The Raptors really just need to beat the Pistons. We can talk and write about what could happen in the future or what Toronto’s chances are in the playoffs and all of that. But if the Raptors don’t come out and put the boots to the worst team in the conference, there’s not a ton more to say. Say what else you will, the Raptors of 2019-20 took care of business against the worst squads in the league — and this year, it’s been anything but.
The Pistons, meanwhile, went through a bizarre off-season by hoarding seemingly every available centre before settling into what they’ve become now. We knew once they traded Andre Drummond and cut Blake Griffin loose that they’d sink to the bottom of the league, but now the question is: what players do they have of note? It seems like some part of Hamidou Diallo, having played one game for Detroit, is worth keeping around; and Saddiq Bey has shown flashes in his rookie season. Then there’s Jerami Grant doing what he can while leading the team in scoring — he should be good to go tonight. And as much as it pains me to say this: don’t sleep on Mason Plumlee, who really is a difference-maker, so far as that goes, for Detroit.
The Raptors are shorthanded tonight, down Paul Watson, who had been playing better recently, and DeAndre’ Bembry, who had been playing less as of late. What that could mean against some of Detroit’s bigger players remains to be seen. Fortunately, as per Matt Devlin, the Raptors will have Kyle Lowry on the floor tonight, a welcome bit of news.
Here are the updated game details — and, hah, the preview from earlier this evening. Now, let’s watch.
Where to Watch
Sportsnet at 8pm
Toronto — Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, Gary Trent Jr., OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam
Detroit — Cory Joseph, Hamidou Diallo, Saddiq Bey, Jerami Grant, Mason Plumlee
Toronto — DeAndre’ Bembry (out - health and safety protocols), Paul Watson (out - health and safety protocols), Jalen Harris (out - hip pointer), Patrick McCaw (out - knee)
Detroit — Jerami Grant (probable - quad), Sekou Doumbouya (questionable - migraine), Rodney McGruder (doubtful - elbow sprain), Jahlil Okafor (out - knee), Dennis Smith Jr. (out - back), Killian Hayes (out - hip strain)