Toronto Raptors at Indiana Pacers Preview
The Toronto Raptors may no longer have Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green, but they seem to be making another run at it this season. While most expected they would not compete in the Eastern Conference, they seem to be doing exactly that, especially lately with a serious run. Tonight, they’ll be on the road against another Eastern Conference contender in the Indiana Pacers in the first game of the regular-season series.
The Raptors have won their last five games, giving them a 21-8 record for fourth place in the Eastern Conference. They are 6-4 in their last 10 games and 8-5 on the road. The Pacers are sitting in sixth place in the East with a 20-10 record. They lost their last game out, but they are 7-3 in their last 10. They’ve been an excellent 13-3 at home at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Time: 7 PM ET
Arena: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
Channel: NBA TV
Raptors: Marc Gasol, Pascal Siakam, Norman Powell, Matt Thomas (O), Stanley Johnson, Dewan Hernandez (Q)
Pacers: Domantas Sabonis, Jeremy Lamb, Naz Mitrou-Long (DTD), Victor Oladipo (O)
Toronto Raptors Preview Starting Lineup
The Toronto Raptors had lost four of five and needed a win to get back into the win column. Most likely wouldn’t expect they’d go on a run of five straight wins over the Brooklyn Nets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, Washington Wizards and Dallas Mavericks.
On Sunday against the Mavericks, the Raptors, without starters Pascal Siakam and Marc Gasol and sixth man Normal Powell. They got down early and at the end of the third quarter, it looked like it was all wrapped up as the Mavericks, who led by as many as 30, were up 23.
But that’s when Kyle Lowry got going and had some help off the bench to outscore the Mavs by 26 points in the fourth and score 47 points to pull away with the improbable win 110-107.
“We have always been a team that fights,” head coach Nick Nurse said. “In my time here, we hardly ever mail it in. It’s a good characteristic to have.”
Lowry finished with 32 points, many of which came in the fourth, to go along with 10 assists and eight rebounds.
“I think that was a one-off game, but you could see how hard we played, and that’s something you take from and you continue to build on,” Lowry said.
With Powell out, it was Chris Boucher and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson who provided a boost off the bench. Boucher had 21 points and seven rebounds, while Hollis-Jefferson notched 18 points and nine rebounds as they handed Dallas their 10th loss of the season.
Indiana Pacers Starting Lineup
The Indiana Pacers are entering tonight’s game off a thrashing at the hands of the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday 117-89. It was guard Malcolm Brogdon’s return to Milwaukee after a sign-and-trade with the Pacers this summer. Despite the loss, Brogdon seems happy in his new home.
“That’s exactly what it is. It’s about a new opportunity, a new challenge,” Brogdon said of his desire for a bigger role. “Sort of being a leader of a team now is a totally different role, it’s a way bigger role for me, but it’s something I’ve been molded into and something I’ve prepared myself to do over the past three years.
Brogdon and several other role players have kept the Pacers afloat with Victor Oladipo sidelined by injury. On Sunday, Brogdon had 10 points and 10 assists for a double-double. The Pacers were led by Domantas Sabonis, who has played well this season, with 19 points and 18 rebounds. He is questionable for tonight’s game. Doug McDermott added 15 off the bench and Myles Turner and Aaron Holiday had 11 points apiece.
The Pacers had kept pace with the Bucks through the first half, but Milwaukee put on the clamps in the final two quarters, limiting Indiana to just 34 second-half points.
Key Player Matchups
Kyle Lowry vs. Malcolm Brogdon
This is quite a toss-up. Both are capable of helping their teams with scoring or serving as the primary distributors, but Lowry is coming off a huge game against Dallas. This matchup could dictate how this game ends.
Serge Ibaka vs. Myles Turner
With Gasol out, Ibaka takes on Myles Turner. Turner seems to be having a down year pretty much across the board from last year even while receiving slightly more minutes, but as he showed against Sacramento, he can still put up big numbers. Ibaka will try to use his length and athleticism to bother Turner and make him take hard shots all night.
Kyle Lowry and Malcolm Brogdon are fantasy studs for tonight. Lowry is available for $8.8k on FanDuel with a projection of 44.7 points, while Brogdon is expected to finish with 31.5 points for his salary of $7k.
If you’re looking for value players, TJ Warren and Fred VanVleet are both solid options. Warren and VanVleet are both having standout season with the Pacers and Raptors. Warren is salaried at $5.2k with a projection of 22.5. VanVleet, available for $7.5k, is expected to notch 32.67 points.
Bet on Matchup
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