INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The Indiana Pacers will look to build on the 120-118 overtime victory they achieved against the Orlando Magic on Friday.
Next up on the Pacers' schedule is a matchup with the Raptors at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Myles Turner made his return from a two-game absence on Friday but Indiana will continue to be without Caris LeVert and TJ Warren.
Here's everything you need to know about Sunday afternoon's game between the Indiana Pacers and the Toronto Raptors:
Here are the particulars on Sunday afternoon's game:
- Who: Toronto Raptors (6-9) vs. Indiana Pacers (9-6)
- When: 1 p.m. ET, Sunday, Jan. 24.
- Where: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Ind.
- Latest Line: The Indiana Pacers are a 1.5-point favorite over the Toronto Raptors, according to the DraftKings.com website as of 9 a.m. ET on Sunday.
- Standings: Indiana is in first place in the Eastern Conference's Central Division, tied with the Milwaukee Bucks. Toronto is in last place in the Eastern Conference's Atlantic Division, 5 games out of first behind the Philadelphia 76ers.
- Series history: Indiana leads the all-time series, 49-43.
- Last meeting: Toronto beat Indiana 127-81 on February 3, 2020, at Scotiabank Arena. The Raptors managed to defeat the Pacers by such a wide margin that the 46-point disparity stands as the widest margin for victory in franchise history.
- Projected Raptors starters: Fred VanVleet, Norman Powell, OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam, Aron Baynes.
- Projected Pacers starters: Malcolm Brogdon, Justin Holiday, Doug McDermott, Domantas Sabonis, Myles Turner.
- TV: FOX Sports Indiana.
- Announcers: Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Jeremiah Johnson (sideline reporter/host)
- Radio: 93.5/107.5 The Fan - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Eddie Gill (analyst), Pat Boylan (sideline reporter/host)
Here are three things to watch in Sunday afternoon's game:
1. Similarities in Strategy
When watching the Pacers under Nate Bjorkgren, it's not difficult to see what he learned from his time as an assistant coach for the Raptors. These two teams will face each other twice in a row, so the potential adjustments will be intriguing to monitor, too.
Raptors coach Nick Nurse caught the NBA's attention early in his tenure by deploying different defensive schemes including box-and-one, 2-3 zone, triangle-and-two zone, and even full-court traps. Bjorkgren has been no stranger to pulling out different defenses on a nightly basis.
There are many layers to the Pacers' half-court offensive actions, inbounds plays, and especially end-of-game strategy that resemble what the Raptors utilized during Bjorkgren's time with the organization.
2. Raptors' Depth
The Raptors have struggled to start the 2020-21 NBA season as they have posted a 6-9 record. A key contributing factor to Toronto's shortcomings has been the lack of any player performing at a true star-level.
Pascal Siakam emerged as an All-Star last season but has since regressed substantially. Meanwhile, Fred VanVleet was signed to a huge contract extension in the offseason but hasn't taken a step forward either. Meanwhile, Kyle Lowry isn't playing at his previous levels.
While the Raptors may not currently have an elite player, they do benefit substantially from the depth they've established. Players like Chris Boucher, Norman Powell, and OG Anunoby are playing at a high-level in their roles.
The Pacers are still dealing with a variety of key injuries. Will Indiana have issues stacking up from a depth standpoint against the Raptors?
3. Myles Turner's Impact
The Pacers received strong contributions from Myles Turner when he made his return to the lineup on Friday against the Orlando Magic. His defense made a difference and he provided a season-high 22 points along with nine rebounds and three blocks.
With it being no secret that Turner would be playing through pain from his fractured right hand, it wasn't exactly known how impactful he'd end up being. Would he have to change how he blocked shots? Was he going to struggle to shoot the basketball?
Those concerns appear to be dispelled after Turner ended up being more effective and aggressive offensively than he was before returning from injury. After playing 43 minutes on Friday, will his pain-level be much of an issue? That will be something to watch.