The Raptors have won, get this, 11 games in a row. Yes, most of their opponents have been some of the league’s lesser teams. But still: 11 games! Tonight poses perhaps a stiffer challenge. The fifth-place Indiana Pacers have come calling in Toronto. They’ve recently been restored to (relatively) full health — and they have something they want to achieve too: a win over the two-seed Raps.
The Raptors want that franchise-best 12th straight win, full stop. They’ll take any ol’win at this point in the season, what with a pair of rotation players out tonight (Norman Powell and Marc Gasol), but crossing that dirty dozen rubicon is yet another feather in Toronto’s franchise cap. (Yes, I’ve been on vacation for the past two weeks and I’m ready to pile on the metaphors and similes.) The Raps have had 11-game win streaks two other times — in January 2016 and late-February into March last season — so this would literally mark another level of advancement. If nothing else, it makes for a fun contest in February.
In any case, enough about streaks. Toronto will indeed be without Norm and Gasol, the Pacers recently got Victor Oladipo back, and while the return of Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is nice, Indiana will be raring to go. It’s worth adding here that they’ve lost their last two games — against the Knicks (yikes) and the Mavericks — and a three-game losing streak is not something the Pacers want to entertain. Dang, I ended up back on streaks. Time to wrap this up.
Here’s John’s Raptors-Pacers preview from this morning. Below are the updated game details. Now, let’s watch.
Where to Watch
TSN, 7:30pm ET
Toronto — Fred VanVleet, Kyle Lowry, OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam, Serge Ibaka
Indiana — Aaron Holiday, Malcolm Brogdon, Jeremy Lamb, Domantas Sabonis, Myles Turner
Toronto — Marc Gasol (out - hamstring), Norman Powell (out - finger), Dewan Hernandez (out - ankle), Oshae Brissett (out - ankle)
Indiana — T.J. Warren (out - concussion), T.J. Leaf (questionable - illness)