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Game thread: Toronto Raptors vs. Detroit Pistons

The Raptors look to overcome their toughest hurdle of the season in Dwayne Casey’s personal ire.

Toronto Raptors v Detroit Pistons
The battle of the rooks!
Photo by Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images

There are few things sweeter in life than seeing your foes vanquished. All right, that might be a little bit strong, but how great did it feel to see the Goran Dragic-lead Brooklyn Nets lose twice in a row to the Toronto Raptors? Pretty, great, right? Well Toronto fans, savour that moment, because the Dwayne Casey Championship Revenge Tour is storming into the Big Bank arena with that exact same energy. That’s right, the (apparently!) unbeatable Detroit Pistons are in town!

Let’s get right to it, nobody is more geeked-up to take on the Raptors than Dwayne Casey, but another angle to lock-in on in tonight’s game is the battle of the rookies. Cade Cunningham has been turning it up after a lackluster start to the season and Scottie Barnes is humming along after hitting multiple rookie walls after playing a ten-thousand minutes in 30 games. Moreover, Barnes has looked exceptional in Fred VanVleet’s absence.

In terms of updates, we have many, and they’re... well, they’re not great. Fred VanVleet is out tonight, resting his sore knee, and Thad Young joins him on the sidelines with a non-COVID illness (perhaps he picked up what Pascal Siakam had last week).

As for OG Anunoby, thankfully, OG doesn’t need any surgery on his injured finger, but he will rest for two weeks, then he re-evaluated:

In terms of good news — hey, Scottie Barnes is your Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for February!

Back to tonight’s game. Can the Raptors break the Casey Curse? Will we continue to see the emergence of confident and executing Malachi Flynn? Will Svi Mykhailiuk’s G-League stint help him rediscover his game? And how many times will Gary Trent Jr. smile ear to ear on a jumper? Keep a lookout and holler at us in the thread!

Where to Watch:

TSN1/3/4, 7:30 PM EST

Lineups:

Toronto – Malachi Flynn, Gary Trent Jr., Scottie Barnes, Pascal Siakam, Khem Birch

Detroit – Cory Joseph, Cade Cunningham, Saddiq Bey, Jerami Grant, Isaiah Stewart

Injuries:

Toronto – Fred VanVleet (knee – out), OG Anunoby (finger – out), D.J. Wilson (knee – OUT), Thad Young (non-COVID illness – out)

Detroit – Marvin Bagley (ankle – out), Frank Jackson (back – out)