- First and foremost, credit the Raptors defense for holding the Pacers to less than 40% from the field, less than 30% from three, and forcing 14 turnovers. The defense is the biggest determinant as to the Raptors’ success. They’ve now won 31 games in a row where they’ve held their opponents under 100 points.
- Leading the charge on defense was DeMar DeRozan, who held Paul George to 18 points on 7-24 shooting with four turnovers. DeRozan’s defense became something of an eye-sore, especially over the past month, but after getting a night off against the Bucks, DeRozan looked fresh and up to the challenge.
- George did a solid job on DeRozan as well, but DeRozan still got 28 points. Granted, he didn’t shoot well from the floor, but it’s not easy to score in isolation, and DeRozan did just enough to win his match-up.
- A note about the isolations: I agree that the Raptors have to stay in their offense and not break sets at the earliest opportunity to get Lowry and DeRozan into isolations, but the Pacers were playing excellent defense, and it’s a testament to their defensive effort that the Raptors had to settle for so many isolations.
- What an outing by Bismack Biyombo. Can you even fathom how exhausting it would be to grab 25 rebounds? Biyombo was a man possessed on the glass and his presence at the hoop was an impossible stumbling block for the Pacers.
- I blame Leo for that game going to overtime. I blame Leo for a lot of bad things.
- George Hill is an excellent role player, and I don’t know why the Pacers keep trying to make moves to either take the offense away from him (the Monta Ellis signing) or to trade him (rumored Hill-for-Jeff Teague swap). He’s such a good defender, he can play on and off the ball, he doesn’t complain, and he’s a strong 3-point shooter.
- Patrick Patterson had the most emphatic, the most clutch two-point night you could ever have. That pump fake at the 3-point line cleared two Pacers out of the lane and Patterson made the smart move by steaming down the lane.
- Shoutout to Kyle Lowry crossing up Myles Turner with a slight shuffle step. Welcome to the NBA yungin.
- On nights like these, you really miss having Jonas Valanciunas on the court to supplement the offense. When it’s just Lowry and DeRozan creating, the Raptors’ attack gets to skewed.