For the first time in their very young history, the Raptors 905 were crowned D-League champions. The Toronto affiliate closed out their series against a formidable Rio Grande Valley Vipers last night, with a convincing score of 122-96. It’s yet another impressive win for the organization, who also dominated regular season play with a record of 39-11. Prior to the playoffs, the 905 snagged both their division and conference titles in only their second-ever season. The team also swept two series matchups against the Maine Red Claws and Canton Charge.
Led by former NBA all-star and first-year coach, Jerry Stackhouse, the squad tore through competition and lifted the D-League trophy in front of a hometown crowd at Mississauga’s Hershey Centre. For his part in their incredible success, Stackhouse was named coach of the year - an honour which was announced last week. The 42-year-old gave his all and helped produce a historic run for the 905, and according to video from the team’s official Twitter, he celebrated accordingly.
Stackhouse wasn’t the only person to get some solo hardware. 905 power forward, Pascal Siskam, was handed series MVP after putting up great numbers throughout the tournament, including 17 points in the final game. The 23-year-old Cameroon native was selected by the Raps in the first round of last year’s NBA Entry Draft. Toronto prospect, Bruno Caboclo was another standout in the finals, notching 31 points in the series’ deciding game.
Mississauga will have some ample time celebrate, as the next D-League season will commence later in the fall. The development league may look a little different next season for the defending champs, as multiple outlets report that the organization may expand to three more teams. Meanwhile, the 905’s big brother Toronto Raptors, will take on LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday during the NBA conference semifinals.