Indiana (1-0) at Toronto (0-1)
When: Monday, April 18th 2016
Where: Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario
Time: 7:05 ET | TV: NBA TV
The Toronto Raptors look to turn around their recent playoff woes when they host the Indiana Pacers in Game 2 of their best-of-seven first round series. The Raptors looked very tight in Game 1, shooting 38% from the floor and committing 20 turnovers that resulted in 25 Indiana points. The Raptors, who were favored by seven points in the game, lost 100-90 and have gone down in seven straight postseason games. The Game 1 loss also marked the third straight season in which the Raptors lost a series opener at home. Kyle Lowry was just 3-of-13 shooting, All-Star shooting guard DeMar DeRozan was only 5-of-19 and center Jonas Valanciunas – who set a franchise playoff record with 19 rebounds – was just 4-of-14. Toronto backup PG Cory Joseph was a bright spot in Game 1 with 18 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the field and 7-of-8 from the free-throw line.
Paul George, playing in his first postseason game since breaking his leg in the summer of 2014, poured in 33 points including 27 in the second half to put the game away. He’ll look to repeat that performance as Indiana tries to really take control of this series before heading back to Indianapolis for Game 3. George said after the Game 1 victory that he is still working on getting to be as strong physically as he was prior to the injury that required a long and hard recovery. “Some days I felt great, felt like I could have started that night,” George told reporters. “Some days I wanted to throw it all in, let Mother Nature heal it without doing any work. It was a little bit of both.” George hit 4-of-5 from three-point range and shooting guard Monta Ellis was 3-of-4. The Pacers were 11-of-21 overall from long range.
I’m not confident at all in Toronto winning this series based on their brief postseason history. They’re playing very tight and if Lowry and DeRozan can’t get going, they’re toast. I’ll take the points in this one for sure.
Pick: Pacers +7