By: Josh Weinstein
Less than one week ago, the Toronto Raptors (12-7) put forth a disappointing effort at Bankers Life Fieldhouse against the Indiana Pacers (12-10) and were unable to complete a valiant fourth-quarter comeback, falling 107-104. This time around, the Raps are hungry and looking to enact revenge in their own stomping grounds. Tip-off is at 7:30 PM ET.
C.J. Miles, who didn't travel with the team on their road trip that stopped in Indiana following the birth of his daughter, will have his first chance to face his former team since being traded north of the border this past offseason. The sharpshooter played with the Pacers for three seasons, averaging an impressive 37 percent from 3-point range during that span.
Speaking of players facing their former teams, Cory Joseph will make his return to Air Canada Centre for the first time since the 2017 postseason, only this time just as a visitor. Expect Joseph to get a rousing ovation from the Raps faithful. The 26-year-old played an important role on some of the franchise's greatest teams, something the team's fans remember fondly.
It will be interesting to see if Raptors head coach Dwane Casey makes any adjustments to his lineup coming out of halftime to try and jump-start the club in third quarters. Through 20 games, the Raptors are surprisingly the worst defensive team in third quarters (allow 115 points per 100 possessions), something a defensive-minded coach like Casey is certainly furious about. He's publicly stated that the team has discussed these defensive lapses, but for some inexplicable reason can't seem to snap out of the lull. Maybe starting the second half with different personnel could help them do just that.
Pacers centre Myles Turner is questionable as of Friday morning. The big man has been suffering from knee soreness.
On the Raptors injury front, Delon Wright remains out. Lucas Nogueira is likely a game-time decision, after straining his calf against the Hornets on Wednesday.
Projected starting lineups:
- PG Kyle Lowry
- SG DeMar DeRozan
- SF OG Anunoby
- PF Serge Ibaka
- C Jonas Valanciunas
- PG Darren Collison
- SG Victor Oladipo
- SF Bojan Bogdanovic
- PF Thaddeus Young
- C Al Jefferson – could see Domantas Sabonis getting some minutes at centre, but Jefferson would likely start in Turner's absence