It’s going to be a relatively quick pre-game today since we’re on a back-to-back and, well, we’re all probably a little exhausted from last night’s triple overtime loss.

As it is, the team travelled late to Indiana and will play the Pacers, who defeated the Raptors on opening night, 90-88. As I mentioned in my post-game, that was a loss under better circumstances, with Lowry healthy, able-bodied wing players in the lineup, and with the benefit of rest and a lively home crowd. Instead, the team will be without Lowry, Fields and Anderson once again, tired from a travel night and a triple overtime game that saw Jose Calderon log 50 minutes and DeMar DeRozan log 60.

By the way, before I jump into the breakdown I should note that as per the latest news I have, Lowry did NOT travel with the team, but he tweeted, “Indy! This being injured is for the birds!” which could be taken as him having made the trip. Fields and Double-A are also not expected to play, as of the latest chatter on Twitter, but please comment if this news changes before tip-off.

Tale of the Tape
Offensive Rating: Toronto 103.9 (11th), Indiana 97.3 (26th)
Defensive Rating: Indiana 99.5 (7th), Toronto 108.6 (27th)
Pace: Toronto 92.3 (19th), Indiana 90.3 (27th)
Strength: Toronto – turnovers (4th in TO%, 6th in Opponent TO%), Indiana – rebounding (5th in OReb%, 9th in DReb%)
Weakness: Toronto – fouling (30th in Oponnent FTA/FGA, 12th in FTA/FGA), Indiana – scoring (29th in eFG%)

Position Breakdown
Point Guard: Jose Calderon (starter) and John Lucas III vs. George Hill (starter) and D.J. Augustin
Slight Advantage: Pacers
Calderon played a great game last night, but I am not hopeful about how he’ll play a night after logging 50 minutes. Hopefully John Lucas broke his slump going three for six last night and hitting a huge three late, because he’ll be relied on to provide adequate back-up minutes. For the Pacers, Hill is seriously overpaid but has been scoring at a steady clip so far this season now that he’s “the guy.” Augustin has been terrible adjusting to his new squad, shooting just 18%. If Calderon can somehow look fresh, you might give the nod to the Raptors, but that seems unlikely.

Wings: DeMar DeRozan (starter), Dominic McGuire (starter), Terrence Ross and Linas Kleiza vs. Paul George (starter), Gerald Green, Sam Young and Lance Stephenson
Wash
With Danny Granger out, the Pacers have been struggling on the wings and have resorted to rotating the starter beside George. While none have stood out, George is a personal favorite who is oozing with potential and has already learned how to contribute in other ways when the shots aren’t dropping. DeRozan has been at his best of late, save for his shot selection late last night, but coming off of a 60-minute outing he could be tired/exhausted/zombified. Neither of the benches inspire much confidence, so we call it a wash.

Bigs: Andrea Bargnani (starter), Jonas Valanciunas (starter), Amir Johnson and Ed Davis vs. David West (starter), Roy Hibbert (starter), Tyler Hansbrough and Ian Mahinmi
Advantage: Pacers
West took it to Bargnani badly in the second half of the opener, and you can probably expect more of the same tonight. Hibbert has been struggling significantly to lead “his” team, but against Valanciunas he had his best game of the young season. Jonas has likely improved since then, but Hibbert really is “due” if you believe in such things. The Raptors have a bench advantage but it likely can’t negate the sizable advantage at the starting spots.

Overall
The Raptors will be tired and likely on a mental low, plus they’re undermanned to a pretty serious degree given the minutes load played by the key players last night. The Pacers haven’t been great, but at 3-4 and without Granger and Lowry are likely still a better team than the Raptors. I don’t want to write the game off as a casualty of the triple overtime game, because they could answer the bell and the Pacers could take the game lightly. As it is though, I see it as a let-down game. Prove me wrong, Raptors.

Prediction: Pacers by 11


  • ad

     I was bored so I decided to go on ESPN Trade Machine and create bargnani trades. This one was the best one I could come up with. One headache for another. SAC saves $. Raps get quality depth on the wing. Only negative is they would be a big short with a gaping hole at PF.

    • ad

       http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=bk9744m

      • tmk

        Ya…that’s not going to happen. Why would Sacramento ever trade Tyreke Evans, a young guy who has an expiring contract in order to get three years of Bargnani? Yes, they get rid of Garcia’s and Thornton’s contracts, but within the 3 years that Bargnani’s contract ends, those two will also be off the books as well. It makes more sense to wait the 2 years that Garcia has then go invest in a $10 million/year player for 3 years just to save a couple of million in the long run. Not to mention they already have Cousins and Robinson. 

        Overall though, I do agree with getting rid of Bargs. I know we probably couldn’t get much for him but it’s clear that he’s just a determinate to the team. He shows up whenever he feels like it, and is clearly never going to be that consistent and solid player we want him to be. He has positives, but they don’t extend beyond scoring, but even with that he isn’t consistent or efficient. If he is traded and explodes to become what BC envisoned, then that’s cool, good for him. It isn’t happening with the Raptors.Or just send him to the bench as a spark plug. Let him test out his shot and see how that goes, then reduce/extend minutes based on that. Maybe that might motivate him?

        • ad

           Damn I forgot they drafted robinson. Yeah, you make some very valid points. Just hard finding a taker for bargs.

          • tmk

            Agreed, it is difficult. You will never really get anything of real value for Bargs because most teams understand his real role; one of 6th man. So in order not to be too fleeced in a deal (though sometimes I think trading him for anyone is good enough) regulating him to the bench is best.

            With Lowry, and with DD coming around, we do have some scoring power with the starting lineup.

    • FAQ

      How about Bargs + Jose .. for.. Vince + Marion + Beaubois + picks??!!!

      The trade fails without the picks, but who knows how far Dallas will go.

      • voy

        if bargs and jose are traded, they gotta be traded for young pieces.

        • FAQ

          I’m suggesting this trade with Dallas because of Vince’s apparent desire to return to TO.. and.. a trade for Vince needs more pieces.  Dallas might welcome a backup for Dirk and a pass-first PG.

          Nobody is going to give up promising young pieces for Bargs and Jose.. nobody..!!!

  • wtfraps

    looks like demar and company have to wait to play black opps 

  • KJ-B

    All I wanno know is if the Raps are up by 11 in the 4th Q will Casey give DeRozan a breather–talk about beating your best player in a given situation…Casey makes 2nd guessing seem normal with every passing day–isn’t he an expert/NBA lifer…showed little to no understanding of score & situation from the coach’s seat last night.

    • unknown guest

      Perhaps we need an offensive coach (yes, even though our defense has been terrible of late), but you’re right in that Casey has made quite a few blunders of late.

      • What the

        we got one  his name is Kyle Lowry

  • KJ-B

    Word is that Charles Barkley is looking for a GMs hat…hmm, I wonder if there’ll be any opening “north of the border” when he retires TNT in February, near All Star weekend???

    • Nilanka15

      All of a sudden, Vince advocating Dr. J. as the next GM seems like the best idea ever.

      • FAQ

        Vince hinted he was open to returning to TO… as an elder statesman player/leader.  He’s earning $3 Mill with Dallas, so he would prolly come back if BC offered him say, $5 Mill.

        Now that Dirk is wearing down and getting injured, maybe Bargs could be traded to Dallas for Vince plus fillers…. ya think??!!!

      • FAQ

         Nilanka…. re the “Ending the Bargnani Experiment” on the other RR forum where you are a member…. Please post my above comments for their digestion.. and attribute it to me so you are not viciously attacked.  Thanks.

        • DigBick

          Why don’t you create an account and participate yourself?

          • FAQ

            I prefer this forum where you can directly confront t.h.f.’s …!!!

            • DigBick

              You can do it anywhere you please my friend, this is the Internet.

        • Nilanka15

          lol, this is the first and only time I’ll do this….

          • FAQ

            Thank a $$$Million, but perhaps my comments need additional clarification such as what I posted here in another response, namely:

            ” How about Bargs + Jose .. for.. Vince + Marion + Beaubois + picks??!!!

            The trade fails without the picks, but who knows how far Dallas will go.”

            I leave it in your hands. Thanks again.

  • BlakeMurphy

    Lowry is off to NYC for an MRI, per Doug Smith of the Star.

    • FAQ

      Could be a micro-fracture… and if so, he’s gone for the season..!!! 8(

      • Jamshid

        Damn. That would be the excuse that BC and his fans need to write off the series. Hope it is nothing serious :)

  • Rob

    Heard that Lowry took a flight to NYC to get a 2nd opinion on his ankle.

  • enlightenment

    Toronto – fouling (30th in Opponent FTA/FGA,)

    The thing is, I couldve just guessed that stat. Refs have been SHIT.

  • RapM

    With no facts to back me up, I’m going to go out on a limb and say raptors win this game and its a start of a 7 game winning streak!!!
    Full disclosure: I’m basing this prediction purely on faith, feel free to destroy me after the Raptors lose this game by 20.

  • NyAlesund

    It’s going to be a long painful night.

    • DigBick

      That’s what she said. Zing!

  • FAQ

    This should be another ‘development’ game… and playing TRoss and JonasV a lot to give them a painful taste of their deficiencies.  Also, throw Ed into the starting line-up:

    PG – Lucas
    SG – TRoss
    SF – Demar
    PF – EdD
    C — JonasV

    … the Raptors of the future.

    • voy

      t.ross should play with jose… or anyone else other than lucas.

      • FAQ

        Jose is exhausted from yesterday’s game.. so might as well just use this game as a training camp for our promising youngs. 

        • FAQ

          How wrong I was..!!!!!!  I’ve called Jose the ‘heart’ of this team, and it looks like his big heart gave him the energy to carry through to a desperate win.

          Jose’s trade value must have skyrocketed ….!!!!

    • Afimi Sinting

      what about AB13 ?

  • Canadian Paul

    Demar is top 10 in PPG in the NBA. Good or bad?

    • Copywryter

      Yes. 

  • Destro

    Anybody read some of the comments from that drafting panel BC was a part of..its quite hilarious and it gives you more insight into the incompetence that is BC… 

  • Jamshid

    I am hoping to see lots of Big Val, Ross and Ed Davis tonight. This team’s future for next 5 years is on these guys. Come on BC, Allow Casey to play these men.

    • Afimi Sinting

      lots of T.Ross please

  • KJ-B

    Ohh man, just came home and have NO IDEA how Jose got a triple dub playing like he is, in the 4th Q–dribbling the air outta the ball… THESE REFS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Phat AlberG

    Raptors should of lost this game! I’m not happy this coach is dumb 

    • Destro

      We won despite the refs and our idiot coach,thats for damn sure…

      Did not deserve to win this game…why does this team never come up with that big rebound ? NEVER,we always allow 3-4 extra shot attempts at the final buzzer…

      • Phat AlberG

        Casey is brutal! 

  • yeezy

    5 points in 4th quarter? We need an offensive coach seriously. wow everyone was just standing on the side of the court while jose do his antics. shaking my friggin head. 

    • Destro

      Alot of people are gonna praise Calderon because of the stats…BUT he showed why he isnt a great floor general or leader and why its puzzling as a 8 year vet in this league he still gets jittery in big game moments with respect too decision making…

      He took some assinine shots down the stretch and he made some horrid decisions IE running a play for an Amir 3 ball in the final minute…..Nice statistical game but another clear showing of why he doesnt run a team properly…

      • Destro is a punk

        STFU moron

        • p00ka

          ditto

  • Destro

    Bargnani has to be on the block come the trade deadline….He isnt scoring,hes doing nothing out there…He doesnt rebound or play adequate defense….His B Ball IQ is ridiculously bad for a 7 year veteran….time to go,even tho DeMar didnt have a great game tonight..he has taken over as the go to player in Lowry’s absence…and tbh the way hes playing this year he should be.He is a much better option to run offense thru since he is getting to the line and being aggressive….

    Guys a puss…

    • Destro is a punk

       Go to Bed moron

    • Jamshid

      What do you think you are going to get for him ? TPE and a 2nd round pick !!! Lets not forget what BC got for CB4

    • p00ka

      They gutted out a WIN they weren’t supposed to get, bitch, and all you got to say is to whine about how far up your bitchazz your head is.