The Pacers beat the Raptors in Toronto last night to complete a season sweep of the struggling Raptors. But one interesting thing of note was the fact that the team with multiple Canadians starting was the team visiting north of the border.
Last night, the Pacers were the first team to feature three Canadian basketball players in the starting lineup of an NBA game. And boy oh boy did they take the chance to show it.
Nembhard looks like he absolutely should have been a lottery pick.
Andrew Nembhard played hard last night and it showed. He ended the night with 25 points, 10 assists, and two rebounds. Not only that, he was the one who ultimately called game, and the shot looked strikingly similar to a shot that he hit earlier in the year to win another game.
Nembhard made sure to hit up friends and family while in Toronto and you could tell he was motivated to show them a good game.
Nembhard has been the steal of the draft so far going in the second round. He was the only second round rookie player to originally be selected for the Rising Stars Challenge this past offseason, and Rick Carlisle has famously said that when history looks at this draft, Nembhard will be one of the best.
Bennedict Mathurin had one of the best blocks you’ll see this season.
Mathurin was also back in his old stomping grounds and took the opportunity to have one of the best blocks I’ve ever seen in the NBA.
Mathurin didn’t have too bad of a night himself scoring 15 points, two rebounds, one steal, and one block. And there were multiple points in the game where he got in dustups with the Raptors playing bringing constant aggression to the floor.
Are you a Canadian desperately looking for a promising NBA team to follow?
Good news, the Pacers have got you covered. There are currently 23 players in the league who were born or raised in Canada, and the Pacers happen to feature three of them. So if you are a Canadian wanting to root for a hometown crowd, you’re more likely to get it with the Pacers than the Raptors (who are likely to teardown there whole roster in the next couple of years).