Toronto Raptors NBA D-League affiliate, Raptors 905, tipped off the D-League Finals, Sunday night. Over the course of the past few weeks, Raptors 905 have been working their way through the NBA D-League Playoffs. After sweeping their previous two Playoff opponents, the “baby Raptors” came into Sunday’s game scorching hot. Their Finals opponent, Rockets affiliate, Rio Grand-Valley Vipers, have also been hot and, boast the leagues best offence.
Top Raptors prospects aside, the D-League Finals also has a large Canadian presence. Vipers Rookie sensation, Kyle Wiltjer(23.5 ppg) is a member of Canada’s National Team and, Canadian Sharpshooter Brady Heslip is a key player for Raptors 905. After going undrafted in 2014, Heslip has become one the D-Leagues marquee players and also, spent time with the Toronto Raptors during the Preseason.
Sunday Nights game was a rare loss for Canada’s only D-League team. Coming into Game One, the 905 were 21-4 on the road and, were riding a 12 game winning streak. Raptors 905 Head Coach and D-League Coach of The Year, Jerry Stackhouse has done a tremendous of developing his players. Although he struggled in Game One, Bruno Caboclo has come a long way. Also, a number of members of Raptors 905 have received NBA call-ups. D-League Defensive Player of The Year, Edy Tavares earned the opportunity to join the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Playoffs.
Another familiar face for Raptors fans had a big game Sunday night. In 38 minutes of action, Pascal Siakam scored 20 points and added 10 rebounds for the double-double. Siakam appeared in 55 games for the Toronto Raptors and, started in 38. Although he is a Rookie in the NBA, in the D-League, Siakam is a player with a wealth of NBA experience. CJ Leslie, another undrafted player making a name for himself, scored a team high 25 points. Former D-League Slam Dunk Contest winner, John Jordan had a near triple-double, scoring 19 points and, adding 8 rebounds as well as, 7 assists.
Game Two of the D-League Finals tips off on Tuesday at 7:00 PM EST. The D-League Finals is only a best of three series meaning, Tuesday’s game is a must win for Raptors 905. It will be an exciting week of Basketball for Raptors fans. As, the Toronto Raptors look to take the series lead against Milwaukee, their D-League affiliate, Raptors 905 will be looking to force a third and, final game in the NBA D-League Finals.