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NBA G-League Toronto Raptors 905 Lorenzo Brown

G League MVP Lorenzo Brown Joins Toronto Raptors For The Playoffs

Last night at the Hersey Centre just before Game Two of the NBA G League Finals, Toronto Raptors two-way contract player Lorenzo Brown found out he was this year’s G League MVP and soon after the Raptors converted his status to a standard NBA contract just in time for the first place Toronto Raptors playoffs.

 

 

 

Brown is now eligible to participate for the Raptors in the postseason.

The big point guard has appeared in 14 games with the Raptors this season, averaging 2.3 points, 1.1 rebounds and 9.8 minutes and hasn’t looked out of place because of his defensive presence. He scored a season-high 11 points on April 9th at Detroit and recorded a season-best five assists on January 11th vs Cleveland.

Brown earned his NBA G League MVP by averaging team highs of 18.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, 8.9 assists and 1.8 steals in 32 games (all starts) for Raptors 905.

The 2017 defending Champion Raptors 905 had the third best record in the G League at 31-19 this season and went 25-7 with Brown in the lineup. They were the only team in the G League to hold opponents to under 100 points per game on average over the regular season.

The Raptors 905 advanced to this year’s Finals by defeating the Grand Rapids Drive, Westchester Knicks and Erie BayHawks in single-game elimination contests. Brown averaged a team-high 20.2 points and 8 assists in five G League playoff games.

 

 

Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

 

 

 

 

NBA G League Raptors 905 East Champs

Spurs Take Game One From Raptors 905 (with Highlights)

Derrick White scored a game-high 35 points for the Spurs in Austin on Sunday night to take Game One of the best-of-three NBA G League Finals from the defending champion Mississauga Raptors 905. The final score was 105-93.

 

 

The Spurs also got big nights from guard Darrun Hilliard who had 23 points and 17 points from Nick Johnson.

905 guard Lorenzo Brown led his team once again with 20 points while center Kennedy Meeks chipped in with a double-double of 13 points and 10 boards.

 

 

The Spurs were able to capitalize on strong three point shooting in the opening quarter, hitting on 60 percent from beyond the arc to take an early 30-23 advantage. Hilliard recorded 10 points in the quarter to pace Austin. Raptors 905 pushed back in the second frame, spearheaded by Brown’s 12 point effort in the quarter. After the opening 24 minutes of play, Austin went into the break up 54-49.

After a 27-27 draw in the third quarter, the two teams headed into the final frame with Austin ahead 81-76. In the fourth quarter, Austin converted at a 53.3 percent clip from the field to edge the 905 24-17 in the frame and earn the Game One victory.

Both teams now head to Mississauga for Game Two on Tuesday, April 10 with tip-off scheduled for 8 p.m.

 

Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

 

 

 

NBA Toronto Raptors win no 57

Raptors Crush Pacers To Secure First Place In The East

The Toronto Raptors built an 18-4 lead before the visiting Pacers knew what hit them as they held visitors to 5 points below their previous worst this season of 38 at the half and 10 points below their prior low of 83 for a game this year as Toronto cruised to a new franchise record for wins in a season at 57 and secured first place in the Eastern Conference with the 92-73 win.

The Pacers couldn’t buy a bucket all game as no one in the starting lineup made more than two field goals and Indiana shot a season low 29.9 percent as a team.

“(The Raptors) defense has been solid, there offense has picked up. They have put together a bench that is playing very well,” said Pacers head coach Nate McMillan prior to the game. “They have put themselves into a position to have this kind of success.”

The Raptors defensive-minded power forward Serge Ibaka was red hot from the start, scoring 10 first quarter points and finishing with a season-high 25 points on 10-13 shooting while matching his career best of five made three-pointers. No one else scored more than 12 points on either team.

“(Ibaka) is a weapon,” head coach Dwane Casey said. “He has developed that like a lot of players that go through the league. They develop the offensive end. He is a definite three-point shooter.”

The victory also established a new franchise record for wins at home (33) with one home game remaining against Orlando on Sunday.

DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry played 28 minutes each and finished 12/5/8 and 9/5/9 respectively as Casey didn’t have to rely on his All-Stars to get the job done on this night.

“There is a sense of gratification of watching the growth of the program,” Casey said. “(The) development of the program from scratch and building it to the number one seed in our conference.”

However, Casey is thinking about the start of the playoffs a week from now and, unlike some other coaches, is more worried about keeping his guys ready to play than giving them any significant time off.

“That’s bull crap,” Casey said about resting guys. “We may give a guy some time, but we can’t think rest, we got to think rhythm. If you’ve been around the last couple of years, you’ve seen what shutting guys down a few games does to your body. We may rest a guy maybe a few minutes or a game, but there won’t be anybody who is going to take the rest of these next three games off because we just now in these last couple of games got a sense of rhythm.”

The Raptors don’t want to face another slow start in the first round of the playoffs.

On another note, the Raptors affiliate, Raptors 905, defeated the Erie BayHawks in the G League Eastern Conference Final 118-106 led by two-way contract player Lorenzo Brown with a game-high 28 points. The 905 will head to Austin, Texas to defend their G League Title on Sunday April 8th at 7:00 p.m. Game Two will be at the Hersey Centre in Mississauga on April 10th with Game Three, if necessary, back in Austin on April 13th.

 

 

Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

 

 

NBA G-League Toronto Raptors 905 Lorenzo Brown

Lorenzo Brown Leads Raptors 905 To G-League East Finals

Lorenzo Brown scored the first two points of the night for the Raptors 905 and led his team to a 92-80 victory over the first-place Knicks in the NBA G-League East Semi-Final at the Westchester County Center in White Plains New York on Monday night.

As he has done all season Brown continued to be the catalyst for the 905 attack recording a team-high 18 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists.  Kennedy Meeks (13 points, 14 rebounds) and Alfonzo McKinnie (10 points, 11 rebounds) contributed double-doubles for the 905.

Isaiah Hicks scored a game-high 23 points for the Knicks, who also received a 20-point effort from New York Knicks assignment player Damyean Dotson and a near triple-double of 16 points 10 assists and eight boards from starting guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes.  However, the 905 bench offset the huge offensive output by the Knicks starters, outscoring the Westchester reserves 45-21.

Westchester jumped out to a big 18-4 early lead on the strength of three quick trifectas and three layups while the 905 couldn’t buy a basket. Fortunately, the 905 bench came in and turned things around to pull within three points, 26-23, at the end of the first quarter.

The game stayed close thru the second and third quarters with neither team able to put together a run and it stayed that way until the 905 hit back-to-back three-pointers to go up by eight points with 6:15 left in the game. The Knicks rallied back to close to within four points before the 905 clamped down on defense over the final four and a half minutes to outscore their opponent 10-2 and secure the victory.

Raptors 905 will continue its quest to defend their NBA G-League title Friday April 6th on the road against the winner of Tuesday’s contest between the Erie BayHawks and Fort Wayne Mad Ants in the single game elimination Eastern Conference Final.

 

 

Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

 

 

 

NBA Toronto Raptors Lorenzo Brown

Lorenzo Brown Leads Raptors 905 To Playoff Victory

Raptors 905 battled until the final whistle in their NBA G-League Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in front of 2,253 enthusiastic fans at the Hersey Centre, earning a 92-88 victory over Grand Rapids Friday night led by their two-way contract star Lorenzo Brown. 

“Both teams played really good defense,” 905 head coach Jerry Stackhouse said after the game. “I expected this game to be a battle and it absolutely was. At the end, Lorenzo stepped up and made some big plays for us and we got the stops that we needed on the defensive end.”

The starting guards would feature prominently throughout this game as Brown and Grand Rapids Drive guard Kay Felder posted game-high 24-point efforts. The 905 also benefited from timely points from Toronto Raptors assignees Alfonzo McKinnie and Malachi Richardson who had 8 points and 5 points in the fourth quarter respectively to earn the victory. McKinnie hitting the game winning basket with 28 seconds left on a play called by Brown on the fly.

“Malachi came up and gave us some life there in the second half,” Stackhouse said.

“I was so proud of Lorenzo. I didn’t call that play (at the end), that play he called for Alfonzo to get that (winning) shot in the lane, they called that on the free throw down there. They saw something there and I think that’s the growth of a point guard being able to call things on the fly.”

“We tried to call (that play) about eight times,” Lorenzo explained. “But (coach) Stack, he thought something (else) would work, so we kept going with what Stack wanted to do. They kept taking away our hammers and me going downhill so we had to make some adjustments and got them confused because they kept switching and Alfonzo had the hot hand at the moment so we had to go to him and he made the big play.”

The game was tightly contested from the tip with Grand Rapids leading 50-49 at the half.  Nothing was decided until the final minutes when the 905 broke a 82-all tie with less than 5 minutes left on a 6-0 Brown lead flurry.

Brown assisted on a McKinnie jumper and then scored on two quick drives to the rim, the first one leaving the Drive looking lost and confused.

“I definitely carried,” Brown admitted. “I don’t know what the refs was thinking, I definitely carried, but I got away with it.”

Raptors 905 now head to Westchester for a second-round meeting with the Eastern Conference Champion Knicks.  The game will take place Monday, April 2 at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast on NBA TV.

 

Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

 

 

NBA Toronto Raptors Lorenzo Brown

Raptors Two-Way Lorenzo Brown Should Be An NBA Player

Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri landed himself a gem when he signed Lorenzo Brown to an NBA two-way contract this season. The big point guard has been tearing up the G League with three 30 point games since the start of December and, in the process, has tied the 905 franchise record for assists (15) and points (36, tied with Norman Powell).

“I believe I’m an NBA guy right now,” Brown told Pro Bball Report and it’s a statement that’s getting hard to argue with.

In the 905’s opening G League Showcase game on Thursday, Brown put up a double-double 24 points and 12 assists in 35 minutes at noon. Then he sprinted down to the Air Canada Centre to play 19 minutes in the Raptors rout of the Cavaliers recording 6 points and 5 assists.

Brown has been playing like an All-Star at the G League level, but it’s been his impact with the Raptors in the NBA that deserves another look.

As a third string injury replacement point guard with the Raptors, Brown is filling a very different role at the NBA level, but whenever he gets more than a couple of minutes, he makes an impact.

“I have a role to play,” Brown said. “I have a role to play up there and I have a role to play here. I feel I am more aggressive down here and when the time comes to be more aggressive up there I’ll take that approach.”

With the big club, Brown’s approach is conservative. He plays defense and looks to limit mistakes and it’s working. He’s been a “plus” +/- player in each of the five games where he’s got more than a couple of minutes, a +38 in 69 minutes of action.

He may not be getting noticed by the causal fan, but the Raptors lead grows with him on the court. His focus on defense has been effective.

“That’s been my focus to tell you the truth,” Brown said. “I am a great defender when I put my mind to it. (But) when that time comes for me to be aggressive at the offensive end, I’ll show it. Right now my goal is to bring energy to the team and defend.

“(My role is) to be a great teammate.”

It’s hard for his teammates on the big club to incorporate him into the offense. They just don’t have the opportunity to play with him that much and practice minutes with guys not in the regular rotation is really hard to find.

However, even with the lack of familiarity sliding this solid scorer to the fifth option on offense, head coach Dwane Casey can leave him on the court for extended minutes because he fits on defense.

“I’m just waiting on my opportunity man,” Brown said.

That opportunity is going to come. If the Raptors make a move to trade one of their guards, Brown has shown he can be effective as a third string guard with the Raptors right now and there are always NBA teams looking for a big guard that can play defense and has the potential to be a big time scorer if given the chance.

 

 

Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

 

 

 

NBA G-League Toronto Raptors 905 Lorenzo Brown

Raptors Lorenzo Brown Is The Perfect Two-Way Player

When the NBA permitted teams to sign players to two-way contracts with the NBA G-League this season no one really knew what to expect. What types of players would general managers sign? Who would be valuable as a potential 16th or 17th addition to the traditional 15 man NBA roster?

Players in the old D-League were often overlooked prospects teams hoped might develop into something and then teams had to hope they’d have an open spot on their NBA roster before they lost the player for nothing to another team. A player on a two-way contract is different. First, teams can pay them enough to keep some better players from going overseas and second, teams control players on two-way contracts.

Raptors president Masai Ujiri made an interesting choice in 27-year-old point guard Lorenzo Brown who had 63 games worth of NBA experience on three different NBA teams, 75 games in the D-League and played last season in China. Brown has become the perfect compliment for a team up against the luxury tax threshold and finding itself in need of a (hopefully) short term injury replacement.

Brown had previously put up big-time numbers in the D-League, so he was also a welcome addition to Raptors 905 head coach Jerry Stackhouse’s roster.

“The point guard play is very important for us,” Stackhouse said. “Being able to get us into our sets, not only (Brown’s) savvy on the court, it’s his talent. He’s a talent. It’s big to have him. Take 20 points and 6 assists out of any lineup, that’s tough to replace and that’s what he’s been doing for us so far.”

However, even with injuries in Toronto, Brown’s role with the big club has been very different than with the 905. The Raptors still have plenty of scoring. They just need Brown to hold down the fort for a few minutes in order to give the regulars a rest or maintain the lead in a blow out and it’s a role he’s looked very good in.

“It was a great experience,” Brown described playing with the Raptors to Pro Bball Report. “Just playing my role and trying to fit in with the guys.

“My role right now is just to defend and make the right reads on offense. Try to make as few mistakes as possible.”

Brown has played a total of 46 minutes in 4 games with the Raptors where he’s contributed a total of just 2 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals and  0 turnovers, however, the most important stat for this injury reserve is his team is a +39 points with him on the court. He’s made few mistakes and has fit in seamlessly as a big guard that can defend multiple positions.

The injured Delon Wright has nothing to worry about when he gets back, but Brown has helped fill some of the void created by his absence.

“Playing as many games as I’ve had down here (in the G-League) gets me ready for the big game up top,” Brown explained. “(It) gets me a little more physical and ready.”

“It’s good for him (to play up),” Stackhouse said. “He’s learning a lot.

“He’s been a talent so far. Now he’s trying to grow into more of a time-and-score possession point guard and he’s well on his way.”

In his four games with the Raptors Brown has shown the discipline to accept and fill a role. He’s been the perfect two-way G-League player for the Raptors.

 

 

Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

 

 

 

 

NBA G League Mississauga Raptors 905 Lorenzo Brown

Raptors Sign Guard Lorenzo Brown To A Two-Way Contract

The Toronto Raptors announced Tuesday they have signed 26-year-old guard Lorenzo Brown to a two-way contract.

Brown, 6-foot-5, 189 pounds, has averaged 3.3 points, 1.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 63 career NBA games with Philadelphia (2013-14), Minnesota (2014-15) and Phoenix (2015-16). He has also appeared in 74 career D-League games over four seasons with the Delaware 87ers (2013-14), Springfield Armor (2013-14) and Grand Rapids Drive averaging 18.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 1.8 steals while shooting 48.6 percent from the field and 36.4 percent from three-point range.

A native of Roswell Georgia, Brown was selected 52nd overall in the 2013 NBA Draft by Minnesota after playing three seasons at North Carolina State. He averaged 11.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 5.8 assists in college.

Brown split last season between the Zhejiang Golden Bulls of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) and the Drive.

He averaged 24.0 points, while shooting .301 (37-for-123) from three-point range during 20 games with Zhejiang. Brown finished the season averaging 23.6 points and 7.7 rebounds while shooting .353 (18-for-51) from three-point territory in 11 appearances for Grand Rapids.

Two-way contracts do not count against the 15-man NBA roster. Teams are restricted to two players on two-way contracts. The Raptors other two-way contract player is Malcolm Miller.

As an older player with international experience, Brown fits with the concept of someone the Raptors might call up from the G League to the NBA as an injury replacement during the regular season.

 

 

Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.