Matchup: Toronto Raptors vs. Indiana Pacers
Records: Raptors (7-9), Pacers (9-7)
Where to Watch
Date: Monday, Jan. 25
Time: 7 p.m. ET
TV: TSN Network, RDS (Canada)
Location: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
Three things to watch
1. OG's offence
Through the first nine games of the season, OG Anunoby couldn't buy a bucket. Anunoby averaged 12.0 points while shooting 43.0 percent from the field and a dismal 27.5 percent from 3. Since then, it's been a completely different OG.
Over the last seven contests, OG is averaging 18.7 points while shooting a scorching 54.2 percent from the field and 60.5 (!) percent from deep.
In Sunday's win over the Pacers, he joined Kawhi Leonard in the Raptors' history books with his performance of 30 points, eight rebounds and five steals.
Toronto's recent success could be tied to Anunoby giving them more offensively. His shooting percentage will eventually come back down to Earth but he's finally starting to show the offensive prowess the team believed he was capable of this season.
Monday night will be a nice test to see where OG truly is. Another big offensive game against a team that will have a chance to see how he hurt them the night before with a coach who's familiar with his ability will go a long way to confirming what many believe about OG's game.
2. Points in the paint
No team in the NBA scores more points in the paint than the Pacers (54.8 per game). Only the Heat are giving up fewer points in the paint than the Raptors (40.4 per game). On Sunday, Toronto won the battle of the paint holding the Pacers to just 40 points in the painted area (as the great Hubie Brown would say).
In their wins this season, the Pacers are averaging 59.8 points in the paint per game. In their losses, that number falls to 48.3. Indiana is a below-average 3-point shooting team. We know Toronto has had their struggles this season preventing teams from lighting them up from deep. The Pacers don't present that issue. If the Raptors can take away the Pacers' paint points again, they'll be in a good spot to pull off the sweep.
3. Aron Baynes has arrived?
Aron Baynes played his best game in a Raptors uniform on Sunday. It helped that his shots were falling as he finished with 12 points while shooting 55.6 percent from the field. But beyond that, he looked like he belonged on the floor. Is it harsh to say that he finally looked like he knew what he was doing out there? He understood where he was supposed to be and wasn't a step late every time. It might be, and maybe there should be a bit of patience with him as he learns a brand new system under difficult circumstances.
Maybe it was the matchup? It's been a while since he's had to defend a traditional big and played a team that likes to pound the paint. Whatever the reason, Baynes finally looked confident on Sunday. Again, yes his shot fell which helps with that confidence, but defensively he looked and moved like a completely different player than we had seen so far this season. It was also the first time this year he didn't commit a single foul.
Win or lose Monday night, if Baynes can continue Sunday's efforts going forward, the Raptors may start to solve a few of their problems within.
- Patrick McCaw (Left Knee rehabilitation) - Out
- Kyle Lowry (toe) - Day-to-day
- Pascal Siakam (Knee) - Day-to-day
- JaKarr Sampson (non-COVID illness) - Available
- Caris LeVert (medical condition) - Out
- TJ Warren (foot) - Out
Raptors vs. Pacers: Betting odds, spread, over/under
Spread: Pacers -2.0 (-110), Raptors +2.0 (-110)
Moneyline: Pacers (-135), Raptors (+115)
Over/under: 217.0 - Over (-110), Under (-110)
*Odds courtesy of William Hill Sports Book
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