Quick Reaction

Reaction: Pacers 94, Raptors 102 – Nando De Colo Shines

Raptors beat the Pacers 104-92 on the backs of teamwork…and Nando De Colo.

Indiana Pacers 94 Final
Recap | Box Score
102 Toronto Raptors
Patrick Patterson, PF Shot Chart 25 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | +7

Physically outmatched against West and it showed in the second half. Resorted to reaching from behind and got a few steals, even pumped up some points on offense. A bit surprised the Raptors don’t run more for him closer to the rim and choose to treat him like a scavenger.

Terrence Ross, SF Shot Chart 33 MIN | 8-17 FG | 3-4 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 24 PTS | -2

The confidence is flowing, that much is true. Ran Stephenson ragged though screens all night, and I don’t blame him for taking some of those “questionable” shots – he was hot and has a right to. Defensively, shaky in one-on-one settings against George, especially in the second half.

Jonas Valanciunas, C Shot Chart 34 MIN | 10-14 FG | 2-3 FT | 9 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 22 PTS | +11

Outplayed Hibbert for 90% of this game, the other 10% was when Hibbert gained position on him to score some inside. His finishing in the vicinity of the rim, as has been deliberated here of late, is outstanding, even in traffic. Got hard-fought offensive rebounds, moved very well without the ball when the Pacer bigs were pressing up top, and even hit a couple face-up Js, one late in the fourth.

Greivis Vasquez, PG Shot Chart 33 MIN | 4-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 10 PTS | +7

Here’s my gripe with this guy: when the Raptors were up 8 in the early part of the third, this guy took a couple very questionable shots that were converted to points by the Pacers, which eventually brought them all the way back. I can’t tolerate that sort of recklessness from a “steady” point guard. I give you that he hit a huge three in the fourth, but man, he walks a tight rope.

DeMar DeRozan, SG Shot Chart 40 MIN | 8-19 FG | 4-5 FT | 4 REB | 9 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 20 PTS | +9

Poor shooting night, but had a great first half where his passing was in full view, especially in finding people when he’s close to the baseline or under the rim. Hit a couple clutch jumpers in the fourth which answered some probing Pacer questions. It was good to see the Raptors pull this off without leaning on him too much.

Tyler Hansbrough, PF Shot Chart 20 MIN | 2-4 FG | 1-2 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | -5

Throw it down, big man. Throw it down. On a recent pod, Andrew suggested that he won’t be part of the playoff rotation. It’s games like these which show why he will. Against a physical team like the Pacers, hustle and grit have a higher exchange rate than finesse and style, and so did Tyler deliver.

Chuck Hayes, PF Shot Chart 17 MIN | 3-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | +1

Solid minutes against the much bigger Hibbert, displayed a shot-put like release when the ball was dumped to him, and on occasion took Hibbert to the rim like he was a toddler. Clogged the paint well, and I’ll forgive some of that slow-footed defense on account of giving his best.

John Salmons, SF Shot Chart 16 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | +2

I’ve never seen a veteran make so many non-veteran plays. Way too vertical on defense, needlessly fouling George to spark the dormant wing into action, and playing in a sense of daze that you simply don’t expect from a vet like him.

Nando de Colo, PG Shot Chart 23 MIN | 3-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 5 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 10 PTS | +10

Huge second quarter performance where he upped the tempo, which is what the Pacers hate. The ball-handling against George Hill was supreme, and gave the latter a taste of his own medicine. When the Raptors were in a second-half lull, Casey called on him again and he delivered again, including a huge clutch three which tied the game in the fourth. He even drew this reaction from Lowry.

Dwane Casey

Great call on yanking Salmons, who just wasn’t with it. The trust in Nando paid off as well, and he managed Valanciunas’ minutes extremely well. Putting Hibbert in pick ‘n roll situations with Jonas was smart, and so was making Stephenson play defense by having him run around screens against Ross.

Five Things We Saw

  1. No Amir Johnson in the frontcourt which meant the pressure on the Raptors already thin frontline was huge. How did the team respond? By outrebounding the Pacers by three -42-39.
  2. Interior defense and rebounding in the fourth quarter was huge. Raps outrebounded the Pacers 15-9 in the fourth and had 8 second chance points in the quarter, to theirs 2. They restricted the Pacers to shooting 36% in the fourth.
  3. Terrence Ross’s recognition of defenses is improving considerably. You see him using screens so much better than last season, how he put Stephenson and George on his back a couple times was impressive. His favorite thing to do, though, is to make that diagonal, almost U-shaped run to come out for a wing three.
  4. Nando De Colo bothered the Pacers – it was almost like they didn’t plan for him at all. He surprised them with his pace in transition and surprised everyone with his shot-making. That drive where he missed at Hansbrough cleaned up was huge.
  5. Jonas Valanciunas is just a smarter player than Roy Hibbert. He’s not there physically yet, but if he closes that gap, there is no reason to think he won’t surpass Hibbert in every sense.
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