NBA cancels season right as the 905 tie for a playoff spot
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Wednesday, March 11, 2020
Final Score, Raptors 905, 129 - College Park Skyhawks, 116
Mississauga, ON - As the NBA decided to suspend their season the 905 were capping off a 129-116 win over the College Park Skyhawks. Four straight wins marks the longest of the season for the 905 and with the NBA now on hold, expect the G-League to follow suit. Raptors now are in a tie for the final playoff spot.
Pascal Siakam Bobblehead night and despite the worry around the Coronavirus(COVID-19), a pretty full arena as fans came to get the Toronto Raptors AllStar Forward miniature. But they would leave wondering when they could return?
Oshae Brissett was back in the starting lineup and dropped 21 on an efficient 7 of 12 shooting. He also grabbed a team high 14 boards with two blocks and two steals.
Stanley Johnson was down from the big team. “Stanley wants to stay in shape, he wants to stay ready … he saw an opportunity where we had a game and they didn’t.” Head Coach Jama Mahlalela on Johnson being in the 905s lineup. He got the start and scored 18 points on 19 shots to go with seven rebounds, five assists and three steals.
The Raptors were sloppy early. Just one turnover but a lot of forced shots had them down 10-5 less than four minutes into the game.
Brissett looked rusty. Just one for three with a bad turnover trying to force his way to the rim. As a team it wasn't much better. Two of ten from the field and a five point deficit.
Devin Robinson checked in and made an immediate impact. A nice turnaround jumper and then a good contest at the rim. It sparked a seven-zip run, 905 took a 17-15 lead with five minutes left in the first.
Brissett settled in and was leading the Raptors. He drew a foul and went to the line, followed that up with a three, a block at the other end and then finished another bucket in the paint. The Skyhawks called a timeout and went on a seven-0 run of their own.
Then it was all 905 to close. 21-2 to close the first. Henry Ellenson put a cap on the run with a beautiful ball fake before draining a shot from deep with time running down. Three blocks and three steals had College Park looking lost.
Brissett finished the quarter with a team high 13 points. 905 held a big 38-24 lead after 12 minutes. Raptors shot 11 of 22 but even more impressive, they hit 5 of 10 from deep.
A better start to the quarter kept the lead. The 905 had a willingness to drive the paint and draw fouls. Unfortunately they were missing their free throws, 2 of 5 halfway through the second quarter. Tahjere McCall was keeping the Skyhawks in it with 15 of their 41 points.
Johnson was really hurting the 905. 0 of 8 from the floor and he was trying to isolate his man and take him one on one. The problem was he wasn’t finishing and it led to a 13-3 Skyhawks run, making it 55-52.
College Park came all the way back to tie it at the half, 61-61. Brissett was leading the 905 with 13 points on seven shots. McCall led the game with 17 points. After shooting so well in the first, Raptors had a rough second quarter shooting the basketball. They were 7 of 21, dropping their percentage to 41.9% overall.
A really contested start to the third. A Lot like Monday’s win it was Tyler Ennis leading the way in the third. Just three points in the first half but he took over had eleven with four minutes left in the quarter.
The 905 made a good run to close the quarter taking a 94-89 lead into the fourth. Johnson played a lot better hitting three of the four shots he took. Ellenson was now leading the Raptors with 16, on 4 of 5 shooting and making the most of his trips to the line, a perfect 3 of 3.
Another battle to start the fourth. Mark Ogden Jr. was quiet in the first half but was now feeling it, 17 points. McCall was cleaning the glass with a game high 13 boards. With just over seven minutes left in the game, 905 were down 105-104.
Brissett was getting into the heads of the Skyhawks. RJ Hunter was going for the ball after a Brissett offensive rebound. Hunter got his hand in and after some jawing between the two, he pushed the referee. That drew a technical foul and propelled a nine-0 Raps run to give them a 123-114 lead with 2:04 remaining in the fourth.
That would be it as the 905 beat the Skyhawks 129-116. With all the Coronavirus(COVID-19) scare the 905 opted for no post game interviews.
Next Up, As of now its Friday, March 13th, in Portland against the Maine Red Claws who are currently third in the Eastern Conference. With the NBA now suspended because of the Coronavirus(COVID-19), expect this game to be either cancelled or postponed to a later date.