The Battle has begun for the Dino Blogger in the Pro vs Joes contest on Whotheman.com. I am debating in favour of Jarrett Jack remaining as the starting point guard. I know this will shock no one. But he has been good you have to admit. So please if you can go check it out and vote for me that would be great. Help me make it all the way to finals. You may have to register on the site to vote but please take the time to do so and support myself and the Dino Nation Blog in the process. That also lead to a nice transition to today's game where Jack takes on his former team in the Indiana Pacers.
The Pacers and Raptors have split a pair of games this season. I was in the house covering the game when the Raptors won 123-112 in November. Danny Granger had 36 points in that loss. Jack was on fire and was perfect from the field coming of the bench at the time scoring 18 and Calderon was good as well with 21 as the stater. CB4 had an awful shooting night going 5-19 from the field and had 16 points and 12 boards. But the Raptors walked away with the win despite that.
Earlier this month the Raptors would travel to Indy and not be so lucky. Bosh was better with 27 points but the team around him was not. The Pacers meanwhile has a full team effort and had 6 players in double digits on the score sheet and it was enough to hold off the Raptors 105-101. Granger in that game lead the Pacers with 23. This hopefully will serve as a reminder to not take the Pacers lightly as Toronto will face them in the next 2 games starting with an early evening tilt with Pacers at the ACC tonight and travel to Indy for the re-match on Tuesday.
It has been a tough season overall for the Pacers. T.J Ford has fallen out of favour and can't get minutes behind Watson and rookie Guard from UConn A.J Price. Who in that game earlier this month Price had 16 and was one of those 6 players in double digits. In Addition Danny Granger has not looked like the franchise guy that Indy was hoping he was on the path to becoming. The one positive in Indy is Roy Hibbert who came to them via the J.O deal with the Raps. Hibbert the former Hoyas standout is doing the school's legacy of big men in the NBA proud and has really started to crank it up in his second season in the NBA
The Raptors have been lights out at home of late but have failed to answer the bell for the opening quarter in the past couple. Indy can shoot the 3 ball and Raptors will need to have solid perimeter defense if they hope not to have a mis-step on their home floor. No word on if Demar suits up today and Andrea Bargnani has been has some issues as well. However even if the Raptors were short handed today there would be no acceptable excuse to dropping another game to the Pacers.
In fact when you look towards the sked heading into the All-Star Break Raps have many of those "winnable" games in front of them. However if they do not start coming out and falling behind the odds eventually are going to catch up with them. No one loves a good rally more than the Dino Blogger but for my personal sanity and that of the Raptors fans like you that I care about, I think we can agree we can do with out the drama.
Raptor if they can do what you would expect and beat the Pacers twice that would put them 5 games over .500 and facing the 4-41 Nets on Wednesday. Raptors can really start to make some distance from .500 and the back in the East. Miami lost last night and the Bobcats were winners. Oh and coming from around the outside and passing the Heat is Chuck Swirsky and the Chicago Bulls. Raptors enter today just 1/2 game in front of Charlotte and a full game in front of Miami and Chicago.
So the margin for error for the Raptors is slim at the moment. Lose a couple you are suppose to win and you could be in 8th from 5th in the blink of an eye...Just ask the Heat.