What in blazes has gotten into the Indiana Pacers? It’s March 15th, and the team many thought would be lucky to even be discussed in relation to the post-season, would in fact be a shoe-in for a nice draft lottery spot, is currently sitting in third place in the Eastern Conference. They are half a game up on LeBron James and the Cavaliers (much to Raptors fans’ delight). They are, somehow, good.
As it turns out: Victor Oladipo can ball, Cory Joseph can help you win games, Thaddeus Young (an old 29) still has something in the tank, Bojan Bogdanovic’s career didn’t end after Serge Ibaka blocked him, and the sky may be the limit for Myles Turner. Kudos to coach Nate McMillan too; and to whatever strange vibes Lance Stephenson brings to the table.
In thinking about it, I’m not mad at the Pacers. Unlike the Celtics, Heat, and Wizards, I do not bear them any ill will. Much like the Raptors of old, Indiana had a star player in Paul George, watched him clearly grow tired of his lot in life, and then, they lost him. That should have been the last we heard of the Pacers for some time. And yet...
Well OK, I still want the Raptors to smash them. And since OG Anunoby is reportedly back, Toronto is at (essentially) full strength. The 10-man unit has been restored, let us rejoice and be glad it is.
Here’s Satbir Singh with the full Raptors-Pacers preview. Now, let’s watch.
Toronto – Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Malcolm Miller, Serge Ibaka, Jonas Valanciunas
Indiana: Cory Joseph, Victor Oladipo, Thaddeus Young, Bojan Bogdanovic, Myles Turner
Toronto – Norman Powell (sprained ankle – out)
Indiana – Domantas Sabonis (ankle – out), Trevor Booker (sprained ankle – questionable)