Title: Raptors 905 head into G League Showcase eyeing another championship: Mid-season report card
Date: January 8, 2018
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I graded Raptors 905 at the mid-season mark of a truly impressive year so far.
A few weeks back, Raptors 905 looked as if they’d be heading into the G League Showcase with a very specific goal in mind: A return to .500.
On Dec. 15, the Toronto Raptors’ G League affiliate lost a tough 107-106 decision in Greensboro, dropping their record to 5-10. Without a great deal of NBA help to that point – Lorenzo Brown had been with the parent club due to Delon Wright’s injury, Malcolm Miller was still working his way back from off-season ankle surgery and Alfonzo McKinnie was often traveling with the Raptors – and having lost Kyle Wiltjer and Edy Tavares in the opening days of the season, the defending champion 905 were very much in building mode. Learn lessons in the losses, get minutes for guys who maybe weren’t expected to play big roles so soon, and come Showcase time, this could look like a winning team.
Well, the Showcase takes place in Mississauga this week, and the 905 have changed the story entirely. In fact, they haven’t lost since that Greensboro game, winning nine in a row. They’re a one-point game from having strung together 11 consecutive victories, and they’re in a playoff position at 14-10 as a result. As they prepare to host the entire league over four days, beginning on Wednesday, the goals within reach are far loftier than they would have seemed a few weeks back. There’s a championship to defend, after all.
With the Showcase marking the halfway point of the season, what follows is a mid-season report card for the 905. (Grades are relative to the expectations for that individual.)