If we can be honest for a moment, I was ready to hate on the Pacers for the rest of eternity. That divisional series they had with the Raptors in 2016 was a real pain to get through, and I did not enjoy large chunks of watching it. (The highs, though, were very high.) It takes a toll on a person’s mind, and I had decided to hex them for life. But — but! — that was a different team, one anchored by Paul George, a transcendent talent.
This Pacers squad is almost wholly new. Sure there are some familiar faces (e.g. Myles Turner is still their guy of the future). But Indiana’s squad is now built around the players they received for George: namely, Victor Oladipo, and to a lesser extent, Domantas Sabonis. (Also, Thaddeus Young is in there to mix things up.)
My point here is, there’s something vaguely likeable about them now — and that’s even before we account for the presence of Cory Joseph, everybody’s favourite former Raptor. The Pacers are a bunch of cast-off misfit toys, and they were supposed to be terrible. Instead, they’re 12-10 and hanging around in seventh. They also beat the Raptors the last time these two teams played a week ago.
All that being said: I hope the Raptors dismantle them — and we can definitely still hate on Lance Stephenson.
And the updated lineup details:
Where to Watch
TSN1/4 7:30 EST
Raptors - Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, OG Anunoby, Serge Ibaka, Jonas Valanciunas
Pacers – Darren Collison, Victor Oladipo, Bojan Bogdanovic, Thaddeus Young, Myles Turner
Raptors – Lucas Noguiera (calf tear), Delon Wright (shoulder)
Pacers – I would have had Turner here, but apparently: