I was out last night, and continuously heard people talking about “the big game tomorrow.” Like, I know that games between these two ever since Dwane Casey won Coach of the Year with the Toronto Raptors, got fired and then signed with the Detroit Pistons, but I didn’t think it was that big of a deal?
Ok, sorry, I’ll stop being corny and I’ll keep this brief so you can enjoy your Super Bowl festivities.
Where to watch:
3:00 PM ET, TSN
Toronto Raptors — Fred VanVleet, Gary Trent Jr., Scottie Barnes, Pascal Siakam, Precious Achiuwa
Detroit Pistons — Jaden Ivey, Killian Hayes, Bojan Bogdanovic, Isaiah Stewart, Jalen Duren
Toronto Raptors — OG Anunoby (Out - Wrist), Otto Porter Jr. (Out - Foot)
Detroit Pistons — Marvin Bagley III (Out - Hand), Cade Cunningham (Out - Tibia), Nerlens Noel (Out - Not with team)
Another reason why I will keep this brief is because last game was such a frustrating disappointing, and games against the Pistons typically line up for the possibility of one as well.
My summary of last game is that the confidence that Masai Ujiri injected into the Raptors at the deadline worked. The defense was flying around, help defense came quicker than usual, the offense was making shots, Pascal Siakam was back to All Star form, and you could see the impact that Jakob Poeltl was making despite a rough game.
Then the last five minutes happened where Walker Kessler, Colin Sexton and Lauri Markkanen got whatever they wanted. By the time the Raptors started playing defense, every bit of confidence and momentum was on that Utah Jazz sideline, and the Raptors blew it.
That is my quick overview, because that is one of those games that I never want to talk about again.
Today, the Raptors get to test if they are truly a playoff caliber team or not. Games like last game happen, and you lose games that you should win. One side of a top tier team is how they respond to those.
Can the Toronto Raptors reverse the curse and beat the Pistons? Have they already reversed the curse by winning one game on them this year?
For those of you who are unaware of the curse, Dwane Casey and the Pistons absolutely have the Raptors’ number. They are 9-4 since Casey jumped across the border to Detroit, including three season sweeps, and a six game winning streak against the Raptors that ended earlier this season.
Pascal Siakam is going to have to continue playing like the All Star he now officially is, and Poeltl is going to have to step up and make an impact, because one thing Detroit does have is size.
Maybe the Pistons will be too busy thinking about their potential, but now seemingly unlikely trade deadline acquisition in James Wiseman? That’s why you don’t pull off large four-team trades folks, because one bad physical puts half the league in jeopardy.
All-in-all there shouldn’t be much to say about this game. Toronto has two games left before the All Star break, and they are against two of the weaker opponents in the East. If they are wanting to fight for the playoffs, they have to beat these easier opponents.