Dating back to 2014, the Toronto Raptors had lost seven straight playoff games after dropping Game 1 of this series to the Indiana Pacers on Saturday. In Game 2, the Raptors got back on track and tied the series at 1-1 with a 98-87 win over the Pacers. The Raptors led the game by as many as 19 points, and even went on a 17-1 run for a stretch. The Raptors did not trail the Pacers at any point during this game.
One adjustment that Coach Casey revealed to start the game was that DeMarre Carroll would be starting at small forward instead of Norman Powell, in hopes of presenting the Pacers with a different look personnel wise. The Raptors were getting good looks early in the game, but it was clear that there was still some tightness & anxiousness in their game, as they proceeded to miss their first five shots, despite getting good looks. Additionally, DeMarre Carroll picked up back to back fouls, and only played the first 3 minutes of the first quarter before before being forced back to the bench due to being in early foul trouble, in favour of Norman Powell.
Jonas Valanciunas came up with another huge performance, this time recording 23 points and 15 rebounds, marking two straight playoff double-doubles. According to Raptors telecast play-by-play announcer Matt Devlin, JV is the first Toronto Raptors player to post a 20+ point and 10+ rebound double-double since Amir Johnson in May 2014. Additionally:
Valanciunas is the third player in team history to record 21 points, 12 rebounds in a playoff game – Chris Bosh (2X), Antonio Davis (2X)
— RaptorsMR (@RaptorsMR) April 19, 2016
Terrence Ross and DeMar DeRozan inadvertently collided in the second quarter and as a result, Ross did not return to the game for precautionary reasons:
Terrence Ross underwent concussion protocol at halftime. No clear sign of concussion. Has a headache. Out for precautionary reasons. #rtz
— RaptorsMR (@RaptorsMR) April 19, 2016
Due to DeMar DeRozan’s continued shooting struggles, and inability to really affect the game in other facets, he didn’t get into the game in the fourth quarter. DeRozan shot just 5-18 from the field in Game 2 and did not attempt any free throws in the game. He is now just 10 of 37 through the first two games of the series. Similarly, Kyle Lowry didn’t shoot the ball well from the field either, for a second straight game (3-13 in Game 1), going just 4-13 from the field in Game 2, BUT he went 10-10 from the free throw line. Lowry also set up Valanciunas, Joseph, and others for great looks and easy baskets throughout the game, finishing with nine assists.
Coach Casey elected to go with the rotation that was most effective down the stretch, specifically in the fourth quarter: Kyle Lowry, Cory Joseph, Jonas Valanciunas, Bismack Biyombo, Patrick Patterson, and Norman Powell.
Paul George continued his excellent play thus far in this series for the Pacers, following up his 33 point Game 1 effort with 28 points in Game 2. Despite George’s scoring, the result was signficantly different in Game 2 as the Pacers have not shown an answer for Jonas Valanciunas in the middle.
Game 3 on Thursday night, April 21st, will prove to be another game of adjustments, this time from the Pacers’ perspective, but the Raptors All-Star backcourt of DeRozan and Lowry will need to try and resolve their shooting woes before much longer, and hopefully before Thursday night’s tip off. 17 for 63 combined through Game 1 and Game 2 for the McFlurry Brothers isn’t a recipe for success, but they’re aware of that and will continue to find other ways to win as they did in Game 2.
Notable Raptors stat lines:
Jonas Valanciunas – 23 points, 15 rebounds, two blocks, one steal
Kyle Lowry – 18 points (4-13 FG, 0-5 from three, 10-10 free throws), seven rebounds, nine assists, 1 steal
Patrick Patterson – 14 points (5-6 field goals), six rebounds, one steal, one block
Cory Joseph – 16 points (6-8 field goals), three assists, one steal
Notable Pacers stat lines:
Paul George – 28 points, four rebounds, one steal
Monta Ellis – 15 points, five rebounds, three assists, two steals
Postgame Media Sessions:
“Coach Frank Vogel and Paul George discuss Monday’s Game 2 loss to the Raptors”
Post-game Locker Room reactions: