Title: Raptors 905 ready to mimic parent club with similarly high expectations
Date: November 2, 2018
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic, I previewed the Raptors 905 season, one in which they’ll look a lot like the NBA Raptors in style and, they hope, success.
The message Raptors 905 head coach Jama Mahlalela had for his players in training camp was simple: Win the moment.
It was more of a philosophical mandate than it was basketball instruction. His goal was to have his players to come out on top in every facet of their lives. Win each rep in the weight room, win each food decision on the drive home, and win each possession on the court. It’s the team’s unofficial slogan for the season, and it’s one Mahlalela hopes can become a permanent state of mind for the 905.
On Thursday, as the minutes in an unofficial intra-squad scrimmage dwindled, that message was once again heard. Those who had survived the first round of cuts were split into teams, head-to-head, the game close enough that competitive fires were burning. Kay Felder was barking at OUA referees, Chris Boucher was hitting the deck for loose balls, and Deng Adel was trying to dunk any shot his team put up whether it was headed in or not. And those are the players who were guaranteed a roster spot. The stakes were much higher for a half dozen others, two of whom were being sent home after the final buzzer.