Hey, the Indiana Pacers are sorta not half-bad this season! Even after a two-game losing skid, they’re sitting at .500, which will definitely be good enough for a playoff spot in the East. What’s their secret? They’re doing it with defence, and you can give a lot of the credit for that to Roy Hibbert.
The Pacers are eighth in the NBA in Defensive Rating with 103.1 points allowed per 100 possessions, their opponent field goal percentage is third-best at .431 and they’ve held opponents to a .587 shooting mark at the rim, which is second-best in the league. Clearly, his off-season work with Bill Walton and training with MMA fighters has paid off. Since the Raptors are tied for last in the league in three-point shooting, they might have a tough time scoring at Conseco Fieldhouse tonight — inside or outside.
Toronto: Peja Stojakovic is questionable once again because of his swollen knee.
Indiana: Clean slate for the Pacers.
1. Is Roy Hibbert now the best passing center this side of Brad Miller?
2. Are you happy that T.J. Ford is getting playing time again? (I know one guy who definitely is.)
3. Have you noticed how quietly terrible 10th overall pick Paul George has been? In eight games, he’s averaged 16.5 minutes, 4.9 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.6 assists with .341 field goal percentage.
4. Will the Raptors get burned by the long ball again? Indiana is fourth in the league in three point attempts.
5. Will Andrea Bargnani have a great scoring night with less-than-daunting Josh McRoberts guarding him?
Start time: 7:00 PM ET
Channel: Sportsnet One
Probable starting lineups
Toronto: Jose Calderon, DeMar DeRozan, Sonny Weems, Amir Johnson, Andrea Bargnani
Indiana: Darren Collison, Brandon Rush, Danny Granger, Josh McRoberts, Roy Hibbert
Tonight’s pregame song is “Beat Boy” by South African musical sensation Die Antwoord, because the Pacers are kind of an unusual team and Die Antwoord is, well… if you don’t already know, now you know.