Pacers 103, Raptors 98

Weird, fun game. A lot more interesting a watch than the OKC game the night before. While there wasn’t a hell of a lot of flow in the first half and Toronto was down 14 at the break, the Raps managed to fight back and make an entertaining game out of it. They dug too much of a hole early on to get the win, though. No Pacers were brilliant, but they have depth and much more talent than Toronto. The Raps held both Roy Hibbert and David West to eight points, but Danny Granger and George Hill had 18 apiece. Notes:

  • That lack of flow? I’m talking about Toronto, mostly, and I’m talking about the offensive end. There were numerous offensive droughts in the first half. It’s not like the Pacers were unbelievable offensively, but the Raptors only had 10 points with two minutes left in the first quarter. Some of that is the absence of Bargnani, I suppose. But this was very similar to the way the game started in OKC, except Jose Calderon wasn’t bailing the offense out with jump shots.
  • It was a solid night for Calderon, however. 14 assists, setting guys up for open jumpers like he always does. Just wasn’t looking for his own scoring. His first basket came about seven minutes into the third quarter. Eight points, 3-for-6 shooting. And his eye still looks terrible. Tough dude.
  • Quiet, quiet night for All-Star Roy Hibbert. Those eight points came on five shots in 30 minutes and he totally disappeared at times. He did hit a high-arcing hook in the first quarter, though. Impossible to block. Kurt Rambis would’ve appreciated it.
  • There were two A.J. Price-Lou Amundson alley-oops in the first half. See that coming? Here’s the second one:

  • Funny: Price got greedy and tried a third one on a fast break. It had no chance.
  • In the first quarter, Aaron Gray shot a six-foot floater about three feet. I’m sure you can picture it.
  • How do you feel about Gray? I see people making fun of him sometimes, but I kind of think that’s crazy. He’s a minimum contract guy just paid to be big and play hard/physical ball. He’s done that. I wouldn’t mind at all if he came back next season —Jonas  Valanciunas cannot be asked to play heavy minutes against the bigger, stronger centers every night in his rookie season.
  • Gary Forbes had a nice run in the second quarter where he scored seven of his nine points and had a drive and dish to Gray. I really wonder how many of these wing guys will be back next season. Everybody’s shown a little something.
  • Speaking of the wing guys, ALANSANITY! Alan Anderson was on fire. If he keeps this three-point shooting up, there’s no reason he can’t stick in a rotation. 17 points in the game on 6-for-9 shooting. The Raptors cut the lead from 16 to nine in the third quarter and he was the biggest reason why, hitting five shots in a row, three from downtown, before missing his easiest attempt: an open reverse layup off a cut. His form on his long jumpers looks a little strange, but it’s working. And the dude plays tough defense. Love that he’s making the most of this opportunity.
  • Toronto started out the third quarter shooting 8-for-9, Indiana 6-7. Wasn’t terrible defense, either. Fun times.
  • Gray had to go to the locker room in the third quarter when he hurt his ankle. He came back, though.
  • Ben Uzoh didn’t check in until late in the third quarter, with Forbes playing backup PG late in the first and Calderon playing the entire second. It wasn’t completely his fault, but the Raptors’ offense stalled when he came in and the Pacers closed the third on a 6-0 run.
  • Big comeback in the fourth quarter — started with Uzoh on the floor, accelerated when Calderon checked back in with just under nine minutes to go. Ed Davis had seven points in three minutes, then was replaced by Aaron Gray and had to watch the rest from the bench. Good effort from Ed, though — 11 points, 10 rebounds, and Jack Armstrong sounded proud of him for making some energy plays. Hope he finishes the season on a high note.
  • Remember when Linas Kleiza was the fourth quarter go-to guy without Bargnani? Well, he scored 18 in the fourth. 3-7 fg, but he hit all 10 of his free throw attempts. He hadn’t hit a shot in his four minutes of playing time in the first three quarters.
  • Tough night for DeMar DeRozan. He had six points early and finished with just 10. He was on the bench for the entire fourth quarter run and was not a focal point when he came back in with a few minutes left in the fourth. He did get a touch in the midpost on a key possession, but Leandro Barbosa guarded him well and he missed a turnaround.
  • Guess who hit the dagger for Indy? Barbosa. His three-pointer with just over two minutes to go made it an eight point game.
  • Toronto might’ve been able to take this if it wasn’t for the free throw shooting. Kleiza made the numbers look better — you take away his 10-for-10 and the Raptors shot 6-for-14 on the night from the line.
  • Hill had seven rebounds for the Pacers, Paul George had six. Who was the last rebounding guard for the Raptors? It’d be nice to have that, hey? Maybe DeRozan can up those numbers when he puts on some more weight. We’ll see.
  • Pacers Center

    Not to nitpick, but it’s now Bankers Life Fieldhouse. :)

    • BKing

      Not to nitpick either but the Pacers logo sucks.

      • Pacers Center

        Why the hatred? I was just trying to help out.

        • Lorenzo

           Don’t worry, some Raps fans are just bitter

  • Nilanka15

    Not sure if added weight will help DeRozan much in the rebounding department.  It’s not like he’s working he’s tail off and getting out-muscled for boards.  He’s never in the paint to begin with.  I mean really, are Paul George (210 lbs) and George Hill (180 lbs) noticeably stronger than DeRozan (216 lbs)?

    • Destro

      DeMar to me has other priorities over that…NOW if we want to talk seriously about players that need to rebound and are getting outmuscled by considerably smaller players WELL i dont need to tell you where to look…

      • Nilanka15

        Everyone knows that Bargnani is arguably the worst rebounding 7-footer to ever play in the NBA (and that’s not even an exaggeration).  But that’s mainly because Reggie Evans steals his rebounds…

  • Statement

    F’n Sergio Santos.

    I thought Anthopolous upgraded the bullpen in the offseason.

    This is his 2nd blown save already.  Jeez.  I thought Cordero was going to blow it in the 8th. 

    • Nilanka15

      Disappointing outing for Santos, no doubt.  But a measly 2 runs ain’t gonna cut it.  We’ll such little run support, we’ll lose 9 times out of 10 versus a team like Boston.

      The meat of the order (Bautista, Encarnacion, Lind, and Lawrie) was a combined 2-16 (0.125) at the plate.  Ugly.

      • Bendit

        Kinda makes all those player/team tv promos look corny.

        • sleepz

          Jays almost seem like they spent more in marketing this year than they did in player acquisitions.

          Raptors will do the same thing for 2012-2013.

          • Nilanka15

            The Jays marketing campaign is pretty sweet though.  It’s much easier to watch than the lame “Bounce is Back” commercials. 

            MLSE should take note on how to create false excitement where none exists, lol.

            • sleepz


      • JL

        2 runs should be plenty, for a guy like Santos who Anthopoulos said could be an elite closer. The guy has nasty stuff, but has more walks per 9 IP than our closer last year. I can’t stand closers with bad control, he’s reminding be of Kevin Gregg.

        • Statement

          Egads, Kevin Gregg.

          I haven’t checked, does he still play for the OriLoLes?

  • ppellico

    Being made fun of?
    This is the internet…where the ignorant get to spit forth whatever they want. It doesn’t cost a thing. Its free.

    Gray has done his job as requested. THAT is what you want your players to do.
    He is there every single goddamned night as the same player. No emotional drop out like the rest. Who else on this team brings it night in and night out?

    Look at the stats. He has outplayed or matched every center from the last few games…all of which make millions more per year and are on winning programs.

    This team has problems…but it sure as hell ain’t Gray!

    • Statement

      So we have cesco as our resident Bargs superfan and ppellico as our Gray superfan.

      Alan Anderson is my boy!! Alan Anderson FTW!

      • Nilanka15

        No love for Micah Nori???

        • Statement

          My love is spread pretty thin between Alan Anderson and Rod Black!!

      • cesco

         Are you ready to defend him after a bad game , if he is thrown under the bus , nasty comments from other posters ? . If so you are welcome to the congregation of superfans .

        • Statement

          Um….not really.

  • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

    Will year 7 be AB’s breakout season???lmfao

    • Destro

      I was looking over some things and where do these idiot fans get off calling this doofus efficient ? Serious where is this myth getting an express lane checkout because its completely bogus…Now i watch games and i watch his puss hoisting and watching so i know hes not efficient but if you go by the stats like these fools do then you still get a wildly inefficient scorer….as in one of the worst at his position and worst among big men period….Hes  not top 20 among PFs and he’s 100th amongst all forwards and centers in the league…

      NOW thats funny cuz im told daily how toolsy and how skilled he has and how those skills result in matchup advantages BUT BUT WAIT why dont they result in efficiency ?

      6.7 shots made on 15 attempts ? THATS toolsy ??
      .432 FG pct   THATS efficient/toolsy ???

      100th among forwards…theres SF’s that are 6-6,6-5 who shoot more and are generally mid 40s shooters who are considered inefficient scorers AHEAD of him on this list…guys who are perimeter guys who dont get inside and dont have “tools” shooting a much better PCT than our toolsy italian…

      Hows this possible ?
      7-0 260 lbs can drive,shoots 3s “SKILLED”

      shooting 43 %  (100th amongst forwards)
      21st among PFs
      not even top 40 if you combine PFs and Centers…

      Biggest myth in Raptorland is this puss is efficient…DONT let these faccot cape wearing online nerds tell you any different…432 for a 7 footer is cot damn AWFUL….Most 7 footers in general shoot mid 50s….

      Average 51-53 %

      Our Toolsy Bumass 43 %

      INEFFICIENT !   

      • CJT

        Another wildly original post by the man with many names.  Is there any reason in particular that this post is relevent to the thread about a game that he didn’t even play in?  You should try thinking about something else.  You basically post the same thing everyday, all day.  Try something new.  You might even have something relevant to say about another topic, who knows? 

        • p00ka_is_a_fish

          is that YOU pooka, where you been hiding

      • Rob

        Sigh….talking to yourself again?

  • Nilanka15

    Is this season over yet?  This shit’s getting nauseating.  Bring on the lottery!

    • Statement

      I hear that.

      The NHL draft Lottery is this week sometime no?  Kinda funny how they have it during the season while we have to wait until June.

      • Lorenzo

        I think it was Jack who said it yesterday that the NBA should also do the lottery as soon as the regular season finishes. I guess it gives some more time for scouting and stuff, but it’s really not that big of a deal.

        • Nilanka15

          Don’t they televise the lottery during halftime of a high-profile playoff game?  I’m sure the delay is simply to boost ratings.

      • Nilanka15

        I believe it’s tonight.

  • Buschfire

    Leafs picking 5th