In the first matchup of the 2016 NBA postseason, the Indiana Pacers (45-37) take on the second seeded Toronto Raptors (56-26).
Not everyone expected the Pacers to be here. They lost both of their longtime frontcourt members, David West and Roy Hibbert, in the offseason and would be forced to turn to journeymen veterans like Ian Mahinmi and Jordan Hill as well as rookie Myles Turner to fill in. Those three played as well as Pacers fans could have hoped for. The surprisingly solid frontcourt play along with the return of their superstar Paul George got the Pacers back into the playoffs.
The Raptors on the other hand we’re definitely expected make the playoffs, their third straight appearance. But not many saw them taking the second seed in the East and finishing just one game back of Cleveland. They’re for real though. Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan make up the best backcourt in the Eastern Conference.
It’s great to see Paul George healthy and playing well but his teammates just aren’t good enough to pose a serious threat to Toronto. I see the Pacers taking a game at home but that’s it.