The Reggie Miller circus is in town every time the Indiana Pacers play a road game.
But coach Rick Carlisle isn't complaining -- and so far the hoopla hasn't cost the club its concentration as it attempts to wrap up an Eastern Conference playoff spot. The Pacers had won four of their past five road contests heading into last night's game at the ACC against the Raptors, framed by Miller's farewell tour.
"It hasn't been (a distraction), because in the back of our minds, there's a real desire to end this run he has had in the league the right way," Carlisle said before last night. "We're not there yet (in playoffs), but we're close. It's something that has helped to motivate our team."
Carlisle doesn't want to think of life without Miller next season. The veteran has not been able to relax in the stretch, with the team in the playoff hunt and injuries and suspensions requiring him to play almost 32 minutes a game.
"You're losing a real rock," Carlisle said. "But at the same time, I understand Reggie's desire to bow out of this game as one of its most feared players."
Another night, another new Raptors starting lineup.
The Raptors showed off their 12th starting combination of the season last night against the Indiana Pacers.
This one featured Eric Williams at forward and Chris Bosh at centre. It was Williams' first start since Jan. 28 when he was replaced by Jalen Rose. Williams started 16 games in a row after he was acquired by the Raptors in the Vince Carter trade. Bosh was making his first start of the season at centre, though he has spent plenty of time playing that position. The second-year forward often has been asked to guard the biggest player on the other team.
Entering last night, Bosh had recorded a double-double in six of the Raptors' past nine games ... The Raptors complete a stretch of four games in five days tonight in New York against the Knicks ... The Raptors lead the NBA in fewest turnovers per game at 13.2 and rank second in three-point field goal percentage at .386.