Raptors vs. Pistons - GameDay Preview: How to Tank in the D

Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE

The Toronto Raptors head to the Palace of Auburn Hills to play the Detroit Pistons tonight. Sasha Kalra previews the action from a different perspective

Tonight represents a big opportunity to keep the tank rolling and Adam Francis touched on this earlier in the week. The Pistons check in with a record of 24-45, two wins shy of the 26-win mark currently held by the mighty Toronto Raptors.

Fan opinion is generally split down the middle when talking about the usefulness of tanking. Last year Adam and I brought a camera to the Air Canada Centre and did some pre-game canvassing to figure out what the thoughts of some fans were on the subject of tanking and found a similar reaction.

Regardless of your personal beliefs regarding the effectiveness of tanking, tonight represents an opportunity for the Raptors. Detroit are one of the teams that is currently ‘ahead’ of Toronto in this respect.

Here are three things that need to happen for the Raptors to lose this game:

1) Ball Movement: The Raptors are at their worst when Rudy Gay, DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry are trying to make plays on their own offensively and refusing to pass to their teammates who are in arguably better scoring positions. Ball movement usually leads to better shots and if the Raptors are serious about losing this game than they really need to cut down things like assists and floor spacing.

2) Bench Play: The Raptors tend to win games when their bench plays well. Actually, that could be said for any team in the league. Anyways, it still makes the game much harder to win if the bench doesn’t show up. Guys like Terrence Ross and John Lucas need to have bad shooting nights for the Dinos to tank in the most efficient way possible.

3) Play 48 minutes with a lineup of Sebastian Telfair, Mickael Pietrus, Linas Kleiza, Quincy Acy (activate him) and Aaron Gray: This one seems the most likely to actually happen.

Happy Easter everyone.

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