The 39-18 Toronto Raptors are back in action tonight as they visit the Palace of Auburn Hills to take on the middle-of-the-pack Detroit Pistons.
The Pistons enter this game coming off comfortable wins against Milwaukee and Philadelphia. Toronto, for them, represents the second night of a back-to-back. As for the Raptors, they come into this game on a high note as Kyle Lowry made a clutch last-second game winning shot to dethrone the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Air Canada Centre Friday night.
Here are a few keys to watch out for:
New Pistons marksman, Tobias Harris
Spending four years of his career with the Magic, Tobias was probably the biggest name during the trade deadline, being shipped to the Detroit Pistons. The still young and enigmatic Harris was a key reason Detroit won by a comfortable 102-91 final. In five games with the Pistons, Tobias has averaged 17.6 points and 5.2 rebounds. Watch for him to stretch defences -- particularly poor Luis Scola -- with his outside shooting.
Big Game Let Down
After the Cavaliers game, coach Dwane Casey was quick to say that the Raptors can't get too up and full of themselves after the victory. He joked that if Toronto turns around with a lacklustre effort tonight against the Pistons, all of the good feelings of Friday night would be lost. (And the media, he said, would have their stories ready to write on a Raptors' collapse.)
It's worth keeping an eye on how the Raptors respond tonight. The team was forced to battle from behind for most of the Cavaliers game and Lowry in particular spent a lot of time on the court single-handedly breaking down the best team in the conference. Obviously, the Raptors want to keep those good feelings going, but after such an emotional high, we'll have to see if they can. Will they have the right energy?
The Deep Bench
The Raptors reserve unit has been a big reason why the Dinos having been playing well as of late. Patrick Patterson, Cory Joseph, Bismack Biyombo, and Terrence Ross, have carried some of the workload on both ends.
Biyombo leads the team with 88 blocks, clearly anchoring the defense, while Joseph has been averaging nine points a game, becoming the leading bench scorer 27 times this season. Patterson and Ross, at times, take the role of guarding the opposition's best player, and at others times becoming a major three-point threat in the game.
As per usual, the Raptors will not have DeMarre Carroll tonight. But the Pistons are also a little thinner, having traded Brandon Jennings to Orlando in exchange for Harris. As well, Anthony Tolliver (two to four weeks) and Stanley Johnson (day-to-day) aren't expected to play, as they both sit out with injuries.
Where to watch: Sportsnet One