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Raptors vs. Pistons: Cock that Joint Back Round 2

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The Raptors continue their six-game home stand tonight against a surging Detroit Pistons squad.

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Team Records: DET 13-24, TOR 25-11.

Where to Watch: TSN2, TSN 1050 (Radio)

After another slow start against the Celtics on Saturday night, the Raptors finally woke up and realized they were indeed the better team. After playing tighter team defence, forcing more turnovers leading to fast break opportunities and sharing the ball on offence, Toronto rode a big second half to their first win in five games. The addition of James Johnson into the starting lineup certainly elevated the unit's level of play, as he provides a level of scoring and play making Landry Fields simply cannot provide.

A tougher test lies ahead for the Raps tonight as the Pistons roll into town with a new found confidence after Stan Van Gundy decided to pull the plug on Josh Smith, waiving him just before Christmas. The Pistons have played much better basketball following his departure going 8-2 in their last ten featuring wins over the Spurs, Cavs and Mavs. Without Smith congesting the flow of the offence by taking inexcusable threes or clogging up the middle that already was filled by Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond, the Pistons offence has opened up and become more efficient and effective.

The last matchup between these two teams was filled with fireworks. During the blowout fourth quarter in Detroit, Johnson had the dunk of the year leading to this exchange with Drummond:

The best moment of the skirmish had to be Chuck Hayes pointing at Drummond, ready to teach that young blood a lesson.

Hopefully tonight there are no fights, just a couple of joints that are cocked back and banged on the Pistons, courtesy of James Johnson.

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