Are the Raptors 905 Still Serious Playoff Contenders?

Noora Popal
BarnBurner Sports Writer

@NooraPopal

Thursday, February 13, 2020


905 Lose Another Winnable Game

MISSISSAUGA - The Raptors 905 have once again lost a very winnable game after winning 4 out of their last 5 games. They faced the Stockton Kings Wednesday night and ultimately lost, 104-107. 

With the playoffs being just over a month away and the 905 having one of the lower records in the East, they need to win as many of these “one – two possession” games as possible. At this point, Raptors 905 need to go on a “Raptors-like” winning streak to be able to secure a playoff spot. 

The first quarter was a low scoring one, with many turnovers from both teams as well as a lot of missed shots. The raptors had 0 made threes on 7 attempts, which set the tone for the rest of the game on their 3-point shooting.

Henry Ellenson led the team in scoring with 19 points 7 rebounds 4 assists. He also made 2 out of the 5 made three-point shots. 

Their 3-point shooting was not as effective Wednesday night, only making 5-24 (20.8%). Stockton made 5 3’s in the fourth quarter, while the 905 made 5 3’s the whole game. Something to make note of is that 4 out of 5 of the 3s for the Kings in the fourth, were shot by Isaiah Canaan. 

The Raptors also had a low FT%, 62.5% for the 905 compared to Kings 86.7 FT%. 

The Raptors took control of the game during the 3rd quarter and held onto it into the beginning of the 4th, but their missed shots and turnovers cost them to give up a 16-point lead. We have seen this happen way too many times, and it just gets more and more frustrating. The Raptors led by as many as 16 points, while the Kings’ biggest lead was only 4 points. 

Duane Notice has made some notable contributions, with the additional minutes he’s been getting, over the last few games. With the last 3 games combined, he had 24 assists, and in the game against the Kings, he scored 13 points. 

Though he performed well in certain aspects of the game, he did not do well in others. Duane had 4 turnovers. Turnovers are something Coach Jama Mahlalela said that the team needs to work on the among of turnovers they make each game. He noted that losses come from games that, among other things, contained many turnovers. 

The 4th quarter started with the 905 being up by 10 points, 83-73. When they proceeded to take a 16-point lead from buckets from Evans and Baer, 89-73, it appeared that they had the game in the bag. 

That was not the case because the Kings went a 10-point run cutting the deficit to just 3 points. 

The refs called a foul on Notice with 1:04 left in the 4th which took the Kings to the free-throw line, where they made both free-throws, 103-101.

The Raptors had a big opportunity to take the game after Stockton committed a 5-second violation, which resulted in a turnover and got the 905 fans on their feet. Raptors were down by just one point, 104-105. What looked like a light at the end of the tunnel turned out to be false hope once Ennis got tangled up with Thompson the refs chose to call a jump-ball which Ennis lost. 

The Kings outscored the 905, 34-21 in the 4th. Their hopes of making the playoffs are slowly slipping away from them. 

They lost by 3 points, 107-104, another one-possession game, and another punch in the gut. The Raptors 905 have made the playoffs for the last three years, but it looks like this year could be an outlier if they continue to lose winnable games. 

The Raptors have a week off to recover and will be back next Wednesday to face the Westchester Knicks, at 7:30 pm ET.