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The Toronto Raptors will conclude the 2020-21 season with their final home game, hosting the Indiana Pacers at Amalie Arena. The Raptors had last seen the Pacers back in late January, losing the second game of a back-to-back by a score of 129-114. Toronto is searching to snap their current six game losing streak with a final win to end a disappointing season.
The Raptors were officially eliminated from playoff contention earlier this week on May 10th and will look to try and finish the season on a winning note. The Pacers currently hold the ninth spot in the East as they prepare for the play-in tournament to hopefully secure a spot in the 2021 playoffs. This could be a chance for former Raptors’ Assistant Coach Nate Bjorkgren to make his playoff debut as a head coach after taking the job back in October, 2020.
The Raptors will have a tough matchup as the Pacers come into tonight’s game as one of the league’s top defensive teams. Indiana is ranked first in the league for blocks per game with 6.4 and fifth in steals per game with 8.5. However, the Pacers have been plagued with injuries as of late and will be missing many of their key defensive players for this game. All-Star big man Domantas Sabonis (quad), Myles Turner (right toe sprain), Malcolm Brogdon (hamstring), Aaron Holiday (toe), Jeremy Lamb (knee) and Edmond Sumner (knee) will all be out for this game. Expect Caris LeVert to contribute the majority of the offense for the Pacers as he’s averaging 26.3 points, 8.0 rebounds, 7.7 assists and 1.7 steals over the past week.
Indiana will also rely on former Raptor Oshae Brissett who joined the Pacers after being waived by his hometown team back in December, 2020. The Toronto native has shown his improvement and strong work ethic, developing into a key starter for the Pacers with their recent injuries. Over the past week he has averaged 1.5 threes, 10.3 points and 1.5 steals making him a valuable role player in the rotation. Expect Brissett to come out with a lot of motivation against his former team.
The Raptors may rely on their rookies to conclude the season and build upon impressive performances while being short handed. Expect big contributions from Malachi Flynn and Jalen Harris who combined for 57 points in the loss against the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night. Harris had a career high 31 points, becoming the tenth Raptor to score over 30 points in a game this season. The Raptors will likely rest their key starters to allow them to recover from injury and give chances to other players in the rotation as they prepare for an interesting and eventful offseason.
Make sure to tune into the final game of the season Sunday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. EST.