Raptors 905 win in suspenseful return to season opener

One of the best components of the G League – and the worst – is the constant turnover of the roster each season. You blink and players like Kevon Harris arrive. Then as quickly as they get into the franchise, they’re gone. The team is even moving through head coaches fairly quickly, with newcomer Eric Khoury – “too smart to be basketball” – taking the reins for the first time this season.

Luckily for the Raptors 905 and the team’s fans, there are a few remnants left this season. One of the best players from last year, Reggie Perry, remains with the team as a starting center. And those who watched preseason closely would have an idea of ​​the talents of newcomers Jeff Dowtin jr. and Gabe Brown. The team should therefore not be entirely new. But there is a learning curve that comes with a new season.

This learning curve exists for fans and for the 905s themselves. In the Raptors’ opener, they were down 15 points at halftime and looked bewildered on both sides. Ron Harper jr. opened the game with a deadly hat-trick to put the 905 ahead, but it was downhill from there. Dowtin and Harper were scoring well and efficiently, but everyone missed shot after shot. Meanwhile, athletic Vernon Carey jr. was shredding the 905 on the defensive end. Virtually everything for the Capital City Go Go was a triple or a layup as they built a 23-point lead midway through the second quarter.

Something clicked at halftime. The 905 created a parade of layups in the third to close out the single-digit lead, as the 905 finally came to life in transition, and Perry’s offensive rebound maintained those possessions that doesn’t finish in the points. Starting keeper Saben Lee was particularly brilliant on the defensive end, poaching the lanes to tip nonchalant passes. He finished with an OG Anunoby-esque four interceptions. He and Dowtin were brilliant together to get to the paint on the offensive end, letting everything else come down to penetration.

In the fourth, 905 regained the lead for the first time since 3-0 thanks to extra work from both guards. Dowtin hit a midranger to tie, then Lee stole the ball and finished in transition to give the 905 the 106-104 lead. Free throws took the game away from there.

It was a crazy game to give Khoury his first career victory as a head coach. The team celebrated in style after the huge comeback.

With Justin Champagnie out, the 905 Raptors played hard to win their season opener. Dowtin mostly proved too good for the league right out of the box, which makes sense given his control of the game with the ball in his hands. This skill is valuable everywhere. New trainer, new stars, all new: same result. The 905s have been one of the most successful franchises in the G-League in recent years, and it shows in games like last night’s contest. Everything changes every season for the 905 except the heart of the team.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *