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Toronto Raptors at Indiana Pacers (back end)

Team Totals: Raptors 119.3, Pacers 125.3

Injury Report: Pacers on a B2B

Raptors projected starters: Immanuel Quickley, Gary Trent Jr., R.J. Barrett, Scottie Barnes, Jakob Poeltl

Pacers projected starters: Tyrese Haliburton, Andrew Nembhard, Bennedict Mathurin, Pascal Siakam, Myles Turner

Darko quotes: Said Ochai really contributed to the team and he needs more time to develop chemistry, said Dick is getting more comfortable playing NBA minutes and the ball is just finding him, said they are encouraging IQ to be more aggressive with his shots, said he was proud of Ochai’s defense on Trae and Dejounte.

Carlisle quotes: Said he likes to send their G League guys away just to give them minutes, said Nesmith was able to do a little bit, said he’s proud of the second unit for handling their minutes, said Myles Turner rebounded really well and he was putting pressure on the rim against the Mavs, said Haliburton was so good at delivering the ball to Myles in the paint, said Nembhard and Mathurin were both great and people take Nemby for granted for doing so much of the dirty work, said Sheppard stays in the process and he has been great.

Stats and Notes: 

*The Raptors are still having some major defensive issues, as they struggle to contain the ball and they’ve seen their transition defense get a little worse. The Pacers have the league’s best rim defense and the Raptors have been pretty bad down there since Poeltl returned, so it should be open season for the interior scorers on the Pacers. Indiana is still a huge rim funnel with their defense giving up the second-most points per game, and they’re still eliminating C&S with the lowest per game. With Aaron Nesmith set to miss this one, there should be some scoring opportunities for the Raptors.

*This is an absolute smash spot for Scottie Barnes, which isn’t saying much after he went for 29/12/8 against the Pacers earlier this month. His role is back as the Raptors are playing through him in the post more, and we have seen his handling come back up again. He has also been piling up the rim points lately with 44 points in his last three games, and he should do so here with the rim funnel on Indy. I love Scottie today.

*Immanuel Quickley has found his dribble jumper again, which had been at a low point for the middle portion of February. He’s also been able to up his transition scoring lately, and of course this matchup is one of the best ones possible for him. Andrew Nembhard just doesn’t get enough help, so it feels like one of IQ or Barnes goes off today. Maybe both.

*Jakob Poeltl’s minutes ceiling just isn’t there with Kelly Olynyk behind him. He continues to lose key minutes late, so the favorable matchup may not be enough here. This is also a terrible spot for Gary Trent Jr. with the Pacers giving up the fewest points on C&S. R.J. Barrett has been a little underwhelming lately as he shares some of his minutes with Bruce Brown, but at least he’s been able to add 4.1 dimes per game this month.

*Tyrese Haliburton also gets a smash spot here. The Raptors just lack ball containment and they are pretty bad in transition per possession — they don’t give up much volume, though. Haliburton doesn’t have the eye-popping role stats since the break with 6.0 minutes of touch time, but at least he’s getting up there in minutes and the Pacers are flying in pace since he’s out there. We could get the Haliburton breakout game here.

*Myles Turner is also in a huge spot here. The Raptors are really vulnerable inside and maybe the Pacers hold Jalen Smith out in a B2B to give him a little more ceiling. He’s coming off a season-high 33 points and Carlisle seems like he wants to get him more involved.

*There’s not too much to say on Pascal Siakam. He’s been a little cold as a driver in the last two games with just 12.0 drives and 6.0 points on them since the break, and getting Mathurin in the first unit doesn’t help. Still, the matchup is pretty solid against a weaker rim D. I like Myles and Hali a little more, but it’s easy to see a big Siakam game in arguably the best environment on the slate.


Great matchups: Tyrese Haliburton, Scottie Barnes

Good matchups: Myles Turner, Immanuel Quickley

Bad matchups: Gary Trent Jr.


Detroit Pistons (front end) at New York Knicks (front end)

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