The Indiana Pacers open their season out of country in Toronto, Canada to play the Toronto Raptors. The game begins at 7:30 pm ET, and is being played in the Air Canada Centre. This is the opening game for both squads, and they are both considered to be playoff contenders. It's a highly anticipated season for both of these teams and they are both looking to start off strong.
Last year, the Indiana Pacers were 0-3 against these Toronto Raptors. Granted that the Pacers didn't have a healthy Paul George at any point in the season, or seven of their new players. Of those seven new players, three are rookies, Joe Young, Rakeem Christmas and Myles Turner. The lone player received via trade was Chase Budinger. The other three were picked up in free agency, Monta Ellis, Glenn Robinson III and Jordan Hill.
The Pacers have a few different lineups they have been throwing out there, including big, small, and normal, all of this being part of the huge rebuild that took place during the off-season. It will be interesting to follow which lineups they use each night.
The Toronto Raptors ended last season as the fourth overall seed in the Eastern Conference. Last year, they dominated this series, sweeping all three games.
One of the Raptors' highlights of the off-season was the pick-up of small forward DeMaree Carroll. Also there is a connection between these two squads with the Raptors signing former Pacers power forward Luis Scola this off-season, who played two years in Indianapolis. The Raptors are going to be contending for another playoff spot this year and will look to continue last year's dominance of this series.
The Raptors come into this matchup with no injuries.
The Pacers, meanwhile, have listed Glenn Robinson III as questionable for this game with a sore right shoulder. They have also listed first-round draft pick Myles Turner as questionable with a sore right ankle.
Indiana Pacers Projected Starters: PG: George Hill, SG: Monta Ellis, SF: C.J. Miles, PF: Paul George, C: Ian Mahinmi. This is the small Pacers lineup.
Toronto Raptors Projected Starters: PG: Kyle Lowry, SG: DeMar DeRozan, SF: DeMarre Carroll, PF: Patrick Patterson, C: Jonas Valanciunas.
With the Pacers going small and the Raptors explosive guards, this could be a high-scoring affair. The matchup that will be most crucial is George Hill versus the thinner Kyle Lowry. The Pacers will be happy to have their best wing defender on Toronto's most explosive player. It should be an interesting season for the Pacers, and this will be the first of many tests for the young and question mark filled Pacers.
The game can be found on TV on Fox Sports Indiana. There is also NBA League Pass which is free this week. On radio you can hear the broadcast on 93.5 FM and 1070 The Fan on AM.