Raptors had a full house for their home opener. For those that question basketball in Toronto they need to wake up. After being told basically your team has no chance at doing much of anything this year the Raptors still packed the house. That full house was not treated to much entertainment in the first quarter. They did see some rare events like Andrea Bargnani taking a charge. But by and large both teams struggled in the first but the Raptors really did shooting sub 30% from the field and had just 11 points and trailed 18-11 after one.
The Raptors would slowly start to get the locks off the offence that had been a one man operation in the first with Bargnani largely being their only true effective player on offence. On the other side of things Paul George was showing you why many are excited about his future. He was part of the key match-up I mentioned in the set-up for this one. The other side of that match-up was DeRozan and he failed to score in the 1st half. Raptors could not stop the lead for the Pacers would take the lead into half at 38-34. Not exactly an offensive classic in fact there was a lot of offensive things. But Andrea Bargnani was not one of them. He was perhaps the only reason the Raptors were hanging around.
In the second half the Pacers got back to work and took control of things out battling the Raptors in the 3rd and getting some breaks in terms of the officials for most of the night. Demar DeRozan did start to make himself known on the offensive end but like in Cleveland he has a pretty forgettable first 3 quarters. It reminds you of the whole Tim Tebow phenomenon. Tebow Time at least for 2 games has a Raptor equal and it is DeRozan Time. He again exploded late in the 4th and finished with 22 points(Which led the Raps). But the Raptors had let the Pacers get to far in front to catch. The Raptors would make a strong push aided by the sold out crowd but the Pacers were able to take the body blows and close the deal for the 90-85 win.
The Good: Bargnani despite the typical rebounding struggles The Raptors would be no where close if not for Bargnani. Defence was still good enough holding the Pacers to 39.5% shooting.
The Bad: DeRozan's first 3 quarters. Bayless at times took the Raptors out of their offence and went rogue despite his 5-9 shooting and 13 points. Calderon struggled as well so let's just say general point guard play was poor for very different reasons.
The Ugly: 19 Turnovers. The Raptors are not good enough to have those kind of mistakes and win basketball games.
Now it really gets tough with games vs The Mavs, Magic and Knicks. This will truly test this new Defence to the next level. Especially against the Mavs who should know how to beat this D better than anyone for obvious reasons and they are a desperate team early in this season after an ugly 0-2 start.