Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 7:00 PM ET at Air Canada Centre
Game Preview: Pacers at Raptors
Scott Agness | December 30, 2013
The Pacers (25-5) will ring in the New Year across the border in Toronto as they do battle with the Raptors for the second time this season on Wednesday night at the Air Canada Centre.
Unlike typical back-to-backs, the Pacers should arrive in Toronto at a decent hour because they had an afternoon game on Tuesday due to the Holiday and took off on their flight before 7 p.m. The Raptors, meanwhile, also will be on the second night of a back-to-back. However, they won’t get home until after midnight because they’re game is scheduled to tip in Chicago at 8:00 p.m. EST.
Despite their sub-.500 record, the Raptors are atop the Atlantic Division standings, ahead of Boston, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, and New York. The other five division leaders are all at least 10 games over .500.
The Raptors have been victorious in four of the past five games, most impressive because they just wrapped up a four-game road trip. Their best win of the season, without a doubt, is a six-point win in Oklahoma City that came on that trip. It’s the Thunder’s only home loss this season (they're 14-1 at Chesapeake Energy Arena).
Toronto's results have hinged upon their defense. They are 10-4 when holding opponents below 100 points, and 3-11 when they do not. DeMar DeRozan is averaging a team-high 21 points per night and point guard Kyle Lowry is worth nearly 16 points and seven assists.
Since their last meeting on Nov. 8, the Raptors dealt Rudy Gay, Quincy Acy, and Aaron Gray to the Sacramento Kings for Greivis Vasquez, John Salmons, Chuck Hayes, and Patrick Patterson. They also waived D.J. Augustin, who was with the Pacers last season.
The Pacers are on tear right now, winners of their last five games and all by 14 points or more. Their league-leading defense has been suffocating at times and every player in their nine-man rotation has been contributing admirably.
“I look forward to what 2014 should bring. I think it’s going to be a good year for us.” – Frank Vogel
“We got to continue to defend. Toronto to score with the best of them if we allow them to so we must continue to make good plays and work together.” – George Hill
“I knew we were good but I knew we would have to work together in order to get the win. I am pleased with the way everybody has worked and we have gotten the results. There is more work to be done, areas of improvement for us.” – Roy Hibbert on their 25-5 record to end 2013
“I’ve never played on the 31st and the 1st, so it’s a little bit of a different feel, different challenge around New Years. Two teams this week with Cleveland and Toronto that don’t have great records but are playing really good basketball right now.” – Frank Vogel
“Man, our days are pretty much the same. It doesn’t matter what’s going on — New Years, or Holidays. … It’s either practice, shootaround, or game day. It’s as simple as that.” – David West on spending New Years Eve in Toronto
- The Pacers have won four straight games at the Air Canada Centre.
- Rasual Butler played with the Raptors during the 2011-12 season, averaging 3.2 points and 1.9 rebounds in his 34 appearances.
- Tyler Hansbrough was drafted by the Pacers in 2009, and averaged 8.9 points and 4.7 rebounds in his first four seasons in the league before joining the Raptors in the offseason as a free agent.
Nov. 8: The Pacers outscored the Raptors by 15 in the third quarter and held them to 34 percent shooting in the second half in their 91-84 win. Paul George missed eight of his first 10 shots, but then tallied 17 of his team’s 28 points in the third, including the final 10. George finished with 23 points and Roy Hibbert had 20 & 7.
In his first game back from a three-game hiatus due to injury, George Hill scored 14 points. Rudy Gay led the Raptors with 30 points and Amir Johnson added 12 points and 10 rebounds. The Pacers took advantage of the Raptors’ 16 turnovers and converted them into 25 points.
Broadcast Information | Find Local Listings »
TV: FOX Sports Indiana - Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Brooke Olzendam (sideline reporter/host)
Radio: FM 107.5 The Fan/AM 1070 The Fan, Pacers Radio Network - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Michael Grady (studio host)