LAS VEGAS — After earning a multi-year contract in the summer of 2017, Alfonzo McKinnie now looks at fine-tuning his game in the summer of 2018.
“The summer is always big for any player,” said McKinnie. “To work on stuff you lack in, but also continue to be strong in certain areas, preparing for next season.”
While playing with the Raptors during the 2017-18 season, McKinnie was assigned to Raptors 905, playing in 35 regular season games and five playoff contests. The Wisconsin-Green Bay product averaged 14.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.4 assists at the NBA G League level last season.
Playing under former 905 head coach Jerry Stackhouse, who recently earned a coaching call-up as an assistant coach in Memphis, McKinnie said he learned a lot about defense — and he’s applying that to his game now. Stackhouse’s 905 teams led the league in points allowed per game during both seasons.
“Stack helped me a lot, mainly on the defensive end,” said McKinnie. “I learned a lot defensively from him. Learning how to guard the ball with success and just knowing where to be on the defensive end when I’m not on the ball.”
McKinnie’s Raptors fell 90-77 to the Indiana Pacers in their first NBA Summer League game, but McKinnie dialed in 12 points and five boards in 22 minutes on the floor.
“Alfonzo was excellent, he played with spirit,” said new Raptors coach Nick Nurse, who coached in the NBA G League for six seasons. “He used his body well to get to the basket, he just looked like a really great player out there.”
McKinnie and the Raptors will play again on Sunday against the Minnesota Timberwolves (3 pm/et, NBA TV) at Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas in their second game of NBA Summer League.