Raptors Start Four 905 Alums en Route to 126-110 Victory over Cavaliers
It may have been a victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers, a struggling team starting to look towards the future, but the win on game 34 of a long season meant so much for the Toronto Raptors brass.
The Raptors invested in their own G League team only three seasons ago. The 905 became the franchise’s developmental grounds, instilled to find and grow the next crop of talent that would be able to help the team on the next level. Very quickly, the 905 became one of the more revered programs in the G League, winning the championship in just their second year of existence and falling just short of a repeat the following year.
Now, the organization’s star prospects have graduated and are currently helping its NBA affiliate and on Friday night, albeit with the Raptors dealing with a slew of injury, the starting line up put together by head coach Nick Nurse showed that the 905 program has paid dividends.
O.G. Anunoby, Pascal Siakam, Delon Wright, and Fred VanVleet – all graduates of the 905 – all got the call to start against the Cavaliers en route to a 126-110.
With Kawhi Leonard leading the way with a game-high 37 points, Anunoby exploded with a 21 point and eight rebound performance. Siakam logged in a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds, while VanVleet added 14 points of his own. Wright chipped in with 8 points of his own.
“They’re all tough right now,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said before the contest. “When you’re down three, four, five bodies, every game, we’re scrapping and clawing for everything we can get.”
Two other graduates of the 905 system, Norman Powell and Lorenzo Brown added 11 and seven points apiece off the bench.
In the absence of a number of the team’s leaders, the Raptors were able to overcome the odds on Friday night and with Leonard scheduled to sit against the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday, it will be up to the Raptors to keep riding their young guns as the teams works towards getting back to full health.