Scottie Barnes is the second rookie in @Raptors history to reach 100 points through his first six games. The first was Damon Stoudamire, the 1995-96 Rookie of the Year.
• The Toronto Raptors play the first game of a three-game road trip (Oct. 30 – Nov. 3), and the second game of a back-to-back set, Saturday night against the Indiana Pacers at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. The Raptors defeated
Indiana 118-100 earlier this week in Toronto. Fred VanVleet had a season-high 26 points and a career-best 10 rebounds in the victory. Toronto has won five of the last seven meetings with the Pacers. The Raptors play at New York on Monday before wrapping up the trip Wednesday in Washington.
• Fred VanVleet (28) and Gary Trent Jr. (26) rank first and second, respectively, in the NBA in deflections this
season. VanVleet (199) finished tied for fifth in deflections last season despite missing 20 games. Trent Jr. currently ranks fourth in the league in steals per game (2.67) and has recorded multiple steals in four of the first six
games, inlcuding a career high-tying five steals twice.
• Rookie Scottie Barnes led the Raptors in points and rebounds in the same game for the first time with 21 points and nine rebounds in Friday’s victory over Orlando. According to @nbastats, Barnes (106) is just the second
rookie in Raptors history to score 100 points through his first six games. The first was Damon Stoudamire who scored 100 points. Stoudamire was the 1995-96 Rookie of the Year.
• Toronto committed a season-low eight turnovers Friday night against the Magic. Through the first six games, the Raptors now have a +25 (84-to-109) turnover differential. The Raptors forced Indiana into 23 turnovers Wednesday which led to 31 points for Toronto.
• Rookie Dalano Banton has led the bench in scoring with 10 points in back-to-back games (Oct. 27-29). He is shooting .615 (8-for-13) from the field over the last two games. A native of Toronto, Banton became the first Canadian picked by the Raptors when he was selected 46th overall in the 2021 NBA Draft.
• The Raptors (14.8) currently rank second in the NBA in offensive rebounds per game, behind only Memphis (15.0), and fifth in second-chance points per game (16.8). Toronto finished last season ranked 20th in the league
in offensive rebounds (9.4). Scottie Barnes leads the Raptors with 18 offensive rebounds this season.
• OG Anunoby has scored 16+ points in four straight games (Oct. 23-29), averaging a team-high 21.5 points. Anunoby is shooting .458 (33-72) from the floor, including .429 (15-35) from beyond the arc, during this stretch.
• Toronto shot a season-high .500 (43-86) from the field, including .684 (13-19) in the fourth, in Friday’s victory vs.
Orlando. The Raptors are shooting 48 percent (129-269) from the floor over the last three games (Oct. 25-29)
after shooting .376 (106-282) from the field in their first three games of the season (Oct. 20-23).
• The Raptors have exercised the third-year team option on the rookie scale
contracts of Precious Achiuwa and Malachi Flynn. Both players are now
signed through the 2022-23 season. Achiuwa averaged 5.0 points, 3.4 rebounds and 12.1 minutes in 61 games as a rookie last season with Miami.
For his efforts, he was named to the World Team roster for the 2021 NBA
Rising Stars. Flynn averaged 7.5 points, 2.9 assists, 2.5 rebounds and 19.7
minutes in 47 appearances, and was named Eastern Conference Rookie of
the Month for April.
• The Raptors have added Nate Bjorkgren, Trevor Gleeson, Nathaniel
Mitchell and Earl Watson as assistant coaches to Head Coach Nick
Nurse’s staff. Eric Khoury will also return to the team as an assistant
coach after two seasons with Raptors 905, Toronto’s G League affiliate.
Lead assistant Adrian Griffin will return to the Toronto bench for a fourth
season, along with assistant coaches John Corbacio, Jon Goodwillie,
Jim Sann, and player development consultant Jamaal Magloire.
• The Toronto Raptors acquired guard Goran Dragic and forward Precious
Achiuwa from Miami as part of a sign-and-trade for six-time All-Star Kyle
Lowry. Lowry is Toronto’s all-time leader in assists (4,277), steals (873),
three-pointers made (1,518) and triple-doubles (16). In nine seasons, he
accumulated 365 regular season wins and 44 playoff victories also making
him the winningest player in franchise history. He helped the Raptors to
seven consecutive playoff appearances (2014-20), six Atlantic Division
titles, five 50-win seasons and the NBA championship in 2019.
• The Raptors ended last with a 27-45 (.375) record, missing the playoffs for
the first time since the 2012-13 season. Toronto started the season 1-6 but
clawed back to .500 (17-17) after going 9-5 in February. However, COVID19 protocols affected the team in March, and the Raptors went 1-13 during
the month to fall out of playoff contention.
• OG Anunoby, Kyle Lowry, Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet combined
to miss 91 games last season. As a result, Toronto used a franchise-record
38 different starting lineups and set an NBA-record with 10 different 30-
point scorers. Siakam (21.4 ppg) led the team in scoring, while VanVleet
(19.6 ppg) and Anunoby (15.9 ppg) both averaged career highs in points
Chris Duarte not only made his NBA debut at Charlotte Oct. 20, he became the first Pacers player since Jamaal Tinsley in 2001 to start the team’s season’s opener. Duarte scored the most points (27) and made the most 3-pointers (six) by any Pacers rookie making his debut. He finished the game shooting 9-for-15 from the field, 6-for-9 from 3-point range and 3-for-3 from the free throw line.
Myles Turner turned in a career performance in the second game of the 2021-22 season as he finished with 40 points to go with 10 rebounds in an overtime road loss at Washington. Turner finished with a career-best scoring total and his first game with 30+ points since the season opener of the 2016-17 season in which he scored 30 points in an overtime win over Dal- las Oct. 26, 2016.
He posted the ninth game in Pacers NBA franchise history with 40+ points and 10+ rebounds, and the first since Danny Granger finished with 41 points and 11 rebounds on Dec. 17, 2008.
Indiana wrapped up its 2021 preseason schedule with a 2-2 record. The Pacers won back-to-back contests as they earned a road victory at Cleveland on Oct. 8 and a home win over Memphis on Oct. 13. The Pacers had several key contributors miss time in the preseason due to injury, but received a boost from several young players. Rookie Chris Duarte, the Pacers’ first selection in the 2021 Draft, led the team in total scoring with 55 points for an average of 13.8 per game.
HOME COURT HIJINX
Indiana is looking to bounce back in 2021-22 after ending a streak of five consecutive seasons
with a playoff appearance last year.
The Pacers endured an uncharacteristically down year on their home court in 2020-21. Indiana finished 13-23 at home last season, ending the regular season with a losing record at
home for the first time since the 1989-90 season (20-21). Their 31-season streak with a
winning record at home was tied for the third-longest in NBA history.
The Pacers have reached the postseason nine times in the last 12 seasons (dating back
to 2010-11) and 27 times overall in NBA franchise history.
Indiana has appeared in the playoffs 25 times since the 1989-90 season, which is the
most playoff appearances in the Eastern Conference over that span and second in the NBA behind the San Antonio Spurs.
Since the 1993-94 season, the Pacers have made eight Eastern Conference Finals appearances, which is the most by any team in the East over that span.
Indiana finished with the best road record in the Eastern Conference at 21-15 in 2020-21.
The Pacers finished with their third-best winning percentage (.589) on the road in NBA franchise
The Pacers posted a winning record on the road for the second straight season, the third time
over the last five years and for only the eighth time in NBA franchise history. Indiana posted back-to-back winning seasons on the road for the first time since the 1997-98 and 1998-99 seasons.
The Pacers have never recorded a winning record on the road in three straight seasons in their NBA history.
The Pacers’ roster already features a relatively young core as each of their projected five start- ers are 28 years of age or younger entering Opening Night. However, Indiana’s roster will feature
four rookies to begin the season, including two players selected in the first round who are ex- pected to play key roles.
Indiana drafted in the lottery for the first time since 2015 and selected Oregon’s Chris Duarte with the 13th overall pick in 2021. Duarte led the Pacers in scoring during the preseason and earned the Jerry West Award, awarded to the nation’s top shooting guard in college, after his senior year at Oregon.
Foward Isaiah Jackson was selected 22nd overall and was acquired via a draft-night trade. He led the Southeastern Conference in blocked shots as a freshman last season at Kentucky. At 19-years old, he was the fifth-youngest player in the 2021 Draft.
THE CARLISLE FILE
The Pacers turned to a familiar voice to fill their coaching vacancy following the 2020-21 season as Rick Carlisle was named head coach on June 30.
Carlisle returns for his third tenure in Indiana, including his second as head coach. He guided the Pacers to a 181-147 (.552) record during four seasons from 2003-07. In his first season as Pacers head coach in 2003-04, Carlisle led Indiana to a franchise-record 61 wins, posted the best record in the NBA, won a Central Division title and reached the 2004 Eastern Conference Finals.
He also served as an assistant coach for the Pacers under head coach Larry Bird from 1997-2000. Carlisle helped lead the team to three straight Eastern Conference Finals appearances, including the franchise’s first appearance in the NBA Finals in 2000. Entering the 2021-22 campaign, Carlisle’s 181 wins stands as the fourth-most by a head coach in NBA franchise history. He ranks third among active NBA head coaches in career coaching victories behind San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich and Philadelphia’s Doc Rivers.