Without Jaden Springer and Julian Champagnie available for the Delaware Blue Coats, Mac McClung and Justin Smith would capitalize on those open minutes versus the Raptors 905. Where the front court of the Bluecoats usually puts up the bulk of the scoring, the first half would be guard-dominated on offense.
In the first quarter, the Bluecoats took an early lead despite some sloppy possessions. They tried to find a rhythm as Toronto established their perimeter shooting, attempting a barrage of long-range shots.
The 905’s threatened to pull away early, but Jared Wilson-Frame asserted himself, knocking down shots from behind the arc with regularity. His stroke was smooth and full of confidence. He ended up with 17 points, 12 of which came from 3-pointers.
Poor interior passing led to several turnovers for Delaware, which gave Toronto plenty of opportunities to run, leading to several alley-oop layups and dunks. Ron Harper Jr. was the most effective offensive threat for the 905’s in both halves.
Defensively, the Blue Coats caused turnovers that led to easy baskets for a number of players. Michael Foster, Jr. ran the floor like a gazelle, despite his huge frame, along with Justin Smith and Charlie Brown, Jr.
Brown Jr., who earned minutes last season with the Sixers, sought his shot in the first half, scoring in multiple ways. His jump shot still looks flat, but he found more effective ways to score on dunks in transition. His defense was stifling, disrupting Toronto’s offense and causing poor shot attempts. His ability to stay in front of his man was notable.
If you thought the Toronto Raptors shot a ton of 3-pointers, their G-League team isn’t far behind. At the end of the first half, they attempted two dozen 3-pointers compared to Delaware’s 18. They were also outrebounded by the Blue Coats 17-27 in the first half, which continued after intermission.
Skylar Mays, the team’s point guard, was shooting pre-game almost two hours before tip-off. Unfortunately, he had an off-night scoring, hitting only three of nine shots. He did dish out 11 dimes though.
The Blue Coats deviated from the NBA-heavy pick-and-roll schemes for most of the game. Plenty of dribble hand-offs were executed, where the final player with a near-depleted shot clock made decisive moves toward the basket or pulled up from the perimeter. One of those decisive players was the night’s star, Mac McClung.
Given a contract by Delaware after Golden State waived him, McClung dazzled the Chase Fieldhouse crowd with an array of moves that demonstrate why he earned NBA roster spots with the LA Lakers and Chicago Bulls last year.
Toronto had no answer for the elusive guard all evening, who also went 4 of 8 from beyond the arc. When he was not knocking down 3-pointers, McClung drove the lane at will, finished strong, or kicked out to open shooters whenever he was on the floor. He finished with 44 points and seven assists.
At one point late in the fourth quarter, Toronto center Reggie Perry simply shook his head in frustration as McClung scored at the rim. The icing on the cake was an impeccable inbound pass from Charlie Brown, Jr. to a cutting McClung for a layup.
Off the bench, Patrick McCaw provided an offensive spark. His first-half shooting was notable, going perfect from beyond (3-3) and scoring 12 points. He ended up with 17 points for the game in 28 minutes of play.
One major factor that helped the Delaware Blue Coats secure a resounding victory was their control of the boards. Foster, Jr. had 11 rebounds, and Justin Smith collected nine of his own. Impressively, Smith pulled down seven offensive rebounds, showing how tenacious he can be on the glass.
Had Toronto shot better from the perimeter, the transition points by the Blue Coats would not have been as high, and the game would have been closer. They also dominated with interior scoring, scoring 70 points total compared to the 905s, who had 54 points in the paint.
The offensive explosion by the Blue Coats entertained the hometown crowd on this brisk Friday night. They ended up winning the game 141-129. With the Blue Coats shooting 40 percent on 35 attempts beyond the arc, putting the heat on Toronto, McClung kept torching the 905s with his unbelievable display of skill. Let’s hope Delaware can keep up the hot shooting in their next matchup versus Maine on the road.
The Blue Coats will next take on the Maine Celtics, the G-League affiliate of Boston, on Sunday, November 20th.