2016 NBA Playoffs
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals – Game #7
#7 Indiana Pacers at #2 Toronto Raptors
Best of Seven Series tied 3-3
Air Canada Centre – Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Sunday, May 1, 2016, 8:05 pm Eastern, TV: TNT
Opening Line: Toronto -6
Current Line: Toronto -5 1/2 (-115)
Opening Total: 190 1/2
Current Total: 189 1/2
Opening Money Line: Raptors -260 / Pacers +210
Current Money Line: Raptors -245 / Pacers +205
The bottom half of the East bracket are both playing game sevens today. The #6 Charlotte Hornets travel to the #3 Miami Heat and the #7 Indiana Pacers travel to the #2 Toronto Raptors. The winners will play in the conference semifinals starting Tuesday.
Indiana won game one in Toronto 100-90 and game four in Indianapolis 100-83 . The Raptors won game two 98-87 at home and game three 101-85 in Indianapolis. In game five, Toronto trailed by 13 points going into the fourth but outscored Indiana 25-9 in the fourth to win 102-99. The Pacers forced a game seven with a convincing 101-83 victory Friday in Indianapolis.
Indiana is coached by Frank Vogel. The Pacers finished 45-37 and were in second place in the Central Division behind the Cleveland Cavaliers by 12 games. Indiana is the #7 seed in the Eastern Conference. Indiana is 45-42-1 ATS and the total is 38-50 this season.
Toronto is coached by Dwayne Casey. The Raptors won the Atlantic Division for the third straight season with a 56-26 record by 8 games over the Boston Celtics. Toronto is the #2 seed in the Eastern Conference but they were only a game behind the Cavaliers. The Raptors are 47-39 ATS and the total is 44-43-1 this season.
Indiana was a 1.5 point favorite in game six and the total was 192.5. Toronto led 44-40 at halftime, but Indiana dominated the second half out scoring the Raptors 61-39. Late in the third Toronto had cut the lead to 65-64 but Indiana went on an 18-0 run over the end of the third and beginning of the fourth. The Raptors would never threaten again. All five Pacer starters scored in double digits including 21 from Paul George. George also had 11 rebounds and 6 assists. Myles Turner had 15 points and 9 rebounds. The all-star duo of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan combined for only 18 points. They have been absent for large parts of the series.
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Indiana is outscoring teams 102-101 this season. The Pacers are #8 in points allowed in the league. Indiana is shooting 45% from the field and 35.1% from three point range. The Pacers make 76.4% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 44% from the field and 33.4% from three point range. The Pacers are #6 or better in both categories. Indiana averages 44.2 rebounds per game and opponents average 44.5 per game. The Pacers average 21.2 assists, 14.3 turnovers, 9.1 steals and 4.8 blocks per game.
Forward Paul George will likely win the Comeback Player of the year after missing all but a handful of games last season with a horrific broken leg. He averages 23.1 points, 7 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.9 steals per game. Guard Monta Ellis averages 13.8 points, 3.3 rebounds 4.7 assists and 1.9 steals per game. Guard George Hill averages 12.1 points, 4 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.1 steals per game. Forward C.J. Miles averages 11.8 points and 2.7 rebounds per game. Forward Myles Turner averages 10.3 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Ian Mahinmi, Rodney Stuckey, Jordan Hill, Lavoy Allen and Ty Lawson will also get minutes in the rotation.
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Toronto is outscoring teams 103-98 this season. The Raptors are #3 in points allowed this season. Toronto is shooting 45.1% from the field and 37% from three point range. The Raptors are #5 in three point shooting. Toronto makes 77.7% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 44.4% from the field and 37.3% from three point range. The Raptors are #29 in three point defense. Toronto averages 43.4 rebounds per game and opponents average 40.8 per game. The Raptors are #4 in rebounds allowed. Toronto averages 18.7 assists, 12.1 turnovers, 7.8 steals and 5.5 blocks per game.
Guard DeMar DeRozan averages 23.5 points per game, 4.5 rebounds, 4 assists and 1 steal per game. Guard Kyle Lowry averages 21.2 points, 4.7 rebounds, 6.4 assists, and 2.1 steals per game. Center Jonas Valanciunas averages 12.8 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game. Forward DeMarre Carroll averages 11 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game. Terrance Ross, Luis Scola, Cory Joseph, Patrick Patterson, Bismack Biyambo and James Johnson will also get some minutes in the rotation.
Indiana is 5-1 ATS after a cover, 4-1 after a straight up win, 7-2 overall and against Eastern Conference teams, 6-2 in first round games, and against Atlantic Division teams, and 3-7 after a straight up win by 10 points or more. The underdog is 6-2 ATS in this series recently. Five of the last six games in this series have gone under the total, but the over is 5-2 in Toronto between the teams.
Toronto is 5-1 ATS after a straight up loss, 4-1 after allowing 100 points or more, 6-2 after failing to cover, 5-2 at home, 3-7 on one day rest, 7-18-1 in first round games, and 0-4 in Sunday games. The Raptors are 12-5 ATS in the last 17 against the Pacers and 23-9 in Toronto in the series.
Toronto hasn’t won a first round series since 2001 and hasn’t won a best of seven series ever in franchise history. The Raptors have won the Atlantic Division three straight years but flamed out in the first round the last two seasons. I have said this numerous times during this series, but Lowry and DeRozan simply have to play better. Paul George has been by far the best player on either side. Toronto is actually lucky this series isn’t over, and it would have been over if not for a comeback in game five. I might regret this but I think the Raptors finally get out of the first round.