This isn’t the time to lose to a team under .500.
The Pacers (25-49, 13th in East) and Raptors (41-32, 7th in East) meet for the fourth and final time this season. Toronto won two of the first three matchups, but the latest one was in November where Indiana looked much different. Since then, the Pacers traded Domantas Sabonis for Tyrese Haliburton and Buddy Hield, Caris LeVert is in Cleveland, and numerous regulars such as Myles Turner are out. The Pacers are coming off a 30 point loss in Memphis and are nowhere near the playoff/play-in picture for the first time since 2015.
That’s the exact type of team that has proven to be most dangerous to the Raptors. They are only 16-14 against teams under .500, and own just a 18-16 record at home. Toronto hasn’t beaten an opponent under .500 at Scotia since Atlanta (at the time) on February 4th (0-3 since). A win guarantees upward movement in the East playoff race one way or another because the Bulls and Cavs play each other tonight. Toronto will either be in a three way tie for fifth or have sole possession of sixth by the end of the night as long as business is taken care of.
Individually speaking, Pascal Siakam is making the best push he can possibly make for All NBA. His March numbers? 26.2 ppg, 7.7 apg, 4.9 apg on 51/48/76 shooting splits. Pascal tied a season high of 35 points and a career high of six made threes against the Cavs on Thursday.
Player to Watch
Listing two quickly. This is the first look at Haliburton in a Pacers uniform. He’s averaging 16.7 points and 9.4 assists in Indiana on 48/40/83 splits. Mississauga Ontario’s Oshae Brissett has been a regular starter lately, putting up 11.7 ppg and 6.6 rpg since the all-star break.
Tip-Off: 7:30pm EDT | TV: TSN 4 | Radio: Sportsnet 590
Indiana Pacers Results, Lineups & Injuries
Toronto Raptors Results, Lineups & Injuries
My over/under prediction (14-13 this season): The Pacers rank bottom five in defensive rating this season, giving up 133 points to the Grizzlies in their last game. That clashes with Toronto’s tendency to lay eggs at home, albeit coming off a key win vs Cleveland. I think that same sense of urgency shows up in this game. Going slightly under but the Raptors will do their part on the scoreboard and get the win. After that, all attention will turn to Bulls-Cavs to see who loses.
Pacers 105, Raptors 120