Carroll’s restriction lifted, Vogel says Raptors outplaying Pacers, and other post-game notes

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I wrote in the Quick Reaction for Game 3 that the Raptors seemed to really outwork the Pacers on Thursday. That’s a little reductive and not at all the only reason Toronto won, but I think once the new SportVu hustle stats come out for the game, the numbers will back up that the Raptors were winning the battle for loose balls, and they’re definitely winning the war on the glass and in the paint, as Josh Lewenberg points out.

We talked a lot about how the Pacers might adjust to Jonas Valanciunas in Game 3, and as expected, they began sending some extra help from the weak side on the pick-and-roll. The result was that Valanciunas went 3-of-8 from the floor, but they didn’t really wipe out his impact – the big Lithuanian still managed a game-high 14 rebounds, and the Raptors outscored Indiana by 16 points in his 27 minutes. Ian Mahinmi is still suffering through a back issue, and the Pacers made the switch to starting Myles Turner in place of Lavoy Allen in the second half to try to force an advantage elsewhere.

Valanciunas isn’t the only Raptor outworking the Pacers, but he’s been the toughest Raptors’ big man for the Pacers to stop. While Frank Vogel bemoaned his own team’s effort or execution, Paul George was willing to concede some dap.

Bismack Biyombo was big on the glass and around the rim, too. I’m not sure what the counter for the Pacers is. It might just be to accept the disadvantage inside and go small to goose their offense. The tough part about that is that C.J. Miles has also been laboring, leaving Solomon Hill as the next option up, and that’s a risky play, too.

Vogel’s comments get better with a photo, by the way. Caption this:

Mine? “When you play your five-man bench unit and they predictably get completely rolled, but you’ve already called 100 timeouts.”

Effort as an issue isn’t a unanimous diagnosis, though.

The apparent adjustment for Indiana might just be to play mad, which sounds silly and incredibly simple, but their backs are very much against the wall. If Toronto wins Saturday, this series isn’t going back to Indianapolis, and their leader seems keenly aware of this.

As for George himself, he had his worst showing of the series so far. It was still a great game, but a resurgent DeMarre Carroll helped make life a little tougher on him.

Carroll, by the way, said he’s off his minutes restriction.

There’s not a ton else coming out of post-game media availability, so here are some assorted notes and quotes.

And now, we take it to Jurassic Park for our post-Game 3 mood:

And here’s one to keep in mind heading into Game 4, one that will almost surely be brought up at practice tomorrow.

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