Raptors at Pacers, game-day Dino-bytes
Our usual post-shootaround update for tonight’s Raptors game.
TORONTO (17-32) at INDIANA (31-19)
Bankers Life Fieldhouse
TIPOFF: 7 p.m.
TV: TSN; RADIO: FAN590
WEB: Yes, the usual in-game blog and the inherent fun and frivolity will kick off just before 7 p.m.
Toronto: Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Rudy Gay, Amir Johnson, Aaron Gray; Indiana: George Hill, Lance Stephenson, Paul George, David West, Roy Hibbert.
Key backups tonight
Toronto: Terrence Ross (they let him dunk, will they let him play?), Andrea Bargnani (how will the enigmatic Roman have another good game?); Indiana:
Been a couple of close ones: Indiana won at the buzzer on opening night in Toronto; Raptors won by two in Indiana on the night Jose Calderon (remember him?) got his first career triple-double.
Oh, and Toronto is 8-24 all time at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Well, that’s Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Conseco Fieldhouse and the old, great Market Square Arena.
What happened this morning?
Not a whole lot
Don’t expect any changes to the lineup for the Raptors – although they always reserve the right to do that right up until tipoff.
One thing Dwane Casey pointed out was that Toronto’s last two opponents – Miami and Boston – can play a grind-it-out style similar to Indiana so Toronto should be familiar with what it’s about to see.
What’s up in Indy?
This is supposed to be a basketball hotbed, right?
Well, this piece by Mike Wells explains that it’s not at all, at least at the NBA level.
How a 31-19 team in the Indy market is 26th in the NBA in attendance baffles me, too.
Stat you should know for no apparent reason, one
Amir Johnson has blocked at least one shot in his last nine games.
Terrence Ross went through a short post-shootaround practice for his dunk contest routine. Trust me, there are some stunning attempts coming.
And when he works on it, he says he’ll have to probe the dark recesses of his mind.
“Every dunk has already been done,” he said. “You just have to find a way to reinvent it or find a way to put a twist on it or find a way to do one that no one’s seen.
“I think that’s the hardest thing.”
An odd referee note
The men who’ll be in the spotlight tonight are Bennett Salvatore, Leon Wood and Haywoode Workman.
The twist? Workman played for both Indiana and Toronto.
Stat you should know for no apparent reason, two
The Raptors have averaged 21 points and shot 38 per cent from the field in the fourth quarter of their last five games. Opponents? They average 28 points and shot 51 per cent from the field in the fourth quarter of those five games.