Stackhouse, Heslip, Tavares lead 905 to First Playoff Berth
Unlike some, the Raptors 905 rise in the NBA’s Developmental League was never two years away from being two years away.
In only the second season since their inception, the Toronto Raptors’ D-League affiliate, just a few minutes down the 407-West, has clinched its first ever playoff berth. Simply, the thought of how far this franchise has come in a year is incredible. Finishing their inaugural season with a 23-27 record, Jerry Stackhouse was placed at the helm as the team’s new head coach.
What followed was an incredible and rapid climb up the D-League ladder. The Raptors are now 31-11, good for first in the Eastern Conference with arguably the deepest team and the most talent in the entire league.
— Raptors 905 (@Raptors905) March 12, 2017
Defence has been the strong suit of the 905 and an element Stackhouse has preached since day one – also the same element the team has used to dominate the D-League. The Raptors hold opposing teams to 100.0 points per game, which is brilliant if you take into account what the D-League game is like. There are 22-teams in the league and only one of them, the Salt Lake City Stars average less than 100-points per game (99.9).
The 905 allow the fewest points per game, force the lowest opponent’s plus/minus (-6.4), and are third in opponent’s field goal percentage (43.6%). If the saying goes defence wins championships, then Head Coach Stackhouse has the 905 in a good spot!
Led by the sharp-shooting Brady Heslip and defensive anchor Edy Tavares as well as main roster players who have seen stints in the D-League this year, the Raptors 905 now sit six games ahead of the Canton Charge for first in the East with only eight games remaining in the season.
On the Western Conference side, the Los Angeles D-Fenders, led by Vander Blue only trail the 905 by two games for the best record in the entire league.
Congratulations to the 905 on their first playoff berth! Playoff time is coming to Mississauga!