Pacers-Raptors Preview

There were plenty of smiles to go around after the Indiana

Pacers and the Toronto Raptors both posted season-opening victories

Monday.

There will likely be a more serious tone Wednesday night in

Toronto following a controversial end to the 2010-11 series between

these clubs.

Playing their first game since the interim tag was removed from

coach Frank Vogel, the Pacers defeated Detroit 91-79 on Monday.

Indiana shot just 36.8 percent from the field, but it scored 14

second-chance points and held a 53-40 rebounding edge.

Roy Hibbert (16 points and 14 rebounds), Tyler Hansbrough (15

and 13) and newcomer David West (11 and 12) controlled the

paint.

“We have the ability to crash the boards,” Danny Granger said

after scoring 16 points on 6-of-18 shooting. “I think our big guys

did an excellent job of dominating the glass, on the offensive end

also. We didn’t give up too many offensive rebounds (nine). When

they can dominate the glass like that, it’s going to be hard to

beat us.”

The Pacers grabbed 20 more rebounds than the Raptors in two home

wins last season, including a 56-38 edge in a 104-93 victory Jan.

31 in Vogel’s first game after replacing the fired Jim O’Brien.

However, they were outrebounded 46-34 in a 108-98 loss at Toronto

on March 11 in the final meeting.

Losing a sixth consecutive game overall probably added to its

frustration, but Indiana was angered that Raptors guard Leandro

Barbosa tried to add to his season-high 29-point effort with a

drive to the basket – instead of dribbling out the clock – with six

seconds left.

Toronto argued that it was payback for Pacers point guard Darren

Collison hitting a long 3-pointer as time expired in the Jan. 31

matchup.

“If I was on him, I would have took (Barbosa’s) head off and I

would have been suspended for a game for a flagrant foul,” said

Granger, who led with Pacers with 19.0 points and 8.3 rebounds per

game in the season series. “Stuff like that will sit in the back of

your head the next time we play Toronto. We don’t play them again

but if I was on him, I would have taken his neck off.”

The Pacers, though, have far more to be concerned about than

Barbosa after the Raptors shot 53.2 percent and had seven players

score in double figures in Monday’s 104-96 win at Cleveland.

“It’s one game,” coach Dwane Casey said following his Toronto

debut. “I don’t want to get too excited on wins and I don’t want to

get too upset on losses. There are 65 more games.”

Still, Casey has to be excited about the play of his talented

backcourt. DeMar DeRozan scored nine of his 15 points in the fourth

quarter, while point guard Jose Calderon added 15 with 11 assists.

Barbosa added 14 points off the bench.

The Raptors, who open a three-game trip Friday against Dallas,

went 16-25 at home last season.

The Pacers finished 13-28 away from home in 2010-11 and have

lost five straight in Toronto.

The home team has won the last 11 times these teams have

met.