Game Preview: Pacers vs Raptors

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Pacers.com Game Preview presented by DraftKings

Game Time Notice

Please note that start time for Sunday’s game has been changed from the original schedule and will now tip off at 1:00 PM ET.

Matchup

After Pacers fans witnessed the swearing-in of Malcolm Brogdon as Bankers Life Fieldhouse’s new president, Indiana (9-6) gears up to take on the Toronto Raptors (6-9) in a matinee bout. This will be the first of a back-to-back series against the Raptors.

Toronto will be on the road in Indianapolis. But technically speaking, the squad has not played a home game all season. Because of Canada’s strict COVID-19 regulations, they have been playing at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida, home of the National Hockey League’s Tampa Bay Lightning. After a rocky 1-6 start, the Raptors appeared to have settled into their unique situation and have won four of their past five outings. This includes a 101-81 drubbing of the Miami Heat on Friday night in which Miami never led.

Familiar Raptors faces pose as Indiana’s threats in this matchup, which could provide both excitement and tension for the entire game. Echoing Indiana’s style of sharing the scoring duties, three Toronto players are averaging over 18 points apiece. Fred VanVleet leads all Toronto scorers, averaging 18.9 points per contest while dishing out an average of 6.5 assists. Pascal Siakam (18.6 points, 8.1 rebounds per game) elicits the biggest problem for Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner down low. The 2019-20 All-Star has a big frame that can effectively produce in the paint. Toronto is also spearheaded by 14-year NBA veteran Kyle Lowry (18.2 points, 7.1 assists per game), but Lowry potentially could be sidelined as he deals with a nagging foot injury.

This contest has the potential to be a defensive matchup. Both teams rank inside the top 15 in defensive rating through the first 15 games of the NBA season. The Blue & Gold rank 13th (109.7 points per 100 possessions), while the Raptors rank ninth (108.6 points per 100 possessions). Pacers fans could be in for yet another close battle — especially since the Blue & Gold would love to avoid repeating their performance from the last time these two clubs met.

Projected Starters

Pacers: PG – Malcolm Brogdon, SG – Justin Holiday, SF – Doug McDermott, PF – Domantas Sabonis, C – Myles Turner
Raptors: PG – Fred VanVleet, SG – Norman Powell, SF – OG Anunoby, PF – Pascal Siakam, C – Aron Baynes

Injury Report

Pacers: Caris LeVert – not available (medical condition), T.J. Warren – out (left foot stress fracture)

Raptors: Kyle Lowry – questionable (toe infection), Patrick McCaw – out (left knee surgery rehabilitation)

Last Meeting

Feb. 3, 2020: The Pacers scored just 12 points in the first quarter and couldn’t turn it around from there. The Blue & Gold fell to the Toronto Raptors, 127-81, at Scotiabank Arena. The 46-point blowout stands as the largest victory in Raptors franchise history. Toronto led by as many as 49 points in the game.

Toronto primarily used a 1-2-2 zone on defense, which seemingly gave Indiana fits all night. Indiana shot just 4-for-23 (17.4 percent) in the first quarter and finished 31-for-95 (32.6 percent) for the game in their second wire-to-wire loss of the season. Domantas Sabonis and Aaron Holiday finished as the Pacers’ leading scorers with 14 points apiece. On a brighter note, Sabonis did collect 11 rebounds en route to notching his 43rd double-double of the season. Justin Holiday finished as Indiana’s third and final double-figure scorer with 12 off the bench.

To add to the disastrous night, Jeremy Lamb suffered his torn ACL early in the second quarter. In an act of toughness, Lamb sank a couple of free throws before walking back into the locker room. He would be sidelined for the next 11 months.

Six Raptors players finished in double figures, with Pascal Siakam leading the way with 21 points. It was certainly a night to forget for Indiana fans.

Noteworthy

  • Pacers guard Jeremy Lamb has had some late-game success against the Toronto Raptors, including two buzzer-beaters while playing for the Charlotte Hornets. On March 24, 2019, Lamb banked in a half-court shot to give the Hornets a 115-114 victory over the Raptors.
  • Toronto has won eight of the last 10 and 17 of the last 22 regular season matchups dating back to the 2013-14 season. However, Indiana still holds the all-time series record, 49-43.
  • Raptors forward OG Anunoby played two years of college basketball at Indiana University.

Tickets

A limited number of tickets for all upcoming Pacers home games from January 24 through March 4 are now on sale. Single Game Tickets »   Health & Safety Guidelines »

Health Screening

Coming to the game? To ensure the screening process is quick and seamless, fans must complete the Ascension St. Vincent “Screen & Go” online health screening prior to arrival and show confirmation before entering the Fieldhouse. Those without smart phones must complete the same screening verbally prior to being allowed to enter. Adults accompanying young children will be asked to answer screening questions on the children’s behalf. Complete Health Screening »

Broadcast Information TV & Radio Listings »

TV: FOX Sports Indiana – Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Jeremiah Johnson (sideline reporter/host)
Radio: 93.5/107.5 The Fan – Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Pat Boylan (sideline reporter/host)
Please Note: Inside Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Pacers radio broadcasts can be heard on 1080 AM instead of 1070.