VIDEO: Raptors vs. Pacers: By the Numbers
HANG TIME NEW JERSEY — Is this the year the Toronto Raptors get it done?
In their 21-year history, the Raptors have never won a best-of-7 playoff series. Their only series victory came in 2001, when the first round was a best-of-5. Each of the last two seasons, they had home-court advantage in the first round, lost it in Game 1, and got knocked out by a lower seed. So, after a third straight year of setting a franchise record for regular-season wins, there’s added pressure on Dwane Casey and his team to finally take the next step.
The Indiana Pacers are back in the playoffs after a one-year absence. They said goodbye to the frontline that helped them get to the conference finals twice and tried to change their identity, but eventually settled back into being a team that played two traditional bigs, did its best work on defense, and struggled to score.
This is the only first-round matchup between a team that ranks in the top five in offensive efficiency and one that ranks in the top five in defensive efficiency. And it may be determined by the Pacers’ ability to score against what has been an improved Toronto defense.
Here are some statistical notes to get you ready for the 2-7 series in the East, with links to let you dive in and explore more.
Toronto Raptors (56-26)
Pace: 95.3 (29)
OffRtg: 107.0 (5)
DefRtg: 102.7 (11)
NetRtg: +4.3 (6)
- Went 18-7 against the other Eastern Conference playoff teams, the best record in games played within the group. They had a winning record against each of the other seven.
- Assisted on only 51.1 percent of their baskets, the lowest rate in the league.
- Outscored by 8.3 points per 100 possessions in the first six minutes of the first quarter, the fifth worst mark in the league and the worst among playoff teams. But they made up for it by outscoring their opponents by 14.5 points per 100 possessions in the last six minutes of the first quarter.
- Players off the bench had an aggregate NetRtg of plus-7.0, a mark which trailed only that of San Antonio.
- Outscored their opponents by 15.2 points per 100 possessions in 514 minutes with Cory Joseph, Terrence Ross, Patrick Patterson and Bismack Biyombo on the floor with either DeMar DeRozan or Kyle Lowry.
- DeRozan led the league with 8.7 points per game on drives, up from 4.9 last season. He was also one of five players who attempted more than 500 shots from mid-range.
- Luis Scola took 26.9 percent of his shots from 3-point range, up from 3.1 percent last season. That was the biggest increase among players who took at least 500 shots both seasons. Scola also had the biggest decrease in free throw rate (FTA/FGA) in that same group.
Indiana Pacers (45-37)
Pace: 99.0 (10)
OffRtg: 102.4 (23)
DefRtg: 100.2 (3)
NetRtg: +2.2 (11)
- Had the league’s two best defensive lineups among the 26 that played at least 300 minutes together. They allowed just 95.1 points per 100 possessions in 785 total minutes with George Hill, Monta Ellis, Paul George and Ian Mahinmi on the floor with either Lavoy Allen or Myles Turner at power forward. That same group with C.J. Miles at power forward allowed 107.2 points per 100 possessions in 333 minutes.
- Had the biggest increase in opponent turnover rate, from 13.2 per 100 possessions (25th in the league) last season to 15.8 (seventh) this season. They led the league with 18.9 points off turnovers per game.
- Played 52 games that were within five points in the last five minutes, tied (with Denver) for the most in the league.
- Shot 73 percent (19-for-26) from 3-point range in a Nov. 24 win at Washington, the best 3-point percentage for any team in a game in which they attempted at least 10 threes.
- 10-8 vs. the other East playoff teams before the All-Star break and 2-7 after it. One of the two post-break wins was vs. the LeBron James-less Cavs on April 6.
- Seven different starting lineups (four for Toronto, three for Indiana) were used in the four meetings.
- The Raptors rested Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan and Luis Scola in the April 8 meeting in Toronto, and still won by 13. In fact, it was the only game of the four that they scored more than a point per possession.
- Over the four games, the Pacers won the first (+2), second (+16) and fourth (+10) quarters. But the Raptors won all four third quarters by a total of 32 points.
- The Raptors had a free throw rate (FTA/FGA) of 0.448, the highest mark of any Indiana opponent this season.
- The Raptors were a plus-30 in 153 minutes with either Bismack Biyombo (plus-18 in 99 minutes) or Jonas Valanciunas (plus-12 in 54 minutes) on the floor, and a minus-19 with neither on the floor.
- Paul George shot 31 percent (20-for-65), his lowest mark against any Eastern Conference opponent.
- C.J. Miles (14-for-28) and George Hill (9-for-15) combined to shoot 53 percent from 3-point range. All other Pacers shot 21 percent.