Toronto Raptors 905 season ends in dramatic fashion

Toronto Raptors 905 - Jordan Loyd (Photo by Chris Covatta/NBAE via Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors 905 - Jordan Loyd (Photo by Chris Covatta/NBAE via Getty Images) /

With only two games remaining in the Toronto Raptors 905 season, they face off against the Lakeland Magic twice to determine who has a first-round bye.

The NBA G-League playoffs are nearly here. And after 48 games, a lot of bus rides, and more transactions than you can count, the league’s most consistent franchise, the Toronto Raptors 905, find themselves in the playoffs once again.

The only question is where they’ll be seeded. The G-League format promises a first-round bye to the top two seeds of each conference. The 905 currently sit in third. Not exactly the spot you want to be in.

The two teams ahead of them are the Lakeland Magic and the Long Island Nets. Three games back, the 905 will never be able to catch Long Island. Lakeland, however, is a different story.  Not only can they still catch the Magic. With only two games remaining, the 905 control their own destiny.

That’s because the Toronto Raptors G-League affiliate faces off against the Magic in back-to-back contests to end the season. Both games will be in Lakeland Fl, and both games will be significant in terms of seeding.

If the Magic win against the Windy City Bulls on Wednesday night, the 905 will need to win both games to secure the two seed. If they lose, the 905 only need to split the series.

Very rarely does a season end in such dramatic fashion. Homecourt advantage is minimal compared to the first-round bye that comes with the second seed.  The first three rounds of the playoffs are single elimination. Advancing to the second round without risk is colossal.

For the 905 to win

Is it really possible for the 905 to win two back-to-back away games against one of the best teams in the league? Absolutely. If Toronto is at full strength, they have a chance to beat anyone, no matter the circumstances.

That’s a big if. Even with Serge Ibaka returning to the big-league squad, there are no guarantees Chris Boucher will be with the team. When he is in uniform, the team’s identity is completely changed.

In their most recent contest, Boucher put 30 points and 17 rebounds, dominating the Deleware Blue Coats inside the paint and at the free-throw line. If he is able to play in both games, the 905 should be favored for each.  If he’s not, the team will likely have a hard time generating consistent offense.

Another thing they’ll need to do is to speed up the pace. The Magic play at the league’s slowest tempo and have one of the league’s most balanced scoring attacks.  Pushing the Magic into a tempo and play style they’re not comfortable with will be key, especially if Boucher isn’t able to suit up.

Previous contest

These two teams have already played once earlier this season. In Canada, without Boucher active, the Toronto Raptors 905 was able to beat the Magic 122-111. The team received a big performance from two-way player Jordan Loyd, who will undoubtedly play a major role in the upcoming contests as well.

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Two paths to a title

If Toronto is unable to secure the two seed, that’s fine. Their title hopes certainly don’t die just because they’ll have to play in the first round. However, single elimination is a tricky contest, and every additional game they play is another chance to be eliminated.

It’s not a do-or-die set of games for the 905 coming up, but it is a do-or-put-yourself-in-danger-of-dying. That doesn’t roll off the tongue quite as well.