The Toronto Raptors fought tough on New Year's Day in a home game versus the Indiana Pacers, besting them 95-82. It was another great night sharing the ball as the Raptors amassed 27 assists and moving to 9-3 since the Rudy Gay trade. The Raptors really fought hard and earned this win against the scrappy Pacers, handing them their 6th loss of the season. They were down by 4 at half but came out with a different mindset, matching the Pacers scrappiness and pulling out the win. Masai Ujiri has tinkered the team on-the-go and looks to have a rebuild plan similar to the Phoenix Suns.
- Terrence Ross played his best game of the season, effectively playing great defense on Paul George forcing to a 5-14 night and 6 turnovers. He's showing he can play in this league and is easily the great benefactor to the Rudy Gay trade. He had 18 points and 3 steals in 38 minutes tonight.
- Kyle Lowry is a bulldog, but we knew that already. He's making a case in his contract year, only 28 years old and entering his prime. 13 points on 9 attempts while adding in a season-high 14 assists. He's been moving the ball within the team and playing very unselfishly lately. His defense was stellar tonight with 2 steals, a block, and picking up a charge for Roy Hibbert's 6th foul. It's hard to deny he's a little guy with lots of heart and grit.
- The Raptors converted 20-23 from the line tonight, one of the major factors in winning a ball game is converting from the line. They're called free for a reason right?
- Roy Hibbert led the Indiana Pacers with 16 points tonight in limited 21 minutes due to foul trouble. He was visibly frustrated at the team's play; but will look forward to the next one for a big bounce back.
- The Pacers are a great template to model after for the current Raptors team due to their main core lacking a top-5 pick. Their management has done a great job of finding players to fit the system, without any high lottery picks. Paul George is their undisputed leader, drafted 10th overall in 2010 ahead of fan-favourite Ed Davis. The rotation is complemented by 2 great 2nd round picks in Luis Scola and Lance Stephenson.
- With 1:16 left in the game and the Raptors up by double-digits, Frank Vogel pulled all 5 of his players on the court to heavy cheer from the Raptors faithful; effectively waving the white flag for the game. Tonight's atmosphere was very playoff-like, something the Pacers could possibly see in the 2nd round in the eye of optimistic Raptor fans.