The Toronto Raptors haven’t had as much success as one would have liked at home this season — they’re just 2-5 at Scotiabank Arena (and 5-1 on the road).
But all six of those road games have come against Eastern Conference foes, and extended West Coast road trips — like the six-game swing the Raptors are about to embark on — are a different beast.
Which means tonight’s game against the Detroit Pistons, Toronto’s last home game until November 28, takes on more importance than a normal November Raptors-Pistons game otherwise might!
Where to Watch:
TSN, 7:30 PM EST
Toronto – Fred VanVleet, Gary Trent Jr., OG Anunoby, Scottie Barnes, Pascal Siakam
Detroit – Saddiq Bey, Jerami Grant, Isaiah Stewart, Cade Cunningham, Killian Hayes
Toronto – Khem Birch (knee – questionable), Precious Achiuwa (shoulder – questionable), Yuta Watanabe (calf – out)
Detroit – Kelly Olynyk (knee – out)
Not enough CanCon
The Pistons, like the Raptors, boast three Canadians on their roster — but Kelly Olynyk’s recent knee injury is going to prevent us from seeing six Canadians in the same game. Still, with Cory Joseph and Trey Lyles in the rotation, we might well see another five Canadians on the floor at the same time. Another extended look for team Canada coach Nick Nurse!
At some point, probably in the near future, this won’t be as unusual or cool as it is now. But for now? Yeah, my heart still swells with pride and maple syrup.
First overall pick Cade Cunningham has had a slow start to his rookie season, while Scottie Barnes started turning heads right out of the gate. The ankle injury Cunninghame suffered in camp definitely set him back; he’s only played in six games and is averaging just 12/5.5/3, with four turnovers per game, on a dismal 30% FG (23% from three).
Cunningham will get there with time. Overall the year’s rookie class is shaping up to be a strong one, and this is a matchup we can look forward to for years to come — and as Raptors fans, the proximity of Detroit means many of us will have the chance to see it in person, which is even cooler.
As mentioned above, this is the last Raptors home game for a while. And with a foe like the Pistons — just 2-9, coming off a blowout loss just last night to the Cleveland Cavaliers — it can be easy to look ahead to the long trip.
In other words, this one has all the makings of a trap game. And you know Dwane Casey always finds some way to stick it to his old team. So it’s important that the Raptors take their opponent seriously and find a way to win tonight. Going out West on a winning note will make coming home on the 28th that much sweeter.