BEAT THE BARNEYS
Game Time Start: 7:00 PM EST
Where: Air Canada Center, Toronto, ON
Officials: B. Adams, E. Dalen, C. Kirkland
Media Notes: Indiana Notes, Toronto Notes
Television: FOX Sports Indiana / TSN
Radio: WFNI 1070 AM / Sportsnet 590 The FAN
NBA Feeds:*NBA Audio League Pass (available free to NBA All-Access members)
*NBA League Pass Broadband (subscription req'd)
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Season Records: (W-L) 36-22 Away: 12-16
23-35 Home: 15-15
Upcoming Games: Mar 03 Mar 06 Mar 08 Mar 10 vs vs at at 8:00pm 7:00pm 7:00pm 6:00pm
Projected Starting Lineup: HIBBERT WEST GEORGE STEPHENSON HILL Projected Starting Lineup: VALANCIUNAS JOHNSON GAY DEROZAN LOWRY
Linas Kleiza - sore left knee (day-to-day)
Perpetually Disappointing Trader Joe Minimally Relevant Video:
Hoop Chalk: Jacob Frankel: How Has Indiana Crafted The Best Defense In The League?
The Indiana Pacers are viewed by many as the only team that has a something close to a
chance against Miami in the Eastern Conference Playoffs, and it all starts with their rock
solid defense. Indiana’s is the number one unit in the NBA on a point per possession basis,
per NBA.com, ranking significantly better (2.1 points per 100 possessions) than Memphis,
the second best team. The Pacers allow the lowest at the rim shooting percentage in the
league and the second fewest corner three attempts. Their style and defensive swagger
is a throwback to teams of the late-90s, while the schemes are cutting edge.
It all starts with personnel. Indiana’s starting lineup has played the most minutes of any
five-man unit in the league and posted an incredible defensive efficiency of 94.4. As a
reference point, the best team defensive rating posted in a season since the dawn of the
three point era is 94.1 by the 2003-04 Spurs. Outside of Lance Stephenson, every player
in the starting lineup is a plus player, and even Stephenson–prone to savvy off ball cuts
–can recover with his athleticism. While the bench doesn’t feature as adept defenders on
the perimeter, backup center Ian Mahinmi has been a mistake-nullifying rock along the
Some of the time, Indiana can get stops with their personnel alone. Here’s an example
of stelar individual defense from Paul George.
What’s the one sure fire way to stop a player from scoring on you? Well, don’t let them
get the ball. That’s the most basic form of defense–ball denial.
In one of its most important forms, teams deny the ball from getting to the pick and roll
roll man. Called stunting, a defender on the wing or in the corner crashes down onto the
dive man while this man’s defender is denying penetration from the ball handler. This is
often poorly executed–if done too late, the roller gets the ball and finishes or passes to
the open perimeter man. If done too early, the wing/corner man gets the ball straight
from the pick and roll ball handler and has an open three. While the corner man gets the
ball in the situation in the above video, Gerald Green times it perfectly so that he can
both deny the entry pass to the roller and recover quickly to contest the perimeter shot
by the outlet man.
Another form of ball denial is fronting the post. The defender positions himself in front of
the player he’s guarding rather than behind, in an effort to stop an entry pass from
happening at all. If the man entering the ball to the post tries to lob it over the fronting
defender, he has to deal with the seven-plus foot Roy Hibbert hanging around the basket.
(Side note: the Pacers’ offense struggles with fronting defenses. Miami essentially
nullified...CONTINUE READING AT HOOP CHALK
Raptors Republic: Gameday: Pacers @ Raptors, March 1
After losing two games with the mercurial Raptors clinging onto their faint playoff
hopes, this game is as big as any this year.
Indiana comes into town on the second half of a back-to-back after a tough loss to the
Clippers. Apart from that loss, they have been playing quite well, with their only recent
blemish being a loss to our very own squad at the ACC earlier in February, where Rudy
Gay hit the game winner as the newly anointed Saviour. Remember those days?
Roy Hibbert will be back, chomping at the bit after serving a suspension. Danny
Granger is also back after a long layoff from a knee injury and is rounding back into
form, albeit off the bench. He played about 19 minutes last night, and he may not play
much more tonight if the Pacers are trying to be careful with him.
Tale of the Tape
Offensive Rating: Toronto 106.1 (12th), Pacers 103.4 (21st)
Defensive Rating: Toronto 107.7 (24th), Pacers 98.9 (1st)
Pace: Toronto 89.9 (25th), Cavaliers 89.9 (26th)
Strength: Toronto ball control (3rd), Pacers (5th in Offensive rebounding)
Weakness: Toronto Freebies (30th in Opp FTA/FGA), Pacers ball control (26th)
Point Guard - Advantage: Raptors
Again, Lowry is the better PG as he is on many nights, but will he take advantage of it?
Hill is good defensively, but if Lowry can play the way he can it will change the entire
complexion of this game. Hill can struggle with good defensive pressure, Chris Paul
locked him up last night and Kyle held him to a 9 pt/5 ast performance in their last
Shooting Guard - Advantage: Raptors
Stephenson is one tough, mean player. The kind of guy the Raptors need, but at this
point in his career he’s still not accomplished offensively. If DeMar can take away his
shot, his FT totals suggest that he can’t finish at the rim, although he does have enough
court vision to make the right pass. He will give DeMar a hard time on the defensive
side of the ball, so it remains to be seen if DD can build on his very efficient
performance last game (34 points off 19 shots)
Small forward - Advantage: Pacers
Paul George, so hot right now. It’s been a breakout season for the former 10th overall
pick, but if there is a guy out there who has the ability to contain him, Gay would be it.
George isn’t much of a slasher, he prefers to use his length to shoot, or drive and pull
up, to shoot. If Gay isn’t required to help too much, he should be able to contest these
attempts. Offensively for Gay, there were nice flashes of court awareness last game.
Even if it didn’t translate...CONTINUE READING AT RAPTORS REPUBLIC