Indiana Pacers and Toronto Raptors

Two days, two different opponents, similar crappy results. Teams that can shoot the long ball are discovering that they can have a field day against the Raptors’ lackluster perimeter defence. Jay Triano claimed after the game that he specifically told his guys to “Take away their threes” but the Pacers still went 13-for-26 from long range, led by Brandon Rush’s six treys off the bench.

I didn’t bother putting together a video of the Pacers making open three-balls because I already did that for Sunday’s loss to the Knicks and I’ll probably have plenty of footage to choose from when they play the Knicks again on Wednesday. The Raptors are currently 27th in the NBA in three-point percentage and 28th in three-pointers made, while they’re 26th in opponent three-point percentage and 20th in opponent three-pointers made. Twenty-one games into the season, the Raptors have allowed 111 more points off three-pointers than they’ve scored, an average of 5.3 points per game.

Along with their outside shooting, what really impresses me about Indiana is their ball movement. They got those open looks last night not just because of Toronto’s lousy D, but because they move the ball intelligently and crisply. And nobody stands out more in that department than Roy Hibbert, who tied a season-high with six assists last night — all but one of them resulting in a layup or dunk. His court vision and passing touch is truly remarkable for such a giant of a man, so my only video clip for this post is a compilation of last night’s assists. Hey, rather than dwell on how the Raptors befouled their linens, I’m choosing to appreciate a player who plays the right way.

Yep, we coulda had that guy. Oh well, at least T.J. Ford didn’t go off last night. I’m not sure I could have handled watching the Raptors get dominated by Hibbert, Danny Granger AND Ford.