Toronto Raptors 79 Final
Recap | Box Score
86 Indiana Pacers
Amir Johnson, PF Shot Chart 21 MIN | 0-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -7

Due for a stinker and he delivered one on point. Missed bunnies, missed box-outs, and sloppy hands. This was not Amir’s night. On one play Lowry delivered a pass which he finishes on the roll 99% of the time, this time he just fumbled it for a turnover. Then punched the floor in frustration.

Jonas Valanciunas, C Shot Chart 32 MIN | 1-6 FG | 2-2 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 4 TO | 4 PTS | -13

Pushed around way too easily by the not-in-foul-trouble Hibbert and couldn’t convert his near-rim chances with any sort of guile or technique. Had sloppy hands which led to turnovers and can’t seem to read when the defense is showing double, versus when they’re actually doubling.

Kyle Lowry, PG Shot Chart 34 MIN | 7-13 FG | 0-3 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 16 PTS | -13

It boggles me why he wasn’t more assertive in this game and why he didn’t feature as the primary ball-handler more often (especially when Salmons is in the game). He is the only true mismatch the Raptors have on the court and he was rather shy for the balance of the game. When he did try to take over he was successful which leaves me scratching my head even more.

DeMar DeRozan, SG Shot Chart 37 MIN | 9-22 FG | 10-11 FT | 2 REB | 6 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 28 PTS | -1

A blistering third quarter where he single-handedly kept the sluggish Raptors in it by scoring 17 in the quarter. He was the #1 focus of the Indiana defense and managed to get the matchup he wanted by dribbling past screens until he found the shot he wanted. On this night we appreciate him putting on his Superman costume, even if it came at the expense of team ball at times.

Terrence Ross, SG Shot Chart 30 MIN | 1-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 3 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 3 PTS | -15

Missed a lot of clean looks but played good defense on George, moved his feet well, and helped out when needed. Can’t fault the effort on this one, like the rest of the team he looked gassed but fought through it.

Patrick Patterson, PF Shot Chart 32 MIN | 8-14 FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 20 PTS | +4

The revelation continues. Struggled a little in the first half against Scola but dominated the Pacers in the second half by using his crafty movement to find space in every corner of the court. Showed he’s not just a jump-shooter by slashing to the rim on every occasion where it made sense. Player of the game for me, even in a loss.

Chuck Hayes, PF Shot Chart 12 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | +2

Nice cameo, pulled some rebounds, made a nice bounce pass and fought hard with West. Got called for some total BS fouls but on this night with Tony Brothers whistle-happy, it was inevitable for a guy like him to get the short end of the stick.

John Salmons, SF Shot Chart 29 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | 0

A bit too me-ballish again in the first half but improved in the second. Still don’t see why he gets to handle the ball so much with Lowry red-hot. Defensively, he was adequate and also posed some matchup issues for the Pacers when they switched their PGs on him.

Greivis Vasquez, PG Shot Chart 14 MIN | 1-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | +8

Unfortunately, no matter what craftiness and creativity he brings to the floor on offense, he yields so much on the other end that it ends up with the Raptors losing their defensive shape.

Dwane Casey

Good timeouts, good use of zone although I thought he abandoned it a bit too prematurely. Probably was concerned about rebounding. Thought he should’ve utilized Patterson more given how the Pacers don’t have anyone to matchup against him; instead he worried more about how to deal with Hibbert and the mismatches posed to the Raptors. Got the team to show up after tough travels.

Four Things We Saw

  1. The Raptors arrived in Indiana in the early afternoon and it looked like they had gotten off a flight. Given that circumstance, this was not a bad effort at all and on any other night things could’ve gone the other way.
  2. The refs were extremely whistle-happy, especially in 50-50 situations and it felt like the flopping Pacers (and they do flop!) got the call every time.
  3. The rebounding (-17) and three-point shooting (5-19 – 26%) let the Raps down big-time. They couldn’t contend with Roy Hibbert in the block and the boards, and although they neutralized George by picking up fouls against him early, Hibbert was too much to overcome.
  4. This team is thin at the center position, the fact that we have to drop down to Chuck Hayes after Valanciunas indicates the type of move the Raptors need to make if they’re serious about doing anything this season.

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79 Responses to “Reaction: Raptors 79, Pacers 86 – Sluggish Loss, Good Effort”

  1. KJ-B

    This was about greed. Plain and simple on behalf of the NBA. Raps were in an unwinnable position from the get. Shouldda been flying back to Toronto at dinner tine. Also, puts tomorrow’s game in jeopardy!

    I give everyone on the Raptors an A+…. Silly suits ruining the game ignoring the humanity of player safety… Should sue lol!!!! GARBAGE.

  2. Lawrence C

    I feel like everyone discusses Vasquez’s offense as though it’s a given that he’s a positive contributor on that end, but outside of his first couple of games as a Raptor I feel like he’s been absolutely brutal on both ends. When Lowry sits, you can really feel it when watching the game. Is it just me?

    • puffer

      Absolutely causes me to cringe when Vasquez brings the ball up against any team with defensive chops. You just know he is going to get cornered and have to throw a wild pass to get out of it, or take a hail Mary shot.

    • ayy

      Watching vasquez on the court is brutal the guy only has two speeds..slow or really slow and on the defensive end doesnt fight through screens players blowing by him left and right at this point id rather have buycks at least hes young and could enhance his development and at least he can break down others and defend somewhat better

    • Roarque

      Did you see the ice pack on his ankle when Vasquez was on the bench? I suspect and truly hope that the man is playing injured

      • asifyouknow

        He has been hurt way before that ..The surgery on his foot is not all healed ..he came back too soon..This is not the same Vaz of the last few years ..he had no choice but to play in his last year of contract, is a shame. He is not a starter in a top team but he is a 20+ minute guy who can maintain a lead and has a decent shot. This guy played all the great ACC guards and torched them. This is not the same guy.. I know this is killing him, he is a hell of a team guy and hates not be helping them…If the Raptors don’t give on him they can get what everybody is looking for, a good maintaining PG..Not a star just a guy that can keep it close.

    • David Montford

      +/- stat is how many points are score against your team when your on the floor vs how many points your team score while your on the floor. If Vasquez impact against the Pacers bench is so terrible how he get +8.

    • AB4EYE

      What makes it worse is Augustin has been playing great for the Bulls and that type of play would help us in the playoffs.

      He only got 82 MP in 10 games with us and but how has 79 assists in 13 games with the Bulls and came up big with 13 points and 9 assists off thier bench beating the Suns tonight with Deng gone and no Boozer.

    • asifyouknow

      Funny thing is that the game maintains even though he is sucking right now, That is the job of the back maintain look at all the +/- stuff…The biggest worry should be Kyle and DeMar in crunch time fourth quarter where wins and loses are made. Are you sitting down for this stat?…3 OF 17 the last two loses that’s about 17%shoting in crunch time…YEA Vasquez is the problem…lol

  3. Adriiian

    Can’t talk shit about this team. I’m loving the way were playing.
    Losing to Miami and Indiana in their buildings is nothing to be ashamed about.
    We have to keep Lowry on this team if he’s gonna keep playing this way. Wonder what MU is thinking right now… What do you guys think he should do?

    Greivis, you fucking suck dude.

  4. Ds

    That turnover on Valenciunas, where West and Hibbert both hammered him, with no foul call represents the night for the Raps. Just brutal officiating.

    Now starts the fun: 3 games at home against inferior teams. This should be a good sign of where they actually are.

  5. DDayLewis

    Not to evoke the angry spirit of Ppellico, but we really could have used a mega-big like Aaron Gray to contend with Hibbert’s size tonight.

  6. moe

    it annoys me how pacers continue to complain about miamk flopping yet they do it as well. good game, IMO the travel problem might have affected this team. really hope we match up with the pacers in the 2nd round. we can steal a game or 2 vs them

  7. Jeffrey Yau

    Couldn’t watch the game till the very end but i’ll just say that this was a tough/close loss, to an excellent team no shame at all. Losses against teams like Indy/Miami show you what we don’t currently have to contend, and the things that we have to do/get better at to get there.

    Hopefully we take advantage of the rest of the schedule for January which seems like a pretty easy month over all.

  8. Stau

    Gritty effort, but it just wasn’t there. Man, these guys really have developed a tough-minded, no-nonsense type of identity and its great to see. It was definitely lacking in the first half with probable good reason but they found themselves late and gave them a chance against the best. Love this team.

  9. AB4EYE

    Letting Scola get 9 rebounds on you in just under 16 MP should be embarrassing, his PER36 rate is only 9.2 for his career and he got that on us in 15:47!

    In these 3 games since we’ve lost Hansbough’s rebounding we’ve been out rebounded on both ends in each game losing the rebounding war by 34 total with 19 of them coming on the offensive side.

    • Will

      Man, you’re really up to date with your per36 stats. Where do you get them from?

      Anyway, I agree with you. We’ve missed Hansbrough the last few games. I actually think he’s a good pairing with Patterson on the second unit. Patterson gives more offense but Hansbrough crashes the boards more. On defense, neither can cover a true C but there aren’t that many in the league anymore, especially on a second unit.

  10. FREEJV

    With all these tough games we have a chance to tie for 3rd place tmr if we win cuz hawks play pacers tmr 😀

  11. ad

    Jval and amir were BRUTAL. Cant compete with an elite team when your frontcourt doesnt show up. Not to mention, the team just looked tired as a whole.

    • Phat AlberG

      Dude you will be brutal too, if you’re getting held and hack for the whole game.

      • ad

        Pacers are an elite basketball team playing at home. They are going to get calls in their favour. Refs did the raps a favour by putting george in foul trouble. Raps didnt take advantage.

        • Phat AlberG

          Yes I will agree with you, they did missed opportunities, but don’t say we can’t compete against Pacers because we hammered them on our home floor.

          • ad

            Never said they cant compete with them. Just amir and val had bad games and that made it really difficult. I actaully think raps-pacers could potentially be a very good 2nd round series that could go six+ games.

    • FREEJV

      Jv at least did something Idk what Amir did today he missed bunnies AGAIN and 0 pts #wtf

    • Hound

      Agreed. JV and AJ needed to be better. However, I have no idea why they kept trying to post up JV against Hibbard. The very best strategy would be to get JV 16 feet away from the basket to pull Hibbard out. Then either learn to make that shot or have people driving to the net when Hibbard goes out of the key to defend JV. Keeping JV on the block is stupid and reduces any possibility of Demar, Ross, etc. of driving to the rim.

  12. Phat AlberG

    Pacers are the worst, I can’t stand this team at all. They flop like crazy, an it wasn’t for there acting skills and getting all the calls we would’ve won this game. It was pretty hilarious to see Roy Hibbert flop when Derozan slighty touch him, and JV & Amir getting held all game honestly..I hate this team.

  13. leftovercrack

    Where is Mr. Pelico to point out that we need Aaron Gray? LOL! A second big-bodied center was exactly what we needed.

  14. Age

    2nd loss on the back of our bigs….man, is Hansborough under appreciated or what? We definitely needed him tonight and against miami. He gives Amir and JV and breather and beats up the opposing team bigs

    • GoingBig

      With a lot of the small ball everyone’s playing, difficult to see the difference made by having depth in bigs. Still glad Casey sees the value of going big… hehe

      But against Indiana,we saw the value of Hansbrough in the last Indiana game

    • AB4EYE

      Drawing fouls is a major part of what we miss on top of the rebounding.

      He’s 3rd on our team in FT attempts despite being 7th in MP and we very rarely give him the ball as he’s 17th, yes 17th in PER36 FG attempts on the team.

      When given the ball more like with the Pacers he finished 2nd by 15 and 13 on their teams the last two seasons in FTA and here is how he rates at getting to the line….

      Top-10 PER36 FTA of all players with at least 3,000 MP over last 3 seasons.

      9.7 for D Howard
      8.5 for J Harden
      8.1 for K Durant
      7.8 for K Love
      7.4 for T Hansbrough
      7.4 for D Cousins
      7.3 for K Bryant
      7.2 for L James
      7.1 for C Anthony
      6.8 for R Westbrook

      That’s elite company and why I find it dumb we don’t give him the rock more down low against reserve big men.

  15. tweed8

    I didn’t catch the game until halfway into the 3rd and within a minute my first thought was these Raps look bloody tired.

  16. robertparrish00

    I don’t know what is worse. Lebron’s flop to surprise face at the refs or West’s flop to angry face at the refs. Chicken or the egg? are the Pacers and Heat good so they get the whistle or do they get the whistle making them good. I know it is the first but it feels like the second.

  17. J

    Was anyone else as ticked off by Lance Stephenson as I was? I mean this guy acts like such an ass (for lack of a better word) on the court. Yes, he deserves a lot of credit for the improvement he has shown this season but, dude, the hot-dogging gets excessive quickly. From the way he just dribbles it up the court to his stupid reactions for any ‘highlight’ play he makes; it really rubs me the wrong way. As much as I sound like some hater behind a computer screen, you have to rewatch the game and pay attention to him to see what I mean. There’s even proof of this from what Brad Stevens and the celtics have said about him in past games this season where he has showboated and intentionally chased a triple double in a blow out.
    Forgive me for my long and probably unnecessary rant, but it was just something I had to get off my chest and hopefully some people will agree with me.

    • robertparrish00

      It’s hard to disagree. He does have a half decent porno name. BTW when I heard Brad Stevens I thought you were talking about the guy from Everyone love Raymond, kinda funny.

    • moe

      he does chase triple doubles and likely will leave pacers if he gets a good contract. I am no fan of him, his violent past is forgotten so quickly but the fact is, this dude is an asshole. one of the reasons I want pacers to get killed by the heat. that and David west and his offensive fouls every 5 seconds

      • smh

        “one of the reasons I want pacers to get killed by the heat”

        Wade is a worse asshole. Wade tries to injure opponents

  18. asifyouknow

    Dear Zarar Siddiqi I just don’t understand your grades on Kyle and DeMar those two guys have folded in the last two game , 3-17 in the fourth quarter, all the misses in game changing situation and not one of the post here mention that. Fans blame Salmons, Vasquez and the water boy and yet those two guys lost the last two games by not producing in crunch time.
    My grade for them is F for failing to hit the shots that counted, the 28 pints tonight by DeMar mean nothing in a loss, both games, Miami and Indiana, were winnable, if kyke and DeMar would of hit even 35% of those shots they get a win. My friend 3-17 in crunch time! that reminds me of A-Rod in the world series batting under 200.
    The blame is clear, the bench did what they are supposed to do, maintain the game, no be superstars, just keep them in the game and even though Vasquez has sucked (I think his foot still has not healed) the bench has done their job, you know, keep them in the game so the starts can finish the game. Again at 3-17 in crunch time is not a formula for winning.
    just saying.

    • rtzyyz

      Maybe after having to carry the team for 40 minutes they are gassed. Without Kyle and DD throughout the game we don’t even get to he in a position to win this game. Let’s face it the game was lost on the boards (again). Not the bench or kyle and DD. Amir and JV and no TH.

      • asifyouknow

        Fair enough but most NBA starters play between 30 to 38 minutes ..That should not be the problem..LeBron played 38 tonight..

        • RaptorFan

          LOL – Dude, give it a rest. Without Kyle and DD, this would be a blowout loss. Are you really taking a two game sample of the Heat and the Pacers (you know the top two teams in the East) and using that as a slight against our two best players?? These teams have two of the BEST defences in the league. THEN, to make it even more laughable, you bring up Lebron! lol
          You repeated the same things about 3 times in this comment section! Pretty foolish to single out our better players when EVERYONE else (except PP) played like garbage.

  19. rtzyyz

    Everyone should step back and first say kudos to DeMar. The guy sensed the team was off and in the third, even though the entire pacer defense stratagy was on him , single handedly kept us in the game.

    face reality that if any other team played defense like the pacers everyone would have 6 fouls before half. But as we all know the NBA is a league of reputations and they have a rep of good defense, when really it’s foul defense. Plus now the pacers are a marquee team… can’t have them losing to the raps two games in a row.

    Lastly…since the league is a league of reps we HAVE to go to the playoffs and make a name for our selves and build our rep. That’s how indy did it last year. Before last year’s playoff run both them and Paul George were no body’s. If we battle through the playoffs, build a winning hard nosed culture watch next year how we get the calls.

    • asifyouknow

      My friend I love DeMar game but he could not hit the side of the barn in crunch time…The last two games in the fourth quarter when shots win or lose the game 2-12 my friend that is less than 16%

  20. Mexiballer

    Masai…please get us a real back up point guard! The drop off when Lowry goes out is scary.

    • asifyouknow

      .Does this scare you?….DeMar and Lowry are 3-17 in the fourth quarter the last two games, 17 % shooting

      • Mexiballer

        No. Not at all. First…they are yours guys…theyre the ones who got you here and who carry this team with ball handling, scoring and distribution, and leadership. Second….are you seriously going to take a two game sample size? Especially against two of the best defences in the NBA and when Derozan and Lowry have both been carrying heavy minutes during a very difficult game and travel schedule. The Raptors have been on a tear and your dissing Kyle and Demar? I think you should learn more about basketball before making statements and jumping to conclusions based on two game samples. Vasquez hurts the flow of everyone on the floor. He can’t keep up with the speed of NBA guards and his decision making is hesitant and predictable. I don’t need numbers to see what is clear on the floor. We need another point guard who can manage both ends of the floor and keep the flow moving of how this team wants to play. Grieves won’t last if he doesn’t get a whole lot better fast. I just hope a backup gaurd is found sooner than later so we can compete in the playoffs. I trust Masai. He’ll do the right thing at the right time.

        • Al Asifyouknow

          I believe that is why they send that kid to the d-league, Vasquez days are numbered here, the problem I have with some of you guys is that you slam the guy and you know nothing about him or know what’s going on….but lets get back the facts, I don’t doubt your basketball knowledge even though I’m a long time sports blogger you may be right, I may not know anything about basketball, but I do understand stats and in most cases they don’t lie. True Vasquez is just not in the grove and I know why but you are not interested in that, you simply want to slam the guy. Hey fair enough that is fanhood for you.

          1) The two gentleman DeMar and Lowry got the game back (in both games) within a few point of the margin they let it at.

          2) The back-ups, including Vaz ,did the job they were hired to do . MAINTAIN, that is the whole job, is not to be a superstar, is just to maintain and they did that. Once he starts to hit shots as he was earlier it will help the team more.That is what I understand. Maybe I’m wrong but I got that from a well known coach I met who was a speaker in a work related seminar.

          3) The starter got the game back in both cases and they blew the game by not hitting shots (something like 3-17 last two games) that is what the “boys “ supposed to do. That is what Mano did last night for San Antonio to win the game. If you the man ! Then you got to be the man and hit shots. They tried to do a Jordan impersonation and they failed.

          I watched the fourth quarter replay of both games a few times and I can tell you this is not the same team that has been a joy to watch the last 10 games. They were playing isolation city in those fourth quorter, you know like in the local black top. Nice talking to you.
          On Vasquez the guy is just not recovered from his foot surgery, he came back too early, by the way he played vs the best point guards in the ACC many of them playing in the NBA and torched them slowly…lol..He is the only guy in the history of the ACC to have over 2000 points, 700 assists and 600 rebounds, the guy is not a bum he is hurt somebody id going to get a good backup next year. Hope he gets released so he can heal.

          Just saying.

        • asifyouknow

          How about DeMar 0-9 in the first half of the Detroit game …does that scare you?….lol

  21. Roarque

    Let’s remember who the Raps played tonight? This is a team with one of the best defensive records in the NBA. How do you think they achieve this lofty position – by going out each night an winging it? NO! They learn from their game films and they prep their D for the opponent. So Amir and Jonas laid two major eggs and Hibbert had a standout game. Strange how that was just the opposite result last week in Toronto? Not strange at all. They have a professional coaching staff who don’t rely on emotion and only emotion to win NBA games.
    Welcome to the world where games against elite teams matter. It is no longer a forgone conclusion that the raptors will lose. But first, they have to prepare to win. TONIGHT I SAW RUDY GAY ISO BALL WITH THE PART OF RUDY PLAYED BY DeMAR DeROZAN. Knock it off Dwane – develop a game plan while your sitting in Miami for two days.

    • asifyouknow

      God bless you Mo glad I’m not the only one seeing that the last two games…..deMar and Lowry are 3-17 in the fourth quarter the last two games, 17 % shooting in crunch time, terrible… a losing formula for sure..

  22. CashGameND

    now that everyone is over tanknation, I think we can look at losses productively & evaluate what we need on the team going forward. I agree with you with the “thin” on centers. If we could get a solid backup center (like an Aaron Gray who is alittle better offensively), and improve on backup point guard over vazquez I really think this team could cause some hell in the 2nd/3rd rounds of the playoffs. And we’re talking about backups here, good backups albeit, but with so many teams in tankmode, I am hoping there might be an opportunity to improve these spots & take a real serious shot at things.

  23. nyStef

    Much as I enjoy Arse’s take on anything-Raps (long-time Arse fan), I’m kinda missing Tim W’s particular view on things these days. Now that we’ve settled in to the new-look Raps, maybe we can dare to look a bit further ahead.

    For example (and mainly), Kyle Lowry. Yes, he’s been great, out-of-his-mind great, even. But … what is HE thinking about? I don’t know the ins-and-outs of his upcoming free agent status but it’s obviously likely that he’s more than a little aware of the big fat contract that is undoubtedly coming his way (if all stays on course, knock wood), but … is signing it with a team of HIS choosing also a part of what he’s thinking? How certain are we about whatever loyalty he might have to the Raptors? Do we have options to match any offer? And would we want to?

    And … once the thrill of chasing this big-fat-contract-that-is-likely-coming-his-way, is done, how much leveling off will there be in his play on the court? Maybe very little but … I don’t recall seeing him play anywhere near this good, or even being that interested in being this good.

    Whatever happens, if he seriously (but quietly) desires to go elsewhere (he’s too smart to ever breathe a word about it, if so) … if we take Kyle Lowry out the Raptors-equation, we’re looking at a whole new ball-game that isn’t *nearly* as dynamic as how this team has been looking for the last month. Meanwhile … a good number of not-very-good-but-not-terribly-bad teams are likely gonna be drafting whatever there is of those future stars that so many have been talking about for so long. And we’ll be … probably not. Meaning, on the outside, looking in.

    Not raining on parades; just voicing my own pet worries about what’s down the road a bit. Good as the team’s been looking, we don’t have enough going on to be kidding ourselves that *real* contending, championship contending, is around the corner. We’re having fun but … it’s not quite enough fun for *this* fan to be putting the desire to seriously contend on the back-burner for the thrill of a playoff series or two, hoping that as the years go by, we ‘organically’ get good enough to get all the way there. As good as the team has been, we’re not as close to that stage (of near-contending) as some are wanting to think. Not really.

    Personally, I’m looking forward to Tim W’s next columns. He’s an uncompromising Raptors fan, yes, but as many know, he’s smarter than … some like to think.

  24. Kujo2020

    Raps were do for a let down. That D in the 3rd period was off the charts. Vasquez was awful. I’m hoping the ankle injury had something to do with it, though he was chucking in the 4th.

  25. morgan c

    4 point combined from JV and Amir is just inexcusable. I know Hibbert is good, and the team got in late, but these are professionals and they brought nothing. Extremely disappointing neither showed up. 0 points for Amir? Really? JV still has a LONG way to go before he’s considered even a near all-star.


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