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- Darren Collison will miss tonight’s game with a strained groin sustained in Saturday’s loss to Boston. George Hill will pick up his first start of the season at point guard, withA.J. Price moving into the backup role.
- Andrea Bargnani will miss tonight’s game, and possibly the remainder of the season, after re-injuring his left calf. Bargnani missed 26 games from late January to early March with a strained left calf. He sustained the injury in the first half of the Raptors loss in Oklahoma City Sunday.
- “It’s unfortunate but that injury bug has been bad for him this year,” Raptors Coach Dwane Casey said. “He’s missed 20-plus games, now if he misses the rest of the season nine more so that’s almost half the season. That’s not good for our team and the development of our team and also Andrea because he did a great job setting the tone for us, offensively and defensively.”
- Amir Johnson will start at power forward in Bargnani’s absence, and guards DeMar DeRozan and Jose Calderon will be asked to carry a heavier offensive load. “Somebody’s got to pick up the slack,” Casey said. “They’re not going to cancel the schedule. We’ve got to strap up our boots, go to work and somebody’s got to pick up the slack.”
- Casey said he hated to lose Leandro Barbosa in the deadline deal that sent the veteran shooting guard to Indiana for a 2012 second-round pick and cash, but the Raptors needed to move his $7.6 million salary in order to clear cap space. “He’s one of the most beautiful people that you’ll ever want to be around,” Casey said. “He was kind of the spirit of our team and we’ve got to replace that. We’ve got to get it out of some of the people we have because Leandro is a beautiful young man and Indiana is a lucky organization to have him, not only on the court, but off the court.”
- The Pacers did not have a morning shootaround as Coach Frank Vogel opted to give the players extra opportunity for rest after completing a stretch of 12 games in 17 days with a loss to Boston on Saturday. “To give them two days in a row to sleep in and get caught up, not so much physically but mentally, just trying to catch your breath,” Vogel said. “We want to rest their bodies and sharpen their minds.”
– Conrad Brunner