Quick Reaction

Reaction: Raptors 79, Pacers 86 – Sluggish Loss, Good Effort

Ugly, ugly game. Sluggish Raptors lose; on any other night they would’ve had a chance.

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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