The Raptors are in town, landing a few hours before tip time, and the temperature is officially over zero, so the game is on at the Fieldhouse tonight. For those making the trek, roads remain an ice rink in most areas around time so give yourself plenty of time to get downtown.
The Pacers shot just 36% while struggling to put away the short-handed Cavaliers on Sunday, so they need a little home cooking tonight at BLF regardless of how many folks show up for the game. The Raptors outworked the Pacers on New Year's Day, delivering more physical, aggressive play to beat the Pacers at their own game in Toronto. This time around, the Pacers will have to establish their presence and earn those calls that go to the aggressor.
With all of the travel issues the Raptors have gone through, I'd expect them to play loose and free knowing they have some brutal circumstances to lean on if the game goes sideways on them. Like the Cavs playing without their top two point guards, the circumstances creates a dangerous situation requiring the Pacers full attention.
Also, the Bulls pulled the trigger on dealing Luol Deng (ahhhhh, exhale for not having to see Deng hit a late shot-clock jumper in red again) a free agent they didn't expect to keep after the season, for Andrew Bynum, a waivable big contract (oh, and center) who will end up somewhere else to end the year. Thus, the Bulls officially begin retooling their roster on the fly while Derrick Rose rehabs. Chicago also saves some cash to remain flexible while reloading and avoid luxury tax issues.
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