After being lights out the game before offensively, the 905 shot 30.8% from the field and 12.5% from three in a hard-fought 80-69 loss to the Maine Red Claws. Defensively, the 905 were outstanding. The North Side held the Maine Red Claws to 38.6% from the field and the Red Claws leading scorer Abdel Nader only scored 15 points on 6/16 shooting. However offensively the 905 were a collective mess on this night.
“Defensively we did some good things. They were shooting almost 47, 48 percent at the half and we got them all the way down to 38% for the game but unfortunately we went down too.” Said Raptors 905’s head coach Jerry Stackhouse when commenting on the 905’s offensive woes for this game.
This was a game where the 905 simply could not find the cup. The third quarter was especially disastrous on the offensive end for the North side as the 905 mustered up a grand total of 7 points in that quarter. Despite their struggles offensively, the 905 were either leading or still competitive with the Red Claws for a large portion of the game. However, the Red Claws were able to pull away thanks in part to the herculean effort of Jordan Mickey. Mickey finished with 20 points, 7 rebounds and 3 blocks. Defensively, Dallas Lauderdale was key in this game due to his presence in the paint. Lauderdale had 7 blocks in the game. Marcus Georges-Hunt, and Jalen Jones also joined Jordan Mickey and Abdel Nader as the only double digit scorers for the Red Claws. Georges-Hunt had 16, and Jones pitched in with 13 points.
A big story of this game was obviously the defense on both sides. The Raptors 905’s interior defense was especially impressive. A big part of that was 905’s centre Edy Tavares. The 7’3 big man had 15 points and 11 rebounds, however, it was his defense that took the fans in attendance by storm. Aside from having 5 blocks, it seemed like Tavares was able to change almost every shot in the interior. “My goal is to stay focus and to help the team on defense.” Said Tavares, who coming in to the game was fourth in the D-League when it came to blocked shots.
Ultimately, despite the stellar defense, the 905 needed to be better offensively. While Coach Stackhouse gave credit to the Red Claws defense, he was critical of his team’s inability to score in this contest “we weren’t as good and as sharp as we needed to be.”
Tavares also echoed the same message “I think it was a bad night. We didn’t make those three pointers, a lot of guys had open shots (and) we didn’t make those.”
The 905 will have New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day to recharge as they will be back on home court January 2nd to square off against the Erie Bayhawks, Tip-off is at 7:30.
C.J. Leslie rolled his ankle in the fourth quarter, 905 hope it is nothing too serious.
Canadian Neegus Wester-Chan had his second game as an inactive member of the Roster.