A pro athlete needs a short memory. Dwelling on losses, or bad individual plays, is corrosive. We can only hope that the Raps have the requisite ability to stay in the moment, and not dwell about the Utah win that got away, as they get set to take on the Pacers.
Indiana spoiled the Raps’ opening night, & our team would love to even up the season series, despite the fatigue players like DeRozan & Bargnani must be feeling. The Pacers struggle to score, averaging barely 90 PPG while waiting on the return of their leading scorer, Danny Granger. They just stopped a 3 game slide by defeating the Wizards, and sit at 3-4. Pacer points will come from a variety of sources, including Roy Hibbert, their intimidating Centre who is averaging 2.6 blocks. Paul George, a swingman who seems ready to take his place among the game’s elite, is averaging 14+ PPG so far. Their starting Point Guard, George Hill, is also contributing with 15 PPG, but a relatively modest 5+ APG.
For the Raps, DeMar DeRozan is coming off one of his
best games ever. If he can find a hidden source of energy, he will be a handful for the Pacers. His decision-making is greatly improved, & he will take it to the hoop against anyone. Which Linas Kleiza will show up? Will his offensive outburst against the Jazz see him elevated to starter status at Small Forward, or will Coach Casey use him as a change of pace shooter again? My bet is that Dom McGuire gets another chance, although his 5 point contribution didn’t exactly solidify his hold on the spot. Jose Calderon will start again at PG, from where we’ll need another double-double night. Andrea Bargnani’s shooting tailed off badly last night; let’s hope he re-discovers it in a hurry.
I don’t think either team will crack the century. How about the Raps by a bucket, 94-92.
Brian Boake is a staff writer for Raptors Rapture. “Like” Raptors Rapture on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @RaptorsRapture for all the latest news and updates about the best damn NBA team from Canada.