Pacers at Raptors, game-day Dino-bytes
The usual post-shootaround update for tonight’s Pacers-Raptors game.
INDIANA (36-22) at TORONTO (23-35)
Air Canada Centre
TV: TSN; RADIO: FAN590
WEB: Sorry, IGBT on hiatus for one night, be back Saturday from Milwaukee.
Indiana: George Hill, Lance Stephenson, Paul George, David West, Roy Hibbert; Toronto: Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Rudy Gay, Amir Johnson, Jonas Valanciunas.
Key backups tonight
Indiana: Danny Granger (finally back after some knee woes), DJ Augustin (speedy backup guard); Toronto: Alan Anderson (is suffering through some shooting woes), John Lucas III (can his defence keep him on the floor).
Raptors lead, 2-1.
Toronto’s won twice in Indianapolis after dropping the season opener at home; the Raptors haven’t won a season series over the Pacers since the 2007-08 season.
All time, Toronto is 16-17 at home against Indiana, as if that means anything.
What happened this morning?
A sense of urgency
The two losses this week sting and may ultimately prove fatal to any grandiose hopes for the rest of the season but there are still games to be played and this team needs a win like a starving man needs a meal.
Dwane spoke about the team’s zero margin for error, my spies tell me, and they need to play near perfect basketball at both ends to prevail.
Oh and there were questions about Andrea Bargnani and I get the sense everyone’s tired of talking about it.
The guy just has to play better and everyone can move on.
A stat that may or may not matter
The Raptors and Pacers are the only two teams in the NBA this year to have played three games against each other that have all been decided by two points or less.
There was a bit of an issue the last time these teams played when Indiana’s Tyler Hansbrough threw Jonas Valanciunas to the floor in a somewhat, well, dirty move.
Hansbrough was immediately hooked from the game by Pacers coach Frank Vogel and it should be interesting to see how he, and the Raptors, react tonight.
As if you care …
Tomorrow’s 8:30 p.m. start in Milwaukee is the first time the Raptors will have played outside the Eastern time zone since Dec. 28 at New Orleans.
A number looking back
No, things didn’t end well but the Raptors had a 7-5 record in February, without benefit of a 29th, and it was the team’s first winning month since January, 2010.
That’s a lot of months.
Speaking of …
My pal Mike Wells has some Hansbrough stuff at the end of this Indy Star notebook.
Because you all care so much, tonight’s whistle-tooters are Bennie Adams, Eric Dalen and Courtney Kirkland.