Quick Reaction: Raptors 97, Pacers 114

Box Score

P. Siakam37 MIN, 17 PTS, 12 REB, 4 AST, 0 STL, 7-17 FG, 1-4 3FG, 3- FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, -10 +/-

Loved how Pascal started the game assertive in the first quarter. He’s never shot better from three, took advantage of Malcolm Brogdon being switched on him for a midrange jumper, and also found Precious for a dunk when help came his way on a drive. He’s clearly getting more comfortable with new teammates like Precious and Scottie. His stamina is improving too, evidenced by that chase down block in the third quarter. Couldn’t find the shooting touch in the second half though.

P. Achiuwa33 MIN, 9 PTS, 7 REB, 2 AST, 0 STL, 4-7 FG, 0-1 3FG, 2- FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -16 +/-

Needed to see Precious on the glass more in the first half. He only had one rebound in 16 minutes and the Raptors were outrebounded by six. Domantas Sabonis had three offensive boards. Better job in the second half (did he falcon punch one of those misses in?). I can’t believe Myles Turner sold on a pump fake from three which resulted in a strong drive that drew a foul. Shades of Jonas Valanciunas.

S. Barnes35 MIN, 17 PTS, 7 REB, 4 AST, 2 STL, 5-9 FG, 0-0 3FG, 9- FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, -13 +/-

A little passive in the first half, but Pascal, Fred and Gary had it going. Liked the baseline jump hook. He hurt that taped up thumb again (original injury happened the last time the Raptors were in Indiana) and had to leave just before halftime. Get Justin Holiday away from this man. However maybe that was the turning point because Barnes put on a masterclass in the third. Favourite play of the game was the three man action between Scottie, Pascal and Fred that led to a Barnes layup. Facilitated much more offence while playing through exhaustion and pain. Also got a couple of steals, not giving up on the game in the fourth. Understand the grind.

F. VanVleet38 MIN, 26 PTS, 5 REB, 4 AST, 1 STL, 10-21 FG, 4-10 3FG, 3- FT, 1 BLK, 4 TO, -7 +/-

So the Freddie Vandelay all-star campaign has started to kick into gear this road trip. VanVleet put up a perfect first quarter with some Wichita State faithful in the house. Three point shooting minus Fred was horrendous. Everyone else combined to shoot 3-20.

G. Trent Jr.32 MIN, 13 PTS, 1 REB, 1 AST, 2 STL, 4-11 FG, 1-5 3FG, 4- FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -12 +/-

He’s averaging over 19 points a game in November. Nurse put Gary back in the game to run with the second unit, which resulted in some bail out buckets when offence was needed. Nice hustle on the loose ball for a flush in the third. Tossed up a couple of airballs and some tough misses after that. Left the game early with right calf tightness. He was never really the same after that, so this is a lenient grade.

C. Boucher14 MIN, 9 PTS, 4 REB, 0 AST, 1 STL, 4-8 FG, 1-3 3FG, 1- FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -6 +/-

Boucher was the best reserve. Always nice to see a three go in, did a pretty good Khem Birch short roll imitation via Fred, and had an offensive rebound for a tough basket. Scottie found him for an and-1 basket in the fourth. Made use of his minutes for the most part before racking up some misses when the game was decided.

J. Champagnie1 MIN, 0 PTS, 0 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-1 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0- FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 0 +/-

Garbage time minutes.

M. Flynn14 MIN, 2 PTS, 2 REB, 0 AST, 1 STL, 1-6 FG, 0-2 3FG, 0- FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -13 +/-

This was the seventh straight game Flynn has played. Had a five minute stretch in the second quarter, but nothing really stuck out either way. His best play was fighting Sabonis for a loose ball foul, because the shot wasn’t there tonight.

D. Banton17 MIN, 2 PTS, 2 REB, 2 AST, 0 STL, 1-2 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0- FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, -4 +/-

Seven minute stint in the first half, not much of note outside of simply buying some minutes for Fred to take a breather. Nice offensive board and dish to Flynn early fourth.

S. Mykhailiuk17 MIN, 2 PTS, 0 REB, 0 AST, 1 STL, 1-6 FG, 0-3 3FG, 0- FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -4 +/-

Svi arguably had his best game of the season with 16 points off the bench and a sweet left handed dunk last a few weeks ago at Indy. Couldn’t deliver a similar spark in this one. He had some open misses that that he would be encouraged to shoot again.

I. Bonga1 MIN, 0 PTS, 1 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-2 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0- FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 0 +/-

Garbage time minutes. Missed a corner three.

Nick Nurse

The minutes are concerning, but not having a full roster at any point this season has a lot to do with that. In the first half alone you saw VanVleet, Trent and Barnes nicked up, limping, reaching for something. When you look at how the offence struggled without Fred in the second quarter though, its hard to limit minutes and try to win at the same time. The bench wasn’t great. Zone defence was a nice change of pace in the third quarter, because the defence was getting cooked before that. Wasn’t sustainable. No real answer for Sabonis.

Things We Saw

  1. PAINT DEFENCE: The Raptors interior D got cooked in the first half through a variety of ways. Indiana had some quick transition buckets, perimeter players were jumping at basic pump fakes which allowed drives that broke down everything, straight line drives and cutters from all angles including off an inbounds play. The Pacers shot 57 percent in the first half. Two offensive boards and layups from Torrey Craig hurt a mini Raptors run in the third. Sabonis killed the Raps with timely offensive boards. One of them ended up being an assist LeVert for a three that put Indiana up nine in the fourth. The Pacers never looked back after that.
  2. HEATHIER PACERS: They are still missing bubble legend T.J. Warren, but this was a better version than the team the Raptors beat twice earlier in the season. Brogdon didn’t play in one game, and Caris LeVert made his season debut in the other.
  3. ROAD TRIP IS OVER: The Raptors played four potential playoff teams (Portland, Utah Golden State, Memphis), two of which are legit contenders. Sacramento and Indiana, as directionless as they seem sometimes, still have talent. OG Anunoby played in only one game, Khem Birch and Achiuwa were in and out, and you go 2-4. I’m not mad at that. Season long seven game homestand coming up.

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