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miaowang123 Sep 2
INDIANAPOLIS - There are a few common denominators between the Indiana Pacers and the reigning champion Miami Heat, with the number of similarities growing each day. Nike Air Huarache Sale Canada . Both teams were conference finalists a year ago, both clubs have an unmistakable identity that defines them, both play unselfish, defence-first basketball and in the last four days, both have reminded the Raptors how far they are from competing at their level. For Toronto, Fridays meeting with the still undefeated Pacers came to an unofficial end before most of the home teams fans could make it back to their seats. As good as the Raptors looked in the first half and as hard as they worked to look that good, Indiana reclaimed what was, as they knew it, rightfully theirs in less than three revealing minutes. "We knew they were going to come out and throw their best haymaker at us," Dwane Casey said, his team leading by as many as 12 in the first half and holding on to a two-point advantage at the break. Everyone knew they would, because thats what great teams do. Indiana opened the second half scoring 10 straight points, forcing three turnovers and holding Toronto to 0-of-4 shooting. Just like that, Torontos 24 minutes of (mostly) hard work was more than erased and the game was over. You could see it on the faces of players sitting on both benches as Casey was forced to call a quick third-quarter timeout to regroup. The Pacers had been in this position before, more than you would guess though six games this season. There was no panic, there was no time for sulking. They knew they had it. The Raptors body language spoke louder than words. They knew it was only a matter of time now. "[There are] no moral victories in this one," Kyle Lowry stated and Rudy Gay echoed minutes later. "We lost." The Pacers matched a franchise record - previously set in 1970-71 as an ABA team - winning six straight to begin a season. They havent allowed a team to score more than 91 points or shoot over 40 per cent. They havent scored 100 points, but they havent needed to. "I dont know if the history of [it] is as [important] as the fact that we have to lead on our goal," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said before the game. "And our goal is the number one seed. Were off to a good start and we all understand the importance of each game when our goal is so high." Theyve trailed at halftime in five of their six games, but it hasnt mattered. When youre a team as good as the Pacers, you can afford to bide your time. The Raptors learned that from the Heat on Monday when the defending champs started Torontos losing streak. The Pacers sent them home with that same effortless spanking, extending the Raptors skid to three and reminding them why Wednesdays disappointing loss to the Bobcats was so disappointing. They need to take advantage of winnable games because in this league, if youre a middling team, theyre few and far between. "There are no moral victories," Gay repeated. "We want to get this next one, thats it. We have to get this next one. The more we put ourselves in a hole, the more important the next game is and the next game is pretty important for us." The Raptors host the winless Utah Jazz in the second night of a back-to-back on Saturday. Its not a game they can afford to lose. George vs. Gay The match-up at small forward was a fun one in Indiana Friday night. Gay and the Pacers rising superstar Paul George combined for 53 points, 30 per cent of the total offence in the game. Gay - who came into the game struggling, shooting just 34 per cent - was red-hot out of the gate. The Raptors leading scorer looked like the player of old, scoring 14 of his teams 32 first-quarter points on 5-of-7 shooting from the field. He would go on to shoot just 3-of-13 in the second half, finishing the evening with an even 30 points but needing 26 shots to get there. "You can talk about Paul George, but I thought Rudy outplayed him," Casey said. "They won the game, but talking about individual matchups, Rudy played the game hes supposed to play." George was outscored by his counterpart, pouring in 23 on the night, but hardly outplayed with 17 of his points coming in the third quarter when his team needed him the most and the game was ultimately decided. The Pacers all-star forward, who came into the game fifth in scoring, has had at least 21 points in each of his teams six contests. A gifted two-way player, hes every bit the superstar he was paid to be this summer. As George stepped to the line with 11 seconds remaining, he was greeted by a chorus of MVP chants. Although anointing an MVP six games into the season is as silly as it sounds, hes playing at that level and thats the direction the 23-year-old is headed. Hes that good. Learning from the best The Raptors coaching staff, like most teams with young and impressionable big men, have been using the Pacers Roy Hibbert as a model for the 21-year-old Valanciunas. Offensively, the Raptors sophomore centre continues to make strides but, as head coach Casey reminds us, he still has a ways to go on the defensive end. The team hopes he will one day become the anchor that Indianas all-star big man has grown into on both ends of the floor. "He does such a good job of getting deep post position," Casey said of Hibbert, who scored 20 points on 9-of-14 shooting. "Where he got JV last year was reposting, kicking it out and reposting up so on that second one, if you relax at all, all you can do is pray." One technique Torontos staff continues to preach with Valanciunas is something Hibbert has perfected in his sixth NBA season. To stay out of foul trouble and contest shots in the lane, the Raptors want Valanciunas to go straight up, remaining vertical without bringing his arms down in the process. "We give him the respect of calling it the Hibbert play," Casey said of the technique. "Hes one of the best in the league at doing that and thats where JV is getting much better." "Im trying to be like him with that skill," Valanciunas noted. But its not something Hibbert - the leagues early-season shot block leader - picked up overnight, one of the reasons Casey preaches patience with the development of his young centre. "It takes a lot of time," Pacers coach Frank Vogel acknowledged. "Its one of the things I think most of the big men in the NBA are working to achieve now. I think thats the way that Roy has set the model for how its done." Friday was one of those nights that Casey calls a "learning experience" for Valanciunas. One of his roughest of the young season, Valanciunas scored just four points in 24 minutes, committing five fouls and two turnovers. He was out-muscled by Hibbert, beat off the dribble by quicker players, exposed on switches and missed defensive assignments. The Pacers star big man is a good example of what Valanciunas can grow into but he also serves as a reminder that it takes time. Air Force 1 LV8 Canada .K. Subban has picked the right time of the year to go on an offensive tear. Air Force 1 Low Canada . Then Klay Thompson put his foot on the gas. Thompson scored 19 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter and Harrison Barnes scored 14 points in his season debut to help the Golden State Warriors to a 106-93 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night.Jorg Zander will re-join Sauber as the teams technical director at the start of 2017. Zander was the Switzerland-based teams chief designer between 2006 and 2007 and is returning after a stint as technical director for Audi.This is a very important step for the implementation of our strategic goals, in order to guide the team into a new and successful era, said team boss Monisha Kaltenborn. We are convinced we will make progress with him. The 52-year-old German commented: The new Formula 1 regulations offer a great opportunity to point the way with innovations and technical creativity. One of my tasks will be to define a stable and efficient technical organisation that evolves the potential of creativity and, therefoore, the basis for the development of successful Formula 1 cars. Nike Shox Canada Cheap. Initially we obviously want to improve and establish ourselves as a team in the midfield. Overall it is a challenge which I await with excitement and enthusiasm.With just two races of the 2016 campaign remaining, Sauber are still yet to score a point this term and are currently last in the Constructors Championship.Can Nico Rosberg clinch the title at Interlagos? Watch the Brazilian GP live on Sky Sports F1 on Sunday, the race begins at 4pm; Watch the whole race weekend with a NOW TV week pass - £10.99, no contract Also See: F1 gossip column Every 2016 race live ' ' '