Fan Duel Toronto Raptors

Quick Reaction: Raptors 101, Pacers 94 (OT)

I'll take a playoff series of this, please.

Recap | Box Score
L. Scola 20 MIN | 4-10 FG | 1-3 3FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 9 PTS | +4 +/-

Took two charges in the game’s opening minutes, really setting the tone, intentionally or otherwise. Held up when the Pacers had two bigs out, and Casey protected his minutes fairly well when they went to lineups that fit Scola a little less. Twenty minutes feels like the right amount for him right now, yeah?

B. Biyombo 42 MIN | 5-6 FG | 0-0 3FG | 6-11 FT | 25 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 16 PTS | +16 +/-

What more is there to say? A new franchise record in rebounds, a new career high in points, and the team was a mess whenever he hit the bench. He’s also the nicest dude in then NBA.

K. Lowry 43 MIN | 8-21 FG | 4-11 3FG | 8-9 FT | 8 REB | 4 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 8 TO | 28 PTS | +11 +/-

The eight turnovers, one of his career high, were unsightly, and that was a symptom of him trying to do a little too much when the offense was struggling. But that’s what he does, and he did it damn well. Pull-up threes, drives to the rim, steals nobody saw coming…Lowry’s the best.

D. DeRozan 44 MIN | 9-26 FG | 0-1 3FG | 10-12 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 28 PTS | +9 +/-

OK, he was 9/26. I get that. He also scored on a lot of ugly long twos, and they started missing late. But the free throws help make up for some of the shooting, and the Raptors desperately needed his scoring in this one. I’m burying the lede: This may have been the best defensive performance of DeRozan’s career, as he drew the Paul George assignment all night and hounded him into 18 points on 24 shots. If he can defend like this in a playoff series…

N. Powell 20 MIN | 3-9 FG | 0-1 3FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | +6 +/-

He made a lot of the right decisions around the floor, things just weren’t going his way on the offensive end. I think the early foul trouble, some of it ticky-tack, maybe took his defensive edge off. He’s still turning in such encouraging minutes.

P. Patterson 33 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-1 3FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | +2 +/-

Not hitting a three, and only taking one, is a minor issue, as is a single defensive rebound in 33 minutes. But some solid defensive minutes, and he provided the exclamation point in overtime.

J. Thompson 11 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 3FG | 4-4 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTS | -12 +/-

In his defense, he doesn’t even know the playbook at center entirely yet. Was shaky defensively and got rolled on the glass in his 11 minutes, and he seemed a little frustrated. This is exactly why these minutes may be a blessing, though, getting him acclimated ahead of the playoffs.

T. Ross 21 MIN | 2-8 FG | 2-5 3FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 2 BLK | 2 TO | 8 PTS | -6 +/-

Sometimes, everything’s popping for you. Nobody knows that better than TJ Ross. Sometimes, it’s just not your night, at least offensively. He was a damn terror on defense, though.

C. Joseph 30 MIN | 0-5 FG | 0-0 3FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | +0 +/-

A scoreless night on 0/5 shooting with a lone assist is, umm, not great, but his defense was important as the Pacers rolled with dual ball-handlers often, as they do. He hasn’t shot 50 percent in a game since March 2, shooting 302. percent in that eight-game stretch.

Dwane Casey

They game-planned for Paul George really well, and he had DeRozan well prepared for some of Indy’s pet plays and George’s preference, with plenty of help at the ready. Liked starting Powell to see how he’d do in this matchup. Maybe would have went to Bebe in the second half for Thompson’s minutes, but Thompson’s gotta get comfortable, too. Congrats on Win No. 200 with the Raptors, the first coach ever to reach that mark with the franchise.

Five Things We Saw

  1. The final play of regulation, yeah, I get it. It wasn’t a straight ISO, as I’m pretty sure the play was for Lowry on the screen-slip but he didn’t get enough space, so then they opted to ISO the mismatch. You also need to eat enough clock to ensure it’s the final shot. But as a final shot…woof.
  2. Not the best night for the bench squad, which is perhaps why Casey often opts to elevate a player from outside the rotation into the starting lineup (Johnson, Powell, Thompson) rather than disrupt that group. He simply can’t afford to do that with Valanciunas out, and the issue was actually on the offensive end, not the defensive one, so it may have just been one of those nights. I really enjoy having a bench full of guys who can defend.
  3. There was originally a note about the defense here but I copy & pasted the above one twice and I hate all of you with the passion of a thousand fires, so I’m not rewriting it.
  4. Has your opinion changed at all on Indy as a playoff opponent? I called them the team I’d most like to see this week, and the Raptors did this without Carroll or Valanciunas (Indy was down Mahinmi and LawsoN). Indy is now just two games up on Detroit and three back of Charlotte, while the Raptors are two back of Cleveland and 7.5 up on Miami (depending on what happens the rest of the night).
  5. So…Lowry rest tomorrow night, right? I know I’m more risk-averse than most and probably overstate the need to get some downtime for the primary guys, but he played over 40 minutes again Thursday and it’s the fourth game in five nights, against a team full of scrappy guards no less. If not Friday, then maybe Sunday, giving him four straight days off?