Gameday: Raptors vs Pacers – Nov. 24/09

The Raptors are coming off their what, 3rd tough loss so far this season? 4th maybe? Either way, Bosh doesn’t want anything to do with ‘taking something away from a loss’, and I don’t blame him:

Some games you just lose, I don’t know why, and you go on from there…We pretty much have to beat every team, that’s how I feel. I take a loss as a loss…You lose too many and you get tired of taking a positive out of a negative.

I like hearing that from Bosh, the man is all about business this year.

The Raptors host Indiana on the first night of a back-to-back, and it leaves a bad taste in my mouth to say so, but we have to take this one. Indiana is currently sitting a half game ahead of us, holding on to the 8th spot in the East. Since we sit a game and a half ahead of Charlotte, the next two games are crucial for the Raptors if they intend to make the playoffs. They have to beat these types of teams.


The Point: You all know I was (still am) in Ford’s corner when the Forderon controversy erupted two seasons ago, but you have to feel for the guy. He lost his starting role, on two different teams, to two different players he has to match-up with today. He’s having a decent season, but from what I’ve seen (through limited exposure), he hasn’t hit his groove in Indiana. Regardless, he will be a handful tonight. When he takes Calderon off the dribble, he will have lots of options to kick out to for a good shot. I actually like Calderon/Jack in this match-up, but TJ’s speed, and playmaking ability can’t be slept on.
The Edge: Toronto

The Skill: With Belinelli and Wright questionable, DeRozan will have little relief chasing Jones around the court. While some thought that DeRozan played passable defense on both Wade and Carter, I think we can all agree that it wont be getting any easier for our boy as the season continues. Jones is having a career year and is a nice defensive player. I thought he was a great pick-up by Indiana in the off-season, and he hasn’t disappointed with a career year so far. As long as DeRozan slashes to the rim, grabs some boards, and stays in front of Jones, he should be alright. He wont win this match-up, but he can play Jones tight.
The Edge: Indiana

The Wing: This will be an interesting match-up. Granger is a high-volume shooter, he is quick off the hop, and likes those threes. Hedo has done a great job of distributing the ball over the last few games, and can really put a hurt on the Pacers off of the pick-n-roll with Bosh.
The Edge: Even

The Power: Don’t like this match-up for one reason: Murphy will be pulling Bosh away from the basket on defense, leaving defensive rebounding in the incapable hands of Bargnani. Murphy is a poor man’s Chris Bosh, but he’s slow. Bosh can attack him on offense, and should. With our boy coming off a 5 rebound showing against Orlando, and what he’s been saying in practice the last two days, I expect him to come out like gangbusters.
The Edge: Toronto

The Big: Foster is being inserted in the starting lineup to counter Bargnani’s quickness. Hibbert wouldn’t have been able to keep up with our boy. Great call by O’Brien. For all the points Bargnani will score, I shudder to think of all the rebounds and cheap garbage points he will concede to Foster. I don’t like this match-up one bit.
The Edge: Indiana

Injury Report

Reggie Evans
Marco Belinelli *
Antoine Wright *

Mike Dunleavy
Travis Diener

The Line

The Raptors are -5 with an over/under of 213.

The Prediction

Visser‘s sims are 11-3 this year and this time the crystal ball is predicting a 114-94 Raptor win.

As far as my prediction: It wont be a walk in the park, but the Raptors have this one, not in the bag, but they should pull it out: 106-98.

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