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Pacers Links: Pacers set to host Raptors while looking for defensive edge (again)

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After a strong defensive effort against Miami on Friday, the Pacers were unable to slow down the Pistons on Saturday. Now they face another strong test when the Raptors visit the Fieldhouse on Monday.

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Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The past two games for the Pacers illustrated the inconsistent nature of the defense this year which relies more on a strong perimeter defensive effort than in years past when funneling players toward a strong rim protector worked well. Sustaining the type of effort and communication needed on the perimeter is more difficult from game-to-game and the Pistons exposed all of the gaps on Saturday night, when seven different players combined to make 13 three-balls and frustrate the Pacers who were unable to keep pace.

Life doesn't get easier for the Pacers as the Toronto Raptors visit the Fieldhouse on Monday. DeMar DeRozan has proven to be a problem player for Paul George and the Pacers star has hit a little flat spot with his offense over the past couple of games. Hopefully a little home cooking after a day of rest will get the Pacers going again.

Toronto will be visiting on the back half of a back-to-back, although they beat the Sixers at home on Sunday night by 20 points.

The Raptors will likely be missing two players who did damage in the opener, as well. Center Jonas Valanciunas hit the Pacers for 21 points and 15 rebounds but is now out with a broken hand. DeMarre Carroll added 14 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists in the operner but has missed the past four games with a knee contusion. Both players are traveling with the Raps but neither is expected to play.

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Check out the links:

Game Preview: Pacers vs Raptors | Indiana Pacers

NBA Commish to Attend Pacers Facility Groundbreaking - Inside INdiana Business

Ian Mahinmi shows his improvement, impact as a starter

Indiana Pacers open three-game homestand against streaking Toronto Raptors | FOX Sports

Right Place, Right Time for Mahinmi and Ellis | Indiana Pacers

Raptors-Indiana Pacers: Monday game preview | Toronto Star

Kelly: Toxic 76ers remind Raptors of what it takes to be awful - The Globe and Mail

The Sixers try, but the Raptors pull away and win anyway 96-76 - Raptors HQ