Raptors Republic: ESPN TrueHoop Network Blog

Quick Reaction: Pacers 115, Raptors 120

Indiana 115 Final
Box Score
120 Toronto
B
S. Ibaka25 MIN, 15 PTS, 8 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 6-10 FG, 3-4 3FG, 0-0 FT, 2 BLK, 2 TO, 0 +/-

Serge started this game off incredibly. Looking for his shot (the usual), but was also very active on defense. In what was probably the play of the game, Ibaka sent Bogdonavic’s shot to an unknown rural part of Indiana (yet to be found). The last few minutes, Ibaka played like he was sedated. Not a great finish from Serge.

B
O. Anunoby20 MIN, 5 PTS, 1 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 2-5 FG, 0-2 3FG, 1-1 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 3 +/-

OG was tasked with a difficult one tonight, defending one of the conference’s best guards thus far, Victor Oladipo. Victor had an incredible game, but that doesn’t all fall on OG. He made plays offensively and showed off his underrated passing ability.

A
J. Valanciunas21 MIN, 13 PTS, 7 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 6-11 FG, 0-0 3FG, 1-1 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, 5 +/-

What stood out for me in this game was JV’s post-defense. Jonas challenged various Pacer players at the rim, time after time after time — and won. Keep in mind, that was never a weakness for JV, but big stops defensively for him translated to an energetic output on offense.

A
D. DeRozan34 MIN, 26 PTS, 5 REB, 5 AST, 2 STL, 9-21 FG, 0-1 3FG, 8-10 FT, 1 BLK, 2 TO, -4 +/-

DeRozan knew the Raptors needed him to show for this one. He was aggressive early, recording a 12/4/3/1 stat-line in the 1st half. That could’ve easily been a 20/4/3/1 line if the referees… never mind. Deebo had some clutch FTs late, closing this one out for good.

A-
K. Lowry35 MIN, 11 PTS, 7 REB, 8 AST, 0 STL, 4-11 FG, 3-9 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 3 TO, -5 +/-

The engine. The motherboard. The beating heart. Kyle makes plays for this team nightly where you silently sit there, reflect, and appreciate his existence. His box score didn’t look inspiring, but he had a hand in many of the game’s most crucial plays.

A+
J. Poeltl25 MIN, 18 PTS, 6 REB, 0 AST, 1 STL, 8-8 FG, 0-0 3FG, 2-5 FT, 2 BLK, 0 TO, 0 +/-

William Lou put it perfectly. This guy is solidly unspectacular. Goodness gracious. He gave Sabonis and the Pacers’ bigs fits all night long. A career-high in points for the Austrian. Toronto truly lucked into drafting this kid (and the other children, of course). Love you, Yak.

A+
F. VanVleet24 MIN, 11 PTS, 4 REB, 6 AST, 1 STL, 5-9 FG, 1-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 9 +/-

Van Vleet came into the game in the 2nd quarter and took full reins of the bench unit, leading the entire team with a +10 rating in the 1st half. He had some memorable dimes and crucial plays and is quickly proving he’s more than just a third string PG.

A
P. Siakam24 MIN, 4 PTS, 3 REB, 3 AST, 0 STL, 2-7 FG, 0-3 3FG, 0-2 FT, 0 BLK, 3 TO, 5 +/-

It’s getting tiring (in a good way) writing the same thing every night about Siakam. He gives it his all offensively and defensively, providing game-altering plays for Toronto. I particularly liked when he crushed Joseph’s layup attempt in his own version of a “welcome back” greeting.

B-
C. Miles16 MIN, 7 PTS, 3 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 2-7 FG, 2-7 3FG, 1-1 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, 5 +/-

If CJ Miles has a conscience, remind me where it’s at. All seven of his field goals came from beyond the arc, hitting only two. CJ will have these nights, but he’s still shooting 40% on the season. His solid defense versus the Indiana swingmen was a definite plus.

B
N. Powell15 MIN, 10 PTS, 3 REB, 4 AST, 0 STL, 4-8 FG, 1-5 3FG, 1-1 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, 7 +/-

Norm shot 1 for 4 from the field (0-3 from 3PT) in the first half, as Casey abandoned him for the entire 3rd frame. I don’t blame DC. Norm looked flustered out there but did gain confidence as the game continued. Oh, and he had a nasty one-handed hammer on Sabonis.

A-
Dwane Casey

Casey made some excellent rotation decisions throughout the game. Everyone seemed fresh and ready to contribute. Casey’s late-game lineup was genius, putting his full trust into Van Vleet and Poeltl. The only questionable decision was going back to Ibaka late in the game. He almost fumbled the game away (literally, with his cinderblock hands).

Things We Saw

  1. Ola, Ola, Ola, Ola. Olaaa, Olaaaa. Ok, I’ll stop. Victor Oladipo is having a coming out party this season, going absolutely berserk tonight in the first three quarters, recording 31 points versus Toronto. ‘Dipo is well on his way to his first-ever All Star berth in what is surprisingly a very good crop of Eastern Conference players to choose from.
  2. Thank you Austria, the University of Utah, the Traiskirchen Lions (yes, research that), Mr. and Ms. Poeltl and everyone else responsible for Jakob Poeltl. Once again, we doubted Masai and our doubts were crushed by Ujiri’s impeccable drafting ability. Poeltl had arguably the best game of his career, shooting a perfect 8 for 8, with 18 points, 6 rebounds, 2 blocks (seemed like 5), and a steal. What a performance for the young big.
  3. I have a very serious question: What exactly did DeRozan do to these referees that we’re not aware of? I’m rarely the one to blame anything and everything on referees, knowing just how hard their jobs are in this sport but… This was something else tonight. It’s not normal when the majority of DeMar’s free throw attempts come when he’s being intentionally fouled. Not normal at all. The guy got hammered all night long with constant looks of confusion towards to the referees.