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Pacers Links: Playoff preview against Raptors on Friday night?

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The Pacers and Raptors meet Friday night in what may be a preview of a first-round playoff matchup next weekend.

Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

The Pacers hope to button up their playoff spot with a win over the Toronto Raptors on Friday which would also move them closer to securing the seven seed and a first-round series against the same Raptors.

Toronto has been tough on the Pacers this year, winning two of the first three meetings, although the games have been well contested despite the Raps' advantage in the win column. Of course, the Pacers will throw yet another playing rotation at the Raps, especially if Ty Lawson is available, as they continue to the last-minute search for the right mix to deliver some consistent results.

Strange as it may seem, the right mix may involve a strong helping of Lawson and Solomon Hill, two players who didn't play a second in the Pacers' season-opening loss in Toronto. Lawson missed the Cleveland game with the dreaded upper respiratory illness that has gone through the roster although Mark Montieth found Lawson putting in some wee hours work and feeling fine. Sounds like the training staff just wanted to make sure no one else caught the illness. That first game seems so distant at this point with all of the ups and downs the Pacers have navigated through so far this season.

Fortunately, the Pacers appear to be trending in a positive direction after winning their last three games, but that trend will be put to the test in Toronto, assuming the Raptors give a full effort to play key guys on the second half of a back-to-back.

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Check out the links:

Now available: Myles Turner "Swatted" t-shirt - Indy Cornrows

Pacers Playoff Picture: Indiana can clinch playoff berth with win over Toronto Raptors - Indy Cornrows

Game Preview: Pacers at Raptors | Indiana Pacers

Pacers Picking Up Steam During Final Stretch | Indiana Pacers

Pacers focus on beating Raptors, not possible playoff meeting

Emergence of Hill, Miles gives Pacers hope | WFNI ESPN 1070 the Fan | Indy's SportsCenter

Raptors-Indiana Pacers: Friday game preview | Toronto Star

DeMarre Carroll of Toronto Raptors returns after missing 41 games

Raps lose to Hawks 95-87 in DeMarre Carroll's return - Raptors HQ

Raptors fall to Hawks despite return of DeMarre Carroll | Toronto Star

Where is the Love? Solo Hill Took It | Indiana Pacers

VIDEO: Ty Lawson works on his shooting late into the night | Vigilant Sports