The night after facing the league’s second ranked defence, the pendulum swings to the other end tonight as the Toronto Raptors play the Indiana Pacers.
Second LAST in defensive rating, Indiana gives up a ton of points. Unfortunately, they also score a ton, ranking first in offensive rating and pace. Last night in their In-Season Tournament matchup with the Atlanta Hawks, they broke records for the lack of defence played. With the highest pre-game over/under total since 1995, both teams recorded more than 150 points and marked only the seventh occasion in NBA history where both teams did so without overtime. Trailing 86-73 at halftime, Indiana came back to win 157-152.
Speaking of comebacks, the Raptors may need another one tonight. They’ve gone down by at least 16 points in seven of their last nine games including last night against Orlando. Like the Magic, the Pacers are another one of the NBA’s best teams in the first half, scoring more first half points per game than the rest of the league.
Leading the comeback (already assuming they start the game trailing) will likely be Scottie Barnes. Indiana’s one spot they’ve tried to address in recent years is the forward position, but they’re not quite there yet. They allow the 12th most points to small forwards and give up the MOST assists to the position. Scottie may not always be listed at SF or PF, but his size and play style sure make him one. Already growing a reputation as a great fourth quarter player, look for Scottie to handle the ball a lot tonight and hopefully lead Toronto to a bounce back win.
Here’s how to watch:
How to Watch:
TSN at 7:30 p.m. ET
Toronto: Dennis Schroder, Pascal Siakam, O.G. Anunoby, Scottie Barnes, Jakob Poeltl
Indiana: Tyrese Haliburton, Bennedict Mathurin, Bruce Brown, Obi Toppin, Myles Turner
Toronto: Christian Koloko (Out - Respiratory), Thaddeus Young (Out - Illness), Precious Achiuwa (Out - Knee)
Indiana: Andrew Nembhard (Out - Back), Aaron Nesmith (Out - Wrist)