Raptors 905 lock up the Windy City Bulls at home
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Tuesday, November 26, 2019
Final Score, Raptors 905 - 113 Windy City Bulls - 95
Mississauga, On - A dominant defensive performance holding the Bulls to just 39.8% from the field. The Raptors 905 cruised to a 113-95 win in Justin Anderson’s first game with the team.
After tip-off, Tyler Ennis found Devin Robinson to open the scoring, this would be a theme. The first few possessions the 905 were doing a great job defensively, their new swingman Anderson got the start and his first steal. 905 held the Bulls off the scoreboard for the first 2:55 of play.
Rebounding was an issue early on with Darel Poirier getting a putback plus the foul. Anderson’s impact was felt after a turnover, he had a great chasedown block keeping it a 7-7 game.
First timeout came after another fastbreak, this time the Bulls PJ Dozier layed it in taking a 9-7 lead through the first 4 and a half. Bulls had to take their own timeout after a quick 9-0 run by the 905 put them back out-front.
Ennis’ speed was a factor early on both offensively and defensively, grabbing a steal and pushing the pace.
I asked Head Coach Jama Mahlalela pregame about how he thinks his chemistry has come along this season, he said, “Slowly so far, but I think in the last 48 hours I’ve seen some positive signs. I think we're starting to understand what we're trying to do and learning a new offensive system takes time.”
That new found chemistry led them to a 25-20 lead on 43.5% shooting after the first quarter.
Before the second got underway, Nick Nurse, Chris Boucher and Malcolm Miller made an appearance on the court with the Larry O’Brien trophy. Nurse praised the 905’s development calling them “critical” to the Toronto Raptors success.
Robinson had a team high 13 early in the second with a nice lay-in and a three. The trophy seemed to have an effect on both teams, it was a quick back-and-forth first few minutes.
Anderson is his first game was already fitting in, bring up the ball on multiple possessions to trigger the offence. 5 minutes into the second, 905 led the Bulls 37-28.
Anderson praised his entire team for his fast adjustment, “From the moment I touched down, all the coaches made me feel super comfortable right away and we got the plays in, credit to my teammates for making it easy for me out there.”
Max Strus was keeping Windy City in the game with a team high 11 points on some tough drives to the hoop. Bulls trailed the 905 44-33, with 5 to go in the half.
Nicholas Baer had back-to-back offensive rebounds for Toronto before Oshae Brissett was fouled. The Toronto Raptors 2-way player stepped to the line and made the free throw, extending the 905 lead.
905's Paul Watson was playing well with 11 points but unfortunately injured his calf and did not return.
Windy City's pick-and-roll was not working with multiple turnovers. At the half, 905 led 53-41. Big game for the Raptors other two-way guy Shamorie Ponds, he came off the bench with 9 points. Raptors dominated defensively holding Windy City to 32.6% shooting in the first 24.
The tough offensive half might have affected the Bulls, they came out with still 6:30 left in the break to warm up.
It was for naught as the 905 started the second with a quick 4-0 run, extending the lead to 16. Bulls Dozier laid one in, then had a steal and after a Raps foul, Strus drove for an easy two trying to keep it close.
The Raptors were playing fast and pushing the pace. Robinson continued his hot start with a three point play for a game high 21 points. 905 held a 65-47 lead just over 3 minutes into the half.
Windy City called a timeout after another turnover, Bulls had 13 through 28 minutes.
Anderson struggled shooting 1-4 but was 2 of 2 from the line for 6 points. His effort defensively kept him on the floor for a game high 25 minutes with 5 left in the third.
“His shot contest was incredibly high and I think for someone who’s coming into a G-League environment. An effort to contest shots was really impressive.” Mahlalela remarked postgame.
Robinson was controlling the game for the Raptors with 25 points on an efficient 10 of 15 shooting. 905 were up 78-58 late in the third quarter.
Bulls offensive continued to be sloppy and going to the fourth they trailed 87-66, shooting an abysmal 3 for 26 from three-point range.
Just over one minute into the fourth, Robinson grabbed a defensive board, his 8th of the game but came up hobbling and had to leave the game. He didn’t return.
Ennis was held off the floor with multiple fouls. 3:34 into the fourth he was called for his fifth, prompting Mahlalela to challenge it. The call was reversed and a jump ball was called. The 905 continued cruising with a 93-77 lead.
More injury trouble as Matt Morgan went down clutching his ankle after fighting for an offensive rebound. He left the game and didn’t return either.
Under 4 minutes to go, Ennis nailed a three to keep it a 20 point game, 104-84 for the 905. Bulls were pushing the pace down the stretch but the 905 casually finished with a 113-95 win at home.
Anderson led the team at +23 well also playing a team high 38 minutes, “I honestly got lost in the shuffle, I was just playing, competing hard and I didn’t even realize until after the game that I played 38 but I feel good, my body feels good and that's the important part.”
905 try to make it 3 in a row on Friday, Nov 29th, at the Paramount Fine Foods Centre. The Long Island Nets come to town who are struggling at 1-5 this season.