NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference First Round Game Three: Toronto Raptors at Indiana Pacers

2016 NBA Playoffs
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals – Game #3
#2 Toronto Raptors at #7 Indiana Pacers
Best of Seven Series Tied 1-1
Banker’s Life Fieldhouse – Indianapolis, Indiana
Thursday, April 21, 2016, 7:35 pm Eastern, TV: NBA TV
Opening Line: Toronto -1
Current Line: Toronto -1 1/2
Opening Total: 193
Current Total: 193
Opening Money Line: Raptors -115 / Pacers -105
Current Money Line: Raptors -120 / Pacers +100

Indiana hosts Toronto in game three Thursday night.
Indiana hosts Toronto in game three Thursday night.

Before game two of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals between the Toronto Raptors and Indiana Pacers, the Raptors had lost 7 straight playoff games dating back to 2014. This includes a 100-90 loss in game one at home against the Pacers. Toronto evened the series in game two Monday night with a 98-87 win as the series shifts to Indianapolis.

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 46-36 ATS and the total is 42-41-1 this season.

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 42-41-1 ATS and the total is 37-47 this season.

In game two, Toronto was an 8 point favorite and the total was 195. The Raptors led 27-16 at the end of the first quarter, but would take a 43-38 lead into halftime. Toronto would never trail in the second half as they snapped the losing streak in the playoffs. Toronto center Jonas Valunciunas had 23 points and 15 rebounds. For the second straight game DeMar DeRozan struggled for the Raptors with only 10 points. Kyle Lowry had 18 points 9 assists and 7 rebounds for Toronto. Paul George had 28 points for the Pacers in the loss.

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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. Ross is questionable with a head injury.

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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. He is probable with an ankle injury. Guard Monta Ellis averages 13.8 points, 3.3 rebounds 4.7 assists and 1.9 steals per game. He is questionable for  for personal reasons.  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. He is probable with a back injury. Ian Mahinmi, Rodney Stuckey, Jordan Hill, Lavoy Allen and Ty Lawson will also get minutes in the rotation. Mahinmi is also probable with a back injury.

Toronto is 4-1 ATS against Central Division teams, 3-7 after a straight up win, 3-8 in Thursday games, 2-6 after failing to cover, and 1-8 in first round games. The Raptors are 41-20 ATS against the Pacers recently and 8-1 in Indianapolis.

Indiana is 4-0 ATS after a straight up loss of 10 points or more, 8-2 after a straight up loss, 4-1 after failing to cover, overall and against Eastern Conference teams, 16-5 on two days rest, and 1-8 in Thursday games. The under is 4-1 in this series recently.

If Ellis can’t go for Indiana, then Toronto has a much better chance on the road. Still DeRozan has to play much better than he did in the first two games. George has been incredible in his return to the playoffs. I think Toronto wins a close game on the road.

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