As it turns out, our predictions of pre-game Raptors-Pistons drama were for nothing. (Also, there were no predictions.) The Raptors are a business-oriented team now — check in, win, check out — there’s not a lot of ambient chatter about the past. There hasn’t been with Kawhi Leonard, who definitely works to make sure of that, and there hasn’t been with Dwane Casey and Nick Nurse. (Despite some trying, let me tell you.)
Aside from all that, there’s still basketball to be played. The Raptors head into tonight’s game against the Pistons riding a one-game losing streak. It’s not much, but for a team that is currently 12-2, it feels monumental. Add some injury concerns: Norman Powell, C.J. Miles, and now Serge Ibaka, the Raptors are behind the eight ball a tad tonight. Still, 12-2 and all that.
The Pistons meanwhile are coming from a much more humble position. Casey was right to note pre-game that he joined Detroit with two ready-made All-Stars in Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond (unlike when he joined Toronto and his star guards had yet to make the leap). But it hasn’t helped Detroit do anything more than break even — they’re 6-6 now, good for seventh place in a top-heavy conference. Casey has started from the bottom before, but this is more like the muddled middle. It’ll be interesting to see what he can do tonight against his former team in Toronto — and for the rest of the NBA season.
Here’s our full Raptors-Pistons preview for the game from Sully Akbari.
Now, let’s watch.
Where to Watch:
Sportsnet One, 7:30 p.m. ET
Toronto - Kyle Lowry, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Pascal Siakam, Jonas Valanciunas
Detroit - Reggie Jackson, Reggie Bullock, Glenn Robinson III, Blake Griffin, Andre Drummond
Toronto – Norman Powell (OUT – Left shoulder subluxation), C.J. Miles (OUT – Right adductor strain), Serge Ibaka (OUT - Right knee soreness)
Detroit - Luke Kennard (OUT – Right shoulder sprain)