By Redwan M
In a thrilling turn of events, the Raptors 905 lost to the Long Island Nets 116-117.
On December 5, 2019, the 905 played their annual Toronto game at the Raptors’ Scotiabank Arena. This is probably their greatest look during the regular season — due to the audience capacity being substantially larger than their home stadium and the increased media coverage. Therefore, there was a certain grit in the squad and eagerness to win.
The Nets were on an 8-game losing streak which, tied in with the 905’s Home Court advantage, made a clear predictable winner. However, what was anticipated to be an easy win for the 905 quickly turned to the squad falling short and Nets taking the upper hand.
The 905 were trailing from the get-go due to very inefficient shooting. The Nets, on the other hand, were shooting 65% in the first quarter and got their lead to double digits early on. Allowing the opposing team to take an early lead has been a recurring flaw with the 905’s gameplay this season and is something that the squad still needs to work on.
The Nets maintained their lead throughout the game, continuously increasing their pressure on the 905. The Nets had an ongoing offensive momentum and were doing an excellent job defending the lanes and the paint. By halftime, the score was 63-51 in their favor.
The third saw quite a few defensive breakdowns from the 905 and continued efficiency from the Nets.
However, the fourth quarter saw a dramatic change of pace with the 905 finally beginning to even the odds for the outcome. With 1:22 left on the clock, the 905 trailed by 10. With 0:35 left on the clock, the 905 trailed by 7. With 0.09 left on the clock, the 905 trailed only by three. During this last second, Justin Anderson was fouled in the midst of taking a three-pointer, granting him three free throws. Anderson made the first two out of three which built up large anticipation. However, he ultimately came short by not making the necessary third free throw to bring the game to overtime.
Ultimately, despite the disappointing result and unfortunate last moment, Justin Anderson ended off the game with 40 points, performing the best that night.
The Nets had five players finish with double-figure results. Their frontcourt, Henry Ellenson and Rodions Kurucs, particularly performed very well.
The Nets also holistically shot 42-of-84 from the field and 18-of-44 from three. The 905, on the other hand, shot 44-of-102 from the field and 11-of-34 from three. This statistically shows the difference in efficiency which cost the 905 the game.
The 905, now standing at 3-6, travel to Indiana to take on the Mad Ants on Saturday. Definitely not a poor performance from the 905 — namely Justin Anderson — only time will tell if the 905 are able to recuperate, reflect, and eliminate their flaws to beat the Mad Ants.