The Pacers were left frustrated and a bit irritated after losing their sixth game of the season to the Toronto Raptors. Following the game, Frank Vogel was almost spitting with disgust as he discussed the season-high turnovers which helped Toronto end the game with a 17-4 advantage in transition points.
In a 95-82 loss, that 13-point deficit appears the likely cause of the loss. Vogel referred to the Pacers giving up "Turnovers for touchdowns" because of the easy buckets the Raptors scored off the Indiana mistakes. Actually, that's two touchdowns and a field goal, but yeah it was a problem.
But turnovers were hardly the whole story. Vogel was equally miffed with one of his top pet peeves -- his team fouling. Indiana's aggressive, league-leading defense doesn't work so well with 27 fouls, especially when six of those are on Roy Hibbert.
Vogel kept Hibbert pinned to the bench with five fouls as the Raptors started making their winning surge in the fourth quarter. The Pacers were down by seven when he finally returned, but it is hard to complain about the late return for Hibbert when the big fella was only able to remain on the floor for a little over a minute before picking up his sixth foul.
In the end, the free throw attempt differential was only three, although Toronto won that focus battle as well, making 20 of 23 to the Pacers 13 of 20. There's another seven points to add to the potential difference.
Toronto's coach Dwane Casey made it a point before the game that this was a measuring-stick game for his team. To Casey's credit, his team fully bought in and took everything the Pacers had to dish out and then gave back more. When the Pacers met the resistance they weren't able to retaliate, instead they just let the frustrations of missed shots and whistles mount to take them out of their game.
Paul George complained about how the game was officiated following the game and the frustration PG is playing through with his individual game showed up again. PG had two points in the first half, one of a handful of sweet dunks in the game, but his perimeter shot continues to betray him. George has made just two of his last 16 three-point attempts and missed all three shots behind the arc last night.
All of this sounds like a 25-point blowout and it was hardly that, which is as close to good news as this game has to offer. It did reveal that there remains some seasoning that this team needs to work through to handle adversity -- whether struggling to make shots or the whistles not going their way -- and find a way to grind through to give themselves a chance to win.
To be fair, they have done just that in several games this year and made it look easy. They just didn't do it in Toronto on Wednesday night.
Check out the links: