Why the Pacers are championship contenders and the Raptors are a borderline playoff team.

I was going to write out a more nuanced game recap detailing how this match-up went down, but it could really be summarized with a couple of bullet points. Let’s get those out of the way first.

Game Recap

  • Raptors come out guns a-blazing. Lowry pushes the tempo and the Raptors catch the Pacers sleeping on a number of occasions, lead by 10 after one.
  • Bench comes in, gives up lead, Aaron Gray makes an appearance, turns it over on three straight possessions, Raptors squeak into halftime with 2 point lead. Gay is on fire.
  • Paul George comes alive in the third, drops 17 on the Raps, including a sweet buzzer beater three from 30 feet. Raptors stop pushing the tempo and settle into halfcourt sets. Hibbert and George shut down the offense.
  • Bench comes in again; gets mauled. Stone jumps DJA on the depth chart, but is terrible. Demar keeps bricking shots, Gay cools off. Pacers hold on to the lead with two pronged strategy; glacial pace and Roy Hibbert in the paint. Pacers win by 7
  • Apparently Rasual Butler plays for the Pacers. Hmm.
  • Demar has a horrible day at the office. He’s on pace to become the latest cautionary tale of “dude, it’s just preseason”. His post-game is starting to appear on milk cartons across Canada (I know we get our milk in bags, you know what I mean)
demar

Okay, now that we’ve got the nitty-gritty out of the way, let’s discuss the differences between these two ball clubs, and why Indiana is a title-contender, while the Raptors will be lucky to make the playoffs.

1. Indiana has a bunch of great players, the Raptors do not

Indiana Pacers

  • George Hill is a very steady point guard. He can sink threes, he’s a dogged defender and he takes care of the ball.
  • David West is a great in the post. He’s the 17-foot assassin for a reason.
  • Roy Hibbert is the best defender in the NBA. He leads the NBA in blocks per game, and before last night’s games, he had more blocks than 19 other NBA teams! He’s also limited opponents to 30% shooting at the rim.
  • Paul George is a superstar, and a borderline top-5 player at the moment.
  • Awesome bench, with decent scoring (Granger, Scola), steady ball-handling (Watson), and defense (Mahimni)

Toronto Raptors

  • Kyle Lowry is flawed. He’s a good defender, but he’s prone to hero-balling at the end of games. He’s much better than most Raptors Republicans think he is, but there’s a reason why he’s hanging onto an expiring contract
  • Amir Johnson is great, but he’s limited to producing within his role.
  • Jonas is developing, and occasionally flashes brilliance, but he’s just a league average center at this point
  • Rudy Gay isn’t this bad of a shooter, but he turns a whole boatload of possessions into not that many points.
  • The bench is a wasteland
  • Demar Derozan is Corey Maggette. You’re not going anywhere with Maggette as your leading scorer. Compare their per-36 numbers through 5 season:
dd magg

2. The Pacers are experienced, the Raptors aren’t

Indiana Pacers

  • Battle-tested. Pushed the Heat to six games two years ago, almost eliminated the Heat in last year’s playoffs.
  • David West has playoff experience from his time in New Orleans, George used to play in San Antonio
  • Core of the roster has played together for three years running

Toronto Raptors

  • No playoff games for their two leading scorers (Demar and Gay)
  • Lowry was a back-up when Houston last made the playoffs (4 years ago)
  • Lack of significant veteran leadership
  • Core has not played together for very long

3. The Pacers have a defined offensive and defensive identity, the Raptors do not

Indiana Pacers

  • Indiana knows where it’s offense is buttered. Paul George and George Hill facilitate. PG24 also plays pick-and-roll and attacks the paint. Hibbert operates in the low post, West camps out at the elbows.
  • Indiana’s has the best defense in the league. Every starter is an above-average defender (first team defenders in George and Hibbert), and they know how to snuff out the pick-and-roll.

Toronto Raptors

  • Offense: ISO-heavy, inefficient offense centered around the wings. Little motion on offense. Lowry struggles to be effective without the ball in his hands, Amir and Jonas need to be set-up to score. Nobody wants to pass.
  • Defense: Is there a defensive strategy? Amir is a great defender; he’s mobile and able to effectively guard in P&R, but Jonas is still a weak interior defender. Gay is sporadic; some nights he’s on, some nights he lists. Demar is a capable defender up until the point where someone sets a screen, and then his man is wide open.

These disparities amounted to 7-point difference in tonight’s game, but in the grand scheme of things, these differences illustrate why Toronto is a fringe playoff team, and why Indiana is a legitimate title contender.

So how do the Raptors get to where the Pacers are? Well, that’s the million-dollar question, isn’t it? It’s worth noting that up until 2010, the Pacers jogged on the treadmill of mediocrity for six straight years, winning between 32 and 44 games. What changed? Discuss in the comments.

  • Ds

    Checked some numbers this morning, and the Raps are last in assists per FGM at 47%. Heat are first at 75%. There should be a change in offensive philosophy quickly or else this team is going down the drain fast.

    By the way, is it me or are the Raps last in some stat category every freakin’ season?

    • Tanks-a-lot

      Until Rudy Gay and his black hole contract and style of play goes away the Raptors will be last in assists

      • Jason

        hey raps fans..who is the scapegoat now with no bargnani?

        • robertparrish00

          Casey. Nothing changes the fact that Bargs had all the talent in the world, with zero work ethic. Good for NY if they figured out how to motivate him. Guess earning about 1 million dollars a month wasn’t enough to make him work here.

        • Kovalainnen

          I choose Dwayne Casey as scapegoat

        • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

          Bargnani wasn’t a scapegoat. He was simply the most glaring problem on a poorly constructed team. A team that is still poorly constructed.

          • c_bcm

            Agreed, so really the scapegoat is still BC.

            • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

              Scapegoat is the wrong word. That suggests he’s being unfairly blamed, which he’s not. Colangelo is literally to blame. Ujiri still has yet to clean up his mess.

    • Big D

      More like the personnel on the floor don’t fit together at all. Who on the Raptors starting 5 is a good playmaker or facilitator? It’s definitely not Gay or DeRozan, who take the majority of our possessions. That’s where the problem really lies. When you have 2 wings for their careers combine for less then 4 assists per game that should tell you something right there.

      • Ds

        That’s the same problem the Sacramento Kings had in the last few years. Black holes everywhere with DeMarcus Cousins, Tyreke Evans and John Salmons. When the shots are going down, they are unstoppable, but more often than not, the defense locked in and they were easily dismissed.

  • Tanks-a-lot

    The Pacers are nothing without Hibbert. All they did was be patient with the normal adjustment time it takes for a 7’2″ young man to mature and adjust to the rigors of the NBA seasons. I knew that it was MONUMENTALLY stupid to trade Hibbert for O’Neal. I knew eventually Hibbert would be an All-Star barring injury. He was only available so late in the first round because it would take a few years for Hibbert to come into his own.

    • Paul

      You knew Hibbert would be an All Star? Really dude…

      • Tanks-a-lot

        Yes
        It was inevitable, barring injury of course.

        • youngjames

          “It was inevitable” hahahahaha – even though he went at 17, because 7’2 big men are a dime a dozen in the NBA! You couldn’t be more wrong. Was it inevitable when he stank like a D-leaguer who couldn’t stay out of foul trouble in his first year. Would you have said this in February of his first season?

          • Tanks-a-lot

            Nobody ever said a young freak of nature of his type would be successful at first.

            who really gives a shit about his rookie year.

            • youngjames

              ” I knew that it was MONUMENTALLY stupid to trade Hibbert for O’Neal. I knew eventually Hibbert would be an All-Star barring injury” – No you didn’t hahahahahahahaha – look at the BS a’flowin’! Keep telling yourself that – your the only one who believes that! I called that Parker and Ginobli and Rondo and Arenas were all going to be good even though they were low picks and everyone else thought the other picks were better – But not me!!!!! I vcalled it (8 years later) but I’m tellin’ ya – I called it!!!!!….see I can make up words too!

            • youngjames

              His first year play was proof that his draft spot was deserving and that he NEEDED FOUR YEARS of college to learn his craft. Also, Hibbert is lucky to be with an organization that has developed such a great system recently grooming rookies exceptional well – Hello Stephenson from the 2nd round and thanks Frank Vogul and Larry Bird.
              Hibbert gets drafted to the Raps, he falters in thier lack of a great coaching/development system IMO and is not the same player. He benefited largely to the Indiana system. Here in T.O with Raptors fans it would be the same old same old – if the player does not look like game changing super stars immediately, the fans want them shipped out of town – hello Ross for example. Why would Raps fans be patient with the development of Hibbert when they cannot be patient with the development of Ross or DD for that matter!??

              • Tanks-a-lot

                “NEEDED FOUR YEARS of college to learn his craft”
                You just simply have no idea how difficult it really is to become the player Hibbert is now.

                “He benefited largely to the Indiana system”
                that’s because they planned to keep him. Ultimately only Hibbert could have stopped Hibbert from becoming an All-Star by slacking at any time.

                “if the player does not look like game changing super stars immediately, the fans want them shipped out of town”
                Huh? You obviously don’t know Toronto fans and their ability to understand the game.

                • youngjames

                  This is dumb – know what “tanks-a-lot”…your responses. You’re right, I don’t know nothing – so please ignore me from now on. Don’t both with me moving forward.

                • Tanks-a-lot

                  I’ll be trolling you hard buddy boy
                  Just cause

                • youngjames

                  Your lifestyle is your lifestyle – but I don’t swing that way, though. So go “troll” on some other “boys” … Just ’cause – I said so!

          • Tanks-a-lot

            “because 7’2 big men are a dime a dozen in the NBA!”

            …that have played at Georgetown for 4 years and been successful?
            Just saying 7’2″ = dime a dozen is dumb.

            • youngjames

              Yeah FOUR years – Not many Seniors come out of college and tear the league up. Most players that are not taken till senior year are bench players at best or they would have be drafted earlier – Morris Peterson for example!

              • Tanks-a-lot

                yeah, most. Duh.
                Hibbert ain’t ‘most’ players dumb dumb

                • youngjames

                  fine I agree you are right – he has proven to not be most seniors…that ain’t the point! The point is, you didn’t know this till after the fact. It needed to be proven before you hitched your wagon to him! I think your obsessed with him…maybe a little man crush!??!

                • Tanks-a-lot

                  Maybe you just don’t like the fact that you were wrong about Hibbert in the first place.

                  I understood at the time what Hibbert was and you didn’t. There is no refutation, I was right, you were wrong. Nothing you say can change that and it seems to bother you.

          • FLUXLAND

            Every time you post something it become clearer and clearer you haven’t been following the NBA for very long.

            Even in his first season it was obvious he would be a game changer.

        • ckh26

          He also could have been Greg Oden or Sam Bowie. The draft is part scouting and part SHL.

          • Tanks-a-lot

            Portland loves taking chances on Centers. Imagine if the Soviet Union never existed and Sabonis could have dominated the NBA. A damn fine Center is worth the risk.

          • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

            Or he could have been Bismack Biyombo or Cole Aldrich or Hasheem Thabeet or Alexis Ajinca or even a guy like JaVale McGee.

            There seems to be a lot of rewriting of history here. In hindsight, not selecting Hibbert was a bad move, but there was NO WAY he was guaranteed to be ANYTHING. When he came out of college, he was slow, mechanical and not very strong. Taking up MMA probably was the best thing to ever happen to him, because he ended up getting into phenomenal shape, which helped him.

            If you’re LUCKY, the guy you draft at 17 MIGHT end up being a contributor. If you’re really lucky, he might be a decent starter. But there’s no way you can expect him to become one of the best players at his position, that Hibbert has become.

            There is a reason Hibbert was drafted that low, and it wasn’t because everyone thought he’d eventually be great.

      • Tanks-a-lot

        http://nba.si.com/2013/10/18/roy-hibbert-indiana-pacers-offseason-regimen/

        All Hibbert needs to do is stay strong and healthy for any team to build a contender with him in the middle.

        Could have been the Raptors

        • Paul

          I don’t dispute this.
          But you didn’t know this when he was drafted.

          • Tanks-a-lot

            yes I did.
            It’s was plainly obvious at the time.

          • youngjames

            Exactly – especially since he was a spot drop (was expected to be a lottery pick) and a high risk pick according to the scouts (like Drummond was two years ago)….”tanks-alot” has 20/20 hindsight, this is why he is so perfect on these calls!

        • youngjames

          “Could have been on the Raps” – why do you for sure BC would have chose him if he kept the pick? – man for a guy who knows so much about winning in the NBA, how is it you don’t have a job in the NBA with some team?

      • FLUXLAND

        Obvioulsy Larry Bird knew. All you had to do is look at his footwork and knew the rest was a matter of time. Lots of people on this site haven’t been watching bball for that long and make their arguments based on “draft talk” and projections, How about learning about the game and understanding what a good player makes, instead of listening to things like “JV’s game is better suited for the NBA” and then claim he’s a future AS.

    • youngjames

      Really you knew – even after the negatives about him pre-draft…even though he had a horrible 1.5 first seasons in the NBA – you still knew that!?? You should go tell UM who will be the all-star non lottery picks for the next two drafts so that we can compete this year and next w/o having to care about tanking for a lottery pick. What you claim the scouts said about the ONLY REASON Hibbert wouldn’t be good – is false from what I have read. There was more then just that!

      • Tanks-a-lot

        It’s expected that a freak of nature will take time to become strong enough for the NBA.

        That’s the ONLY real reason he was picked so late. EVERYONE knew his potential, the problem was waiting for the payoff.

        Any other reasons are billowing smoke out of their asses.

      • FLUXLAND

        Do yourself a favour and try watching the games instead of reading what some yahoo is typing about the draft.

  • ckh26

    One very painful observation 6 games in. Should Kyle Lowery, regardless of what you think of him, get hurt for an extended period of time…. Pee on the fire and call in the dogs.. the hunt for the playoffs and the season will be over. DJulyan Buykstine (our hybrid PG) will make you pine for the days of JL3 which in itself was monumentally poor.

    • youngjames

      the hunt is over now, bros – the hunt never began. I bought into it this summer that this team wanted to make a play-off run this year, but also wanted to leave themselves some flexibility just in case it all goes south in a hurry – BUT that is not that case, It is obvious and someone with strong business/financial background believes thier actions as an organization show as time goes on: that this team has not put thier best foot forward, knowingly. That was made obvious with UM’s recent comments on “doing anything” to get Wiggins in a Raptors uniform. Also made obvious when Casey decides to not call a foul the other night in Charlotte with the potential to tie and or win was on the line – what professional coach does that on purpose when they are trying to win? It’s over baby! Our (Raptors) season begin in June at the draft.

      • What the

        YG what did the EOY say about having WIGGINS in a raptors uniform?

      • ckh26

        The fan base is pretty much united in our desire to see the Raps get out of the holding pattern of 8-12 place we seem to be locked into. There are a couple of tipping points that may force Ujuri to sell off some of the asset base to in order to begin an orderly retool.

        One is a really bad start. If Mendoza line to act is pegged at say 8-10 games below 500 by Jan 1 then that should be enough to begin the asset sell off and rebuild.

        The other might be an inury to the aforementioned Mr.Lowry that puts him on the DL for an extended period of time. It will not be pretty if all we have in place is DJulyan Buykstien Finding a quality PG is tough enough to begin with but to find one in mid season would be a tall order and the price paid would be arguably the first step in the rebuild.

        Hoping Kyle stays healthy and we rebound from that brown and organic effort in Charlotte . Sorry just can’t let that go.

  • Paul

    The Pacers are great because they gave us a geriatric JO for a top 5 center.
    Then they hit the lottery picking Paul George
    The rest of their moves have been under the radar signings.
    David West is the heart and soul of that team. He wasn’t the sexiest FA on the market.

    The remainder of the roster is filled with excellent role players, mobile defenders and shot makers (ala San Antonio)
    All of this is replicable by the Raptors.
    We have our top 5(10?) center.
    We need our Paul George.. hello 2014 draft..

    • youngjames

      CJ Watson – was a killer under the radar move. One of the better back ups in the NBA and is under rated IMO. Your point on JO for Hibbert is a joke. 20/20 hindsight you must have? Also, we never had Hibbert – even if the Raps keep the pick, it wasn’t certain they would have chosen Hibbert. Plus Hibbert wasn’t a scout favorite at the combine that year and had a rotten first year in the league.

      • Tanks-a-lot

        It takes longer to develop a freak of nature like Hibbert. I had 20/20 sight at the time and thought that it was an idiotic trade designed to “win now” by trading away a sure future.

        http://nba.si.com/2013/10/18/roy-hibbert-indiana-pacers-offseason-regimen/

        It might seem like all seven-footers with even a mild basketball inclination are ushered into the pros, but that couldn’t be further from the truth in Hibbert’s case. When he first arrived at Georgetown, Hibbert couldn’t do a single push-up or even a single, weightless squat. He had to earn every bit of mobility that he currently has, largely by working on applicable weight and resistance training

        • youngjames

          so you are also certain that if BC keeps the pick – he would have chose Hibbert?

          • Tanks-a-lot

            I would have hoped so and been pissed off for the same reason if he picked anyone else at 17

            • youngjames

              so when Hibbert was D-league material in his first season and some of the second season – you were still pissed off!?? You said “just wait and see guys, he’ll be an all-star”. hahahaha
              I mean keep talking dude, you are hilarious with your nonsense BS – if you think anyone is dumb enough to think you were head and shoulders above everyone else predicting Hibberts success, especially after a horrendous first year is pure jokes. Hilarious jokes!
              You should go apply directly to MU and tell him of these hindsight fables – after all he is a man, who wants to win right!?!! This team needs you, you can be there to chose our next low draft pick/2nd round all-star. You can tell MU who the next Hibbert is or Tony Parker is or Rondo or Ginobli or second rounders like Arena’s or or Gasols even Stephenson…why hasn’t any NBA team hired you for that matter. You hindsight is off the wall.

              • Tanks-a-lot

                It’s hilarious that you still hang on to his first couple of seasons as anything other than what was expected and why he was chosen at 17.

      • Paul

        Yes it was a joke. I called JO geriatric. Funny right?And yes, I am looking at this move in retrospect, and saying it was stupid..
        A good GM (I am not one) might have known this at the time. JO had been injured for years and was obviously on the decline. You don’t trade a lottery pick for that.

        • Paul

          Sorry. Not lottery pick (#17)

        • youngjames

          There are so many GM’s in the history of sports who make risk moves on a draft pick, especially whne they are trying to win immediately. For example, in the NFL just this year – Richardson (RB) was traded to the Colts for a first over all pick. Richardson has been injury prone since his arrival in the league, but when he plays he is effective. Colts trade for him and he since then has SUCKED and has done nothing much for the Colts. Start understanding “sports” dude, and stop watching the Raps and commenting like they are the only team who made a bad move. And any person who looks back retrospectively and thinks they are brilliant because they have the answers that were played out for them – are DUMMIES! I am laughing in your face!

          • Tanks-a-lot

            As a long suffering Leaf fan from birth I know that the ‘win now’ mentality usually doesn’t work out.

          • Paul

            I’m not claiming to be clairvoyant. The article asked us to examine why the Pacers ascended to contender status. The Hibbert trade was a factor. They won that trade IN RETROSPECT. I’m not saying I knew better. I’m saying that trade made them a contender. There is nothing controversial about saying the Pacers won that trade.
            If you can’t grasp this, then you are the dummy, but I’m not laughing.

            This is the problem with internet message boards. People like you don’t even know what you’re arguing about, but you’ll argue it to the death.

  • Tanks-a-lot

    Wouldn’t it be funny if Wiggins stays at Kansas for another year after this one?

    • watchyourtone

      hay i never thought of that

    • c_bcm

      It’ll never happen, barring injury. What’s th point of giving up the consensus 1 pick. Look what happend. To sullenger, who decided to stay an extra year.

  • c_bcm

    Hammer, meet the nail head…dd= magette. Fml.

  • André Börg

    You insult Corey Maggette by equating him with DD.

    Check out the advanced stats in that comparison instead of the per 36 numbers: http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=1&p1=maggeco01&y1=2003&p2=derozde01&y2=2013

    Maggette’s first four seasons: PER = 16.1 WS/48 = 0.112
    DeRozan’s first four seasons: PER = 13.8 WS/48 = 0.063

    Sadly, {Maggette >> DeRozan}

  • mountio

    What does everyone who is drooling on Hibbert, what do you think about Hasheem Thabeet (a much more highly touted Gtwon grad coming out of school)? Is he still going to develop or just a bust? Did you know that (whatever the answer is) when he was picked #2 overall?

  • mountio

    The good news on the tank-o-meter is that the top contenders (at least in the east .. but frankly all throughout the NBA) have been actually winning some games. No one with less than 2 wins in the east.
    So – if we reverse (or continue .. depends how you look at it) course towards tanking, a top 5 pick is well within reach.
    Look at Randle, Parker and Wiggins last night, and you cant help but be intrigued …

  • TheRestOfCanada

    Milk only comes in bags in Ontario fyi. The rest of Canada thinks its ridiculous. Sincerely, the rest of Canada.

    • IsaiahThomas

      This is inaccurate. Milk also comes in cartons in Ontario. Does your milk still get delivered in a bottle by a milk man? Signed the 21st centure.

      • IsaiahThomas

        century

        • Ion66

          I haven’t bought milk in a bag since the 80’s. This is partly due to lactose intolerance, and the only lactose free milk comes in cartons, like milk is supposed to. No liquid should come in a bag.

          • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

            Lots of liquid comes in a bag, including plasma. If it’s good enough to save lives, I think it’s good enough to use to pour on my cereal.

      • TheMilkman

        Your reading of the comment is inaccurate. He’s not stating that milk comes exclusively in bags in ontario, he’s saying that only in ontario does milk come in bags, which is very different, and makes much more sense considering the context of the article’s milk comment. Yours Truly, The Milkman.

    • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

      I miss being able to buy bags of milk. It’s easier to store extras, and the empty containers take up WAAAYY less room in the recycling bin.

  • Rap fan 2

    We are six games into year one of a new management so it’s going take some time to see some results. Personally, I think the Raptors have had too many management changes. But of course if they’re not getting things done then it’s warranted. Isiah Thomas kind of did some good things at the beginning before the power struggle happened and he got kicked out. The best years thus far were with Carter, Mcgrady and the Oak on the team. That was a pretty talented team. Nonetheless, every time you make changes to management there’s bound to be some fallout. Changes in coaches, players, philosophies, supporting team. So it’s going to take some time for things to play out hopefully for the better. Looking at Indiana, I think Toronto is kind of modeled after them. They just have better talent and playoff experience. David West was great pickup for them. We had the Roy Hibbert draft pick and Indiana ended up picking up Paul George at 10th while we picked up Eddy Davis at 13th in 2010 draft. They took a chance at a talented player with some prior medical history and drafted and developed a couple of great players. They play great defence and went after players who are capable and willing to play defence. Hibbert is their anchor in the paint. I think Masai Ujiri has got an eye for talent. I think it’s going to take two or more drafts before we see his influence.

  • Jamshid

    “Jonas is developing, and occasionally flashes brilliance, but he’s just a league average center at this point”

    Raptor fans are very too high on their players. I remember having a discussion with some members here on who is going to be more successful in this league, Davis or Jonas when they got drafted … Some members here were suggesting it will be Jonas !!! Right now, Davis and Jonas are not even compareable.

    • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

      I think it’s safe to say Valanciunas has a higher ceiling than Davis. Remember that Valanciunas has played literally a third the minutes Ed Davis has, so it’s obviously hard to compare the two. Valanciunas is making the mistakes someone with his experience makes.

      • Seiz

        I think Jamshid meant Anthony Davis not Ed Davis.

        • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

          Oh, hell. Anthony Davis was considered a franchise player before he was drafted. Teams were tanking to get him. I agree there is no comparison between the two. It’s like comparing Chris Bosh to Tim Duncan. Just because Davis is so much better, doesn’t mean Valanciunas won’t be a good player. Davis has MVP potential. Valancianas has perennial ALl Star potential.

          • Jamshid

            I was referring Anthony Davis … Now, I never said Valanciunas is not going to be a god player either !!! I am talking about NOT OVER ESTIMATING our players and knowing what they really are and what they really are worth … Is DD an elite SG in this league ?? Many Raptor fans think so but the reality is he is not and he probably will never be !!! Will Ross be a solid starter in this league ?? Probably many Raptor fans think that is the case but reality is the ceiling for Ross is a solid bench player !!! Do you guys remember the noise that Lowry made when he got here ?? Some were suggesting that he can become a All star and after 3 season, we see that his game is flawed … If we want to take the next step, we need to evaluate our talents better and stop investing on players that don’t have a high ceiling …

            • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

              Yes, comparing Valanciunas and Anthony Davis is nuts. I agree. And Raptor fans do seem to consistently overrate their players, but that’s not uncommon. I remember hearing a few arguments a few years ago by some Laker fans that Devean George was as good as Shawn Marion.

  • guest80

    Great post! Really well organized and easy to read

  • http://www.probballreport.com/ Stephen Brotherston

    Basically, the Pacers are several years into their rebuild and enjoying the fruits of a job well done. The Raptors just got their new GM this summer and are about 3 years behind the Pacers (unless Ujiri decides to blow this up & tank – then its 5 years)

    • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

      Basically, the Pacers hit the jackpot with Paul George and Roy Hibbert, and are riding that.

      The Raptors don’t have a Paul George and will be lucky if Valanciunas turns into a Hibbert. Until they get a George, they will forever be treading water waiting for that franchise player to walk through the door.