What better way to spend your Friday night than to watch two teams with a combined 5-19 record go at it in Detroit?!

Start time: 7:30 PM ET
Channel: TSN2

Probable starting lineups
Toronto: Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Dominic McGuire, Andrea Bargnani, Jonas Valanciunas
Detroit: Brandon Knight, Kyle Singler, Tayshaun Prince, Jason Maxiell, Greg Monroe

Injury report
Toronto: Landry Fields and Alan Anderson remain out of the lineup.
Detroit: The Pistons aren’t dealing with any injuries right now.

Random Thoughts:

  • The Pistons have been a confusing 2-10 team so far this season, losing to Sacramento, losing twice to Houston and twice to Orlando, with their two wins coming against the Celtics and 76ers. In other words, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Raptors blew Detroit out of the water tonight to pick up a fourth win, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the better version of the Pistons show up and send the Raptors to a depressing 10th loss.
  • Anyone who read RaptorBlog leading up the Draft or even leading up to the season will know that I was never fond of Andre Drummond, as the way I saw it (and still see it), a guy with a reputation for an inconsistent effort and lack of focus isn’t suddenly going to develop those mental aspects at the NBA level. While I still believe Drummond will frustrate the Pistons down the road, I can’t take anything away from the start he’s gotten off to. The big man has been one of the most surprising rookies thus far, averaging over six points, four rebounds and a block per game in less than 16 minutes per night. He also boasts an impressive PER of 22.3 and hasn’t gotten into the foul trouble many believed he would. I’m nowhere near ready to be a believer just yet, but the initial results from Drummond have been good.
  • While Drummond provides some hope for the future and Greg Monroe provides some optimism in the present, the rest of this Pistons roster has been a disappointment, especially Brandon Knight, who’s averaging just 10.6 points on a nasty 37 per cent shooting to go along with 6.4 assists and a well below average PER of 10.41. Add Knight’s disappointing play to a 2-10 record and a confusing cast of veterans without a purpose, and you can see why Detroit is near the bottom of league attendance with an average of just 13,309 fans.
  • As we’re all well aware, the Raptors have been barely better than the Pistons so far this season, and there’s no doubt the Pistons are looking at Toronto as a winnable game the same way the Raptors are looking at Detroit. On our latest episode of RaptorBlog Radio, I mentioned that while I hoped for a 2-2 or even 3-1 week, a 1-3 record this week was the likely scenario. Given that a matchup with the Spurs on Sunday should be an obvious loss, a win tonight would make this week a pretty predictable one, yet an all too depressing one at that.
  • If there’s a positive to look for though, it’s the recent play of rookies Jonas Valanciunas and Terrence Ross (as well as the overall play of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan), and by the sounds of it, fans will get what they’ve been asking for, as the rooks seem poised for an increase in minutes. I’m guessing I’m not the only one intrigued by a potential Valanciunas/Drummond matchup tonight.
  • The Pistons took two of three in this series last season, including both games in Detroit.
  • After this game, the Raptors’ upcoming schedule includes a game against the Spurs, games at Houston and Memphis and the always crushing five-game Western road trip, with only tonight’s game in Detroit and a home date versus the Suns as truly “winnable” contests in a 10-game stretch. If the Raps can’t take care of the Pistons, they could very well find themselves with something along the lines of a 4-18 record by the middle of December. Perhaps a road win could be enough to boost this team to a couple of unexpected victories in that stretch?
  • Lastly, there won’t be a ‘Thoughts On the Game” post tonight, as we’ll all be out toasting “The BlogFather.” We’ll catch up again some time this weekend.

Until then…

Comments (18)

  1. Yeah I’m surprised you managed to stop yourself from calling Calderon’s defense inept and write an entire paragraph on how you expect Brandon Knight to torch him all night

    • It’s fans like you that let MLSE be content with mediocrity. Instead of calling players like Calderon out for poor defence you defend them players and get mad at bloggers for having the stones to call them out. And then even when they dont call your favourite player out, you still gripe about how they usually call them out.

  2. Why no ‘Thoughts On The Game’ tonight? Just drunkenly spit one out on your smartphone from the bar.

    • I second this. If the Raps blow this game, you won’t want to face writing about it over the weekend, you’ll want to get it out of the way in a burst of drunken vitriol with others spurring you on.

  3. You said it, Joseph, wasting a Friday night on this game is not ideal but with Val continuing to earn more playing time along with the potential Drummond/Val match-up, this game is a lot more interesting than it probably should be.

  4. Small sample size, but it looks like Scott’s presence at this blog was holding Bargnani back.

    • There’s no such thing as a small simple size when it comes to Bargnani playing well. Conversely, there is no such thing as a sample size large enough when it comes to him struggling.

  5. ummm, battle of which team can hold the lead for the shortest amount of time….

  6. Well, this is shaping up to be another soul crusher. Level of confidence in a win: very, very low.

    • There it is, that’s the feeling.

      • Since I started getting League Pass a few seasons ago, I can only watch this team intermittently. Watch Spurs-Heat (or similar), then flip back to Raptors vs Eastern Confrence Dregs X. It’s horrible. It’s like they aren’t even in the same league.

        Raptors-Pistons on a Fri night? Forget it.

      • What makes these losses even more difficult to deal with is that they likely won’t lead to any impactful organizational changes.

        • This is like the second last year of the Ricciardi era with the Jays. It won’t get better with this management, but they’re still around for a while, and even when the new GM, inevitably, comes in (and good luck at them being as competent as AA), it’s 2-3 years before they can turn the team around. Go (2015-16) Raps go!

  7. I refuse to watch the raptors anymore, at least for the rest of the season, just way to frustrating to watch I am officially checking out for the rest of the season. Cant wait for baseball to start.

  8. The Raptors are quickly replacing the Cleveland Browns in my books for teams that I can’t watch, but still do anyways, in a masochistic kind of way. I tune into the Browns every Sunday just to watch them grab defeat from the jaws of victory. Every Sunday it’s the same routine of blowing a late lead and finishing the day with another embarrassing loss, making me question why I put up with all this bullshit. The Raptors do the same thing, only it’s several times a week! This is hell. Toronto, or perhaps more specifically the ACC, is a factory of sadness.

  9. I’m a fan and will support the team no matter what, but this truly is painful to observe. Only thing we can hope is that we get a high draft pick (oh wait, didn’t we give that away?!). BC is fucking terrible.

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