Dwane Casey has played a pretty good villain for Toronto Basketball this season. As head coach of the Raptors for seven seasons, he ushered in the current winning era with a touch of pride, integrity and class that was absent before him. And with those very same things, he’s helped drive his Pistons to two victories over his old team in two tries this year.
At the start of the season, you could tell the first win meant a hell of a lot to Casey — Blake Griffin spearheaded the post-game celebratory sequence following the last-second victory — and the second win has come during a late-season surge for the Pistons, who suddenly find themselves in the middle of the Eastern playoff bracket.
With both pride and integrity, Casey is making good on his hope to make the playoffs in his first season. In the third game, it’s up to Toronto to remind him which team is better in the grand scheme — especially if the two teams end up meeting each other in the postseason. Right now, Casey has Toronto’s number; things needs to change today.
Fred VanVleet, who has been sidelined since early-February following his thumb surgery, is likely to step into the starting role — leaving Kyle Lowry an opportunity to rest.
Fred VanVleet upgraded to probable, Kyle Lowry doubtful— Blake Murphy (@BlakeMurphyODC) March 17, 2019
Today’s lineup will mark the third straight game that Casey and the Pistons have failed to see Toronto’s full arsenal — a strategy that Nick Nurse has used against most of the Eastern Conference’s playoff teams this season. For the total look at today’s contest, visit Joshua Kern’s preview from this morning.
Onto the details:
Where to Watch
TSN, 4 PM ET
Toronto - Fred VanVleet, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Pascal Siakam, Marc Gasol
Detroit - Reggie Jackson, Wayne Ellington, Bruce Brown, Blake Griffin, Andre Drummond
Toronto - Fred VanVleet (Probable- thumb); Kyle Lowry (Doubtful- ankle); Serge Ibaka (Not with team - suspended)
Detroit - none