PreGame Chatter: Pacers vs. Raptors

Grant Afseth

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The Indiana Pacers fell short in their comeback effort against the Toronto Raptors in Sunday's 107-102 loss. In a rare back-to-back series, the Pacers will have a chance to bounce-back against the team that just defeated them. 

Both teams were short-handed when they faced off on Sunday. The Pacers have dealt with not having Caris LeVert and TJ Warren in the lineup due to week-to-week issues. Meanwhile, the Raptors were without Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakam due to day-to-day injuries. 

On Monday, the Raptors will face the Pacers with Lowry back in the lineup but Siakam will remain sidelined.  

Here is what Pacers coach Nate Bjorkgren told reporters before Monday's matchup with the Raptors.

Might Use 10-Man Rotation

During the Pacers' loss to the Raptors on Sunday, Indiana went with an eight-man rotation. That may change during the second matchup with Toronto as Bjorkgren wants to keep the energy level high throughout the flow of the game. 

"You'll see me play more guys. You saw me play a pretty solid eight there last night and our guys did a good job with it. But you'll see me play more guys. I may go at least 10 deep. There are a lot of guys ready to play, itching to get out there. Guys that can produce. 

"Has nothing to do with the previous game or anything like that. Just to keep our energy very, very high out there and I think with more substitutions and shorter stints, and in and out of the game a little bit more, it will benefit us tonight." 

The Pacers have given heavy workloads to key players like Domantas Sabonis and Malcolm Brogdon throughout the early part of the season. Bjorkgren made it clear that using a deeper rotation isn't related to that. 

"I like the minutes right where they are. I think it's important how I manage them when we don't play. How I manage them in practice. How I manage them on off-days -- on anything. 

"Our management of them has been smart, meaning like -- knowing how long to practice, knowing when to practice, and things like that. I like the minutes right where they are on those guys and they've done a good job of being productive during those minutes."

Will Edmond Sumner Play?

One of the players who went from playing a key role for the Pacers to not getting playing time has been Edmond Sumner. That's something that could change when if what occurs during the game calls for it. 

"Maybe. You guys know me. Yeah, I want to play more guys and I will probably play 10. I can't sit here and promise it but that's a goal of mine going into the game. 

"Edmond has proven as a starter, as off the bench, he brings energy. He brings a lot of versatility. I like his speed and his length out there. He gets his hands on the basketball a lot of times with the deflections, so he's a guy I know is ready to go tonight."

Handling The Back-to-Back

The Pacers will be playing on the second night of a back-to-back bu

"I think it's different. I don't know how many back-to-backs we've had but I think there was a back-to-back earlier in the year when I didn't play as many guys. It just depends on the game. 

"Sometimes if a guy hasn't played for two or three games and I think he's ready to go, he'll get the call. I'm just more or less saying this to you guys because I hope our team stays ready and I just want you to know they are whether they play or not."

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