10 things from Raptors-Pacers

Welcome to the 10 things recap by theScore features writer William Lou, which serves to highlight emerging trends from a Raptors perspective.

  1. Thriller: The shorthanded Raptors without Kyle Lowry, Jonas Valanciunas, and Serge Ibaka played from behind all night before shocking the Pacers with some stifling defense in the fourth quarter and stealing the game right at the final buzzer.

  2. Controversy: Indiana does have a legitimate gripe about the final play in which OG Anunoby appeared to slap Bojan Bogdanovic across his right arm as he was about to hoist a three to potentially force overtime. Bogdanovic even tried to sell the call by wildly throwing his arms in the air, but the officials swallowed the whistle.

  3. Collapse: However, the Pacers really only have themselves to blame for giving up the lead in the first place. The Raptors held Indiana to just 11 points in the fourth quarter, as Victor Oladipo came up short on two pivotal possessions in the final minute. Indiana had success all night by going to the basket, but they got sloppy and content in the second half.

  4. Clutch: Danny Green came up with both the aforementioned stops on Oladipo. First, he forced a distracted Oladipo into an eight-second violation. On the next play down, Oladipo was pressured into traffic thanks to some diligent defense by Fred VanVleet. Green provided timely help at the basket to force a jump ball, which he promptly won.

  5. Unstoppable: Kawhi Leonard took over the game in the fourth quarter. He was simply unstoppable in isolation, as Leonard repeatedly took Bogdanovic off the dribble and got into the paint - including on a pivotal possession where he posterized Domantas Sabonis. Leonard finished with 28 points, six assists, and 10 rebounds.

  6. Unsung: Lorenzo Brown came up with some huge hustle plays in the dying moments of the fourth. He snagged three contested rebounds late in the game, he hung tight with Oladipo on switches, and he found VanVleet for the go-ahead three after sitting for the first three quarters.

  7. Creative: Nick Nurse tried everything in the book to stop the Pacers in the absence of both Ibaka and Valanciunas. He pulled out a zone defense for three possessions in the third, which created two turnovers and forced the Pacers into a timeout. Then he went to a switching defense in which Anunoby was called upon to guard centers in the post.

  8. Versatile: What finally worked was playing Pascal Siakam at center in an ultra small-ball lineup. That unit made up for a lack of size by playing with energy and generating deflections. Siakam was also able to score on Sabonis going the other way, as he had a quickness advantage.

  9. Solid: Greg Monroe was benched down the stretch because his defense simply wasn't up to par, but he was reasonably productive in his spot start. Monroe had 13 points and eight rebounds in 22 minutes and was a factor on the offensive glass.

  10. Confident: Chris Boucher held his own in his first taste of non-garbage time. He immediately hit a corner three after checking into the game and was active around the basket. He badly needs to bulk up, because the Pacers pushed him around. The talent is clearly there, though.

10 things from Raptors-Pacers
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