot 66.7% from the field and hen a 30-21 lead after the first quarter.
The 905 continued maintain a double digit lead throughout the second quarter, the lead by a single point by outscoring the Swarm 28-27. Boucher continued to lead the way for the 905 with 21 points on 11 shots.
After a slow start to the third quarter, the 905 found their lead cut to 3 (64-61). After a pair of triples from Loyd and continued high energy play bu Boucher, the 905 righted the ship and outscored the Swarm 29-26 to take a 87-74 lead into the fourth quarter.
The 905 maintained their double digit lead for most of the fourth quarter until almost falling apart late in the game, with the Swarm closing the gap to two points with under a minute to play. However, the home fans went happy as the 905 made their free throws and prevailed 109-103.
While he cooled off in the second half, Boucher was the 905's leading scored with 27 points. Loyd has an efficient 22 points on 7-11 shooting. Richardson, who struggled to hold onto the ball, with 8 turnovers, added 18 points. Jaylen Barford paced the Swarm with 22 points.
Following the Spurs in the 6 "3on3" format for NBA G-League game recaps this season, here's my take on what happened both "on the court" and "off the court".
On the Court
More bounce: On the second night of a back to back for both teams, Chris Boucher, who did not make the trip to Greensboro had notable more bounce in his step. Boucher was very active on the defensive side of the floor with a number of weak side/chase down blocks and contests.
Step back: Richardson has a serious step back (it's like 4 feet) and went to it multiple times late in the third quarter.
Doink: An above average free throw shooter (76.1% for the season), Boucher seemed to split his free throws every time he went to the line. Boucher went 4-8 for the game.
Off the Court
Whoopsie: The first bucket of the game was credited to teh Raptors 905 on the arena scoreboard. For some reason the Raptors 905 name was on the victors side and the Swarm (or "Guest") was put on the home side. The top notch 905 game staff caught the "whoopsie" right away and figured out a work around before anyone every noticed.
MVP: Props to the kid who tried to start an MVP chant for Boucher when he went to the line midway through the second quarter.
Alumni merch: Love the Pascal Siakam and Fred Van Vleet Toronto Raptors jerseys that are available at the Raptors 905 Fan Shop (bonus points to the 905 for giving them out as prizes to some fans during the third quarter as well).
He's had a really good G-League season. He's producing day after day and game after game and that's really hard to do. ... It's definitely more a mental preparation, understanding the grind of the NBA and how that can apply to what we do here. It's hard to be an NBA player, really really hard, and he's [Boucher] learned that in the longer stretch he had with JV being out. Just to do a season is hard, as long as you are playing 30 or 34 minutes. He's learned a lot of that aspect, what's it is to be an NBA player and now I think he's excited. Every game he gets with us is minutes, he gets play on the court, get a better sweat and put the two things together.
- Coach Jama Mahlalea on Chris Boucher ongoing transition from the G League to the NBA