Toronto Raptors visit Paul George’s Pacers


The Toronto Raptors and the Indiana Pacers will face off in their second meeting of the year. The Raptors won their season opener against the Pacers to a score of 106-99.

On the second night of a back-to-back, the Raptors will be in Indianapolis for the first time this season. The first night. the Raptors bench couldn’t take care of business in the second half. Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan had to come in and finish the job, racking up more than enough minutes on a night where the league-worst Philadelphia 76ers were in town. We will see how that will affect the back-court against a sputtering Pacers team.

After the Pacers completed a 6-game win streak, they have dropped 3 of their last 4, while allowing more than 118 points in each loss. The Pacers team has lost its defensive intensity lately and are looking to get it back.

This Pacers team plays with the 7th fastest pace in the league while utilizing a small-ball lineup. In November, highly touted Paul George hit 49.5% of his threes while shooting 7.6 per game. In the 6 games in December, he has only shot 39.4% from the field, a step down from his MVP-like November. The Pacers need George to play at a high level if they want to make some noise in the East.

Oct 28, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Indiana Pacers center Jordan Hill (27) falls on the ball during the third quarter in a game against the Toronto Raptors at the Air Canada Centre. The Toronto Raptors won 106-99. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

3 keys to victory

Cover the shooters

A large part of the Pacers high-octane offence lies in long-range shooting. Paul George, George Hill and CJ Miles are more than capable from filling it up from the long range. Slashers like Monta Ellis will keep the defence of it’s feet as he will look to find the open shooters around the outside.

Remain strong on defence

The Raptors 12th ranked defence has been pretty solid this season. After watching last season unravel, it is a pleasure to watch the defensive schemes work. Having said that, they still have issues making mental mistakes by giving up open 3’s, blowing coverages and just not picking up the right man. Not having a chunk of your starting line-up doesn’t help but the role-players have done a solid job in their stead.

Slow the pace

The Raptors play a slower pace than most teams in the NBA. It’s not a negative because it works for them propelling them to one of the better offences in the league. They must remain at their pace and try not to play the Pacers up-and-down game. If they can slow down Paul George in the process, bonus.

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Key players of the game

IND: George Hill; always an underrated player for Indiana, he can knock down the open shot, create and take it to the tin. Great all-around point guard.

TOR: Terrence Ross; after putting up a goose egg last night, look for a bounce back game from him to nullify the Pacer swings.


The Raptors offence is potent but has yet to blow anyone out with a high score. I think this contest will have both teams finishing in 110’s.

Next: Kyle Lowry's rank among the superstars

Sidenote: Who would have thought the eastern conference would be so competitive this time of the year? The Raptors quietly have the 2nd best record in the conference and are a half-game behind Cleveland.