Let’s be clear about one thing: I did not watch this basketball game.
The hangover from watching the Toronto Blue Jays get eliminated from the ALCS a few minutes before tip was bad enough, but the game wasn’t actually on television. Anywhere.
Most people would just jump on an illegal stream in this instance, but I have a lifelong streak of never illegally downloading or streaming anything that I would like to uphold, thank you very much. Damn my finely tuned moral compass, I guess.
So, there you have it. It’s important that you know upfront that this recap is being pieced together from tweets and a box score. But hey, it’s like the billionth game of the preseason and we’re all just biding our time until the regular season starts.
Anyways, here’s what happened, complete with all the hard-hitting analysis you can expect from someone who didn’t watch the game:
Starters tonight in Detroit: Lowry, DeRozan, Carroll, Siakam and Valanciunas. Ross, Sullinger and Wright are out. #rtz— RaptorsMR (@RaptorsMR) October 19, 2016
Pascal Siakam got the start in place of the injured Jared Sullinger. Wondering what’s going on with Sully and Terrence Ross when it comes to the regular season opener? There’s this:
No T Ross or sullinger tonight, Dwane Casey says. Ross likely won't go until reg season, sullinger possibly vs Wiz but not a priority #rtz— Chris O'Leary (@olearychris) October 19, 2016
A few notes from the game:
Siakam coming alive, starting in place of Sullinger. Got a freebie dunk off a bad Pistons pass, just finished a tough and 1.— Chris O'Leary (@olearychris) October 19, 2016
I’ll bet that looked cool.
Lowry and Carroll look really good. Siakam and Bebe as well. DeMar looks like a guy that sat for past two games. Should play Friday too.— Ryan Wolstat (@WolstatSun) October 20, 2016
All positive stuff, really.
Want a 15th man update?
Early minutes for 15th-man candidate Drew Crawford, too, with Ross out. He leads the team in preseason minutes.— Blake Murphy (@BlakeMurphyODC) October 20, 2016
How about a halftime report from the incomparable Holly MacKenzie?
Raps up 61-46 on Pistons at half. DeMar and Kyle each w/ 20. Toronto 7-12 from deep (including 4-5 from KL), compared to 1-13 for Detroit.— Holly MacKenzie (@stackmack) October 20, 2016
Oh, I just found the highlight of the game! Lucas “Bebe” Nogueira bodying up to Boban Marjanovic:
Before the debate hate begins, watch this. pic.twitter.com/H9sKooQjR5— Chris O'Leary (@olearychris) October 20, 2016
This was apparently a pretty physical game, with Andre Drummond tossing his weight around, Kyle Lowry hitting the floor a couple times, and Bebe setting some pretty crushing picks. Thankfully, no one got hurt. At least Twitter never told me if they did.
In the second half — as most of Twitter ignored this game even harder to watch the US presidential debate — Casey eventually sat Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, and DeMarre Carroll (all with minutes in the mid-20’s) and let the bench ride things out. The Pistons cut it to single digits late after going down big in the first half, but the Raps eventually pulled out the 103-92 victory.
This game had something resembling a normal rotation, with all the starters playing 20-plus minutes, and Patrick Patterson (20), Bebe (18), Norman Powell (18), Fred VanVleet (15), Drew Crawford (9), and Jakob Poeltl (5) slotting in behind them. Bebe looks like the backup centre to beat, Siakam seems to have carved out a role for himself, and Poeltl might be in for some 905 seasoning. VanVleet and Crawford are still kicking.
Lowry and DeRozan led the Raptors in scoring with 27 and 26 points respectively (on a combined 18-for-35 shooting with Lowry hitting five triples), while Jonas Valanciunas added 12 rebounds and Cory Joseph paced the team with four assists. Preseason!
On the other side of the ledger, Andre Drummond dropped 16 points and 13 boards, while some other Pistons did some other stuff.
And that’s it. Hope you enjoyed not watching this game as much as I did!
Update: Turns out the game was streamed for free on Pistons.com. Son of a...
Can the regular season start already?