In a game that turned into a slugfest, the Raptors 905 lost a close one as the Westchester Knicks squeaked out a 108-106 win. The 905 went punch for punch with the Knicks but in the end it was not enough thanks in part to a tip-in at the Buzzer. That tip in was indicative of the 905’s inability to box out this game. The North Side may have only lost the rebound battle 37-32, however, they allowed 13 offensive rebounds and 21 second chance points. Four of those rebounds came from Keith Wright, none more important than his tip in at the buzzer. Coach Jerry Stackhouse spoke on this development “When you got a team that really goes to the boards and has some athletes as well the way the Knicks do, you got to make sure to put a forearm on them and put a body on them first. We talk about it all day, shot box ball and a number of times we didn’t do it tonight.”
A positive for the 905 was their improved resiliency. In the 905’s record breaking Air Canada Centre game on Tuesday, the 905’s lack of resiliency was their downfall. In that game, the North Side were unable to bounce back from an awful second quarter against the Grand Rapids Drive and ultimately lost 114-87. That was not the case this time around. The 905 fought back from being down 25-14 in the first quarter due to closing out the second quarter on a 9-0 run. When asked if there was something said that caused the shift from first to second quarter, 905 point guard Fred VanVleet spoke on the shift from first to second quarter just being something the team knew needed to happen
“There was nothing that has to be said, we all felt it. We just had to keep working the game. We didn’t do anything terrible from a game plan perspective, just shots weren’t falling and we weren’t in the right spots defensively. So clean a few things up and get some shots to fall and you can just build on that.”
Fred VanVleet was part of many positives for the 905 as he had himself a double double of 16 points and 10 assists. VanVleet was one of 6 905 players to score double digits. Their points leader was Axel Toupane who poured in 17 points, 11 of those came in the final frame. The 905’s next game is against the same Westchester Knicks tomorrow. Coach Stackhouse relishes the opportunity to face the same team in order to allow his team to learn.
“It’s a tough break, good learning experience but good thing about it we’ll get a chance to get back at them tomorrow.” That game will be on Facebook live at 7:00.