Fresh off their first NBA title, the Toronto Raptors have bounced back nicely in the 2019–20 season. They’re currently 21–8 through 29 games, including a five-game winning streak they’re currently on. Their last game, a 110–107 win over Dallas, featured a 30-point comeback that was the best in franchise history.
Last year, point guard Kyle Lowry had to defer to Kawi Leonard and watched his scoring dip. The result was fine but now Leonard is gone and Lowry is responsible for much of Toronto’s scoring. He’s averaging 19.5 points per game this season in 37.6 minutes per game, both of which are higher than his last two seasons. On Sunday, Lowry was key to their 30-point comeback, putting up a team-high 32 points. Additionally, second-year swingman Chris Boucher had a season-high 21 points, including a bucket with 25 seconds remaining that put Toronto up by 108–107, and two free throws with one second left that iced the 110–107 victory.
The Indiana Pacers have played excellent basketball this season, especially since they’re without their best player, Victor Oladipo. Through 30 games, they have a 20–10 record which places them in the №6 spot in the Eastern Conference. Having achieved that without Oladipo is a real impressive feat and it’s also allowed for some players to grow in a way they wouldn’t have with Oladipo playing. Domantas Sabonis is the main guy who has had a chance to shine with Oladipo out; he has been a full-time starter this season for the first time since joining Indiana, seeing his numbers skyrocket as a result. He’s averaging a double-double this year in 29 games with 18 points and 13.4 rebounds per game.
Two other players, T.J. Warren and Malcolm Brogdon, who are both in their first seasons with Indiana, have also stepped up. Both are averaging 17+ points per game while shooting over 46 percent from the field and 34 percent from beyond the arc.
Indiana was on a five-game winning streak but lost on Sunday against Milwaukee. They haven’t lost back-to-back games since starting the season 0–3.