Pacers-Raptors Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 12, 2012
Danny Granger is not too concerned about his early season shooting woes. The Toronto Raptors might be more worried about DeMar DeRozan's sluggish start, especially if Andrea Bargnani is out for an extended period. Granger and the Indiana Pacers go for their second victory in Toronto this season Friday night when the Raptors look to get back on track before hitting the road. Granger is among the worst in the league in field goal percentage at 33.6, but he shot 9 of 16 and scored a season-best 24 points in Wednesday's 96-84 victory over Atlanta. He missed the Pacers' previous game due to food poisoning. "I never shoot good at the beginning of the season," Granger said after Indiana improved to 7-3 for the first time in six seasons. "Nothing different." Not necessarily. Granger averaged 22.1 points on 47.6 percent shooting through the first 10 games of 2010-11, although the Pacers were just 5-5. He is a 35.5 percent shooter in 11 games in Toronto, but he made 8 of 19 and scored nine of his 21 points in the fourth quarter of a 90-85 victory Dec. 28 that spoiled the Raptors' home opener. Indiana had dropped five in a row and eight of nine at Toronto. The Raptors (4-7) will look to regain their home-court edge in this series following their fourth defeat in five games overall, 98-91 to visiting Sacramento on Wednesday. Toronto dropped two straight to finish a stretch of three games in as many nights, but the bigger loss could be Bargnani, who left Wednesday's game in the third quarter with a strained left calf. "He's our best player for sure," point guard Jose Calderon said after posting his fourth double-double with 13 points and 10 assists. "After they let us know he wasn't coming out again, it was tough." It's uncertain if Bargnani, the team leader with 22.3 points per game, will miss any time. Either way, DeRozan needs to get accustomed to being one of the focal points of opposing defenses. The third-year guard is scoring 8.8 points per game while shooting 30.9 percent over his last five contests. His season averages of 14.1 points and 41.0 percent are down significantly from 2010-11. "(DeMar) and Andrea have the respect of the league," coach Dwane Casey said Wednesday. "(DeMar) has to learn how to play against a man and a half, not only just his guy." That's even more important as Casey said the Raptors - who play three straight and 11 of 14 on the road following Friday's game - have "got to get some execution offensively." Toronto is among the lowest-scoring teams in the league at 87.8 points per game. The Pacers are giving up 89.4 per contest on 41.5 percent shooting. Indiana figures to put plenty of pressure on DeRozan, who scored 16 of his game-high 22 points in the fourth quarter Dec. 28. Indiana, opening a stretch of nine of 12 away from home, will also have to keep an eye on Raptors guard Leandro Barbosa, who is averaging 16.3 points off the bench in the last three games after scoring a season-best 24 on Wednesday.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Tickets for ‘Monday Night Football’ game in Mexico sell out

Kevin Durant says he never told Russell Westbrook he was staying in OKC

God Shammgod hired by Mavericks as player development assistant

Soccer player terminates contract after being attacked by stray dogs

Todd Bowles confirms Ryan Fitzpatrick is Jets starting QB: ‘It’s his job’


Carmelo Anthony shocked Dwyane Wade left Miami for Chicago

Report: David Lee signs with the Spurs

Craig Sager to miss Olympics while undergoing bone marrow transplant

Jarryd Hayne wouldn’t have retired if NFL had minor league system

Draymond Green: ‘Me and LeBron are friends’

Pierre-Paul won't need to wear club on hand this season

Report: Seahawks DE Chris Clemons retiring

Denard Robinson blames falling asleep at stoplight for pond crash

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Hue Jackson: Browns will give Josh Gordon a fresh start

Diamondbacks nearing Daniel Hudson trade

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

What would George Costanza have traded to get Bonds and Griffey?

Gabby Douglas can make USA Gymnastics history at Olympics

Week 3 will determine the Big Ten's reputation this season

Cam Talbot thinks the Oilers are close to making the playoffs

The new era of WWE SmackDown has liftoff

Vlade Divac: Cousins ‘most dominant player in the world’

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker