Indiana +230 over Toronto NBA Playoffs Tips
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Indiana features a resembling brand of basketball that pushed them to the front of the Eastern Conference in the 2014-15 season. The Pacers are rugged and aggressive on defense, complemented now by perhaps a better ensemble of players than their last trip to the post-season in 2014. Paul George has returned from a disgusting injury he suffered in 2014. The result of George’s injuries were catastrophic for the Pacers in the 2014-15 aspirations but he has returned with authority, emerging as the Pacers’ leading scorer averaging an excellent 23.1 points per game. Indiana has acquired more toys to play with that take the focus off of George. The additions of sniper Montae Ellis and point man Ty Lawson and the emergence super sub Rodney Stuckey makes this squad deep and extremely dangerous. In addition, the Pacers match-up perfectly against the Raptors as they are specialists in defending the three, while the Raptors specialize in shooting the three. In the playoffs, teams that live by the three, often die by the three so once again the edge lies with Indiana in this facet.
Toronto may also be quite overvalued. In the 2015-16 season, Toronto won 56 games, the Raptors have earned most of those wins getting licks against clubs like Brooklyn, New York and Philadelphia in divisional play. While Toronto has beaten some of the best in the NBA, almost all of these results were attained in Toronto exclusively. Toronto when placed in those same contests on the road, yielded far contrasting outcomes and in many of these occasions they were pummelled. Quality of competition will likely be a determining factor in this series as the Pacers have had to fend off teams like Cleveland, Detroit and Chicago on a regular basis and two of their fellow Central Division constituents have qualified for the playoffs alongside Indiana (Cleveland and Detroit).
Finally, let us never fail to mention that Toronto has a history of choking in the post-season. Despite having one of the best duo of guards in the NBA in point guard Kyle Lowry and DeMar Derozan, the Raptors recent blunders in the post-season compel us to lay the Eastern Conference’s #2 seed. The Toronto Raptors have yet to make it out of the first round of the playoffs in 15 years. In their last two trips to the post-season, Toronto has broken the hearts of many Raptors supporters. Toronto fell in seven-games to an aging Brooklyn Nets team in 2014 and would follow up with an even greater disaster when they were swept by Washington in 2015. A team with a record of inconsistency is a very dicey investment and given the fact that Indiana has plenty of veterans that have played at this level, the writing may be on the wall for the Raptors. There is enormous quality in Indiana, the Pacers are an excellent dark horse for the Eastern Conference, as they will have another favorable contest against the winner of the Heat and Hornets series.