The Raptors return home looking to avenge an early-season heartbreaker against the Pistons and extend their winning streak.

Start time: 7:00 PM ET
Channel: Sportsnet

Probable starting lineups
Toronto: Jose Calderon, DeMar DeRozan, Mickael Pietrus, Ed Davis, Jonas Valanciunas
Detroit: Brandon Knight, Kyle Singler, Tayshaun Prince, Jason Maxiell, Greg Monroe

Injury report
Toronto: Kyle Lowry and Andrea Bargnani remain out
Detroit: Rodney Stuckey is probable

Random Thoughts:

  • The Pistons beat the Raptors in Detroit earlier this season, took two of three against the Raptors last season and have historically dominated Toronto with a 46-19 advantage in the all-time series, but none of that necessarily matters. The Raps are playing their best ball of the season (which I’m aware isn’t saying much), seem to be settling into a groove with three straight wins and Detroit has lost five straight to actually drop below Toronto in the standings.
  • One starts, the other comes off of the bench and neither really plays major minutes, but I really hope we get to see a Jonas Valanciunas vs. Andre Drummond matchup at some point tonight. Regular RaptorBlog readers/listeners know that I wasn’t sold on Drummond heading into the Draft, I wasn’t buying his pre-season or early season performance and I’m still not an official believer, but I have to hand it to the guy, he’s been pretty darn good  for a raw rookie big man in limited minutes.
  • After doing a great job against Jeremy Lin on Sunday and looking somewhat competent defensively against Kyrie Irving on Tuesday, Jose Calderon matches up against another quick young point guard tonight in the form of Brandon Knight. If Calderon can continue to make the opposing lead guard have to work to guard him, it will give Jose a much better chance of slowing said opposing guard down on Toronto’s defensive end.
  • All things considered, the Raptors should win this game at home, and I certainly understand the temptation for fellow fans to look ahead and envision a potential five-game winning streak heading into the Holiday break after Friday’s game against Orlando. But as I’ve been stressing through this little run the Raps are on, these other crappy teams are around or ahead of Toronto in the standings for a reason, and that’s because the Raptors are still a pretty bad team themselves. The way they’re playing right now, I think they are capable of taking care of teams like the Pistons and Magic – especially at home – and putting an even longer run together, but the hole they dug themselves means they should have to prove it to us, not have it be assumed.

Let’s hope they continue that quest to prove it tonight…

Comments (17)

  1. It’s a testament to how godawfful their start was that a five game winning streak would still see them head into the break ten games under .500. They done dug a big hole.

  2. I can’t wait to see how good we look when Bargnani returns.

    • I can wait to see how good we’ll be when Bargnani grows a beard.

      • Interesting.

        I never thought about it that way.

        • Me either… but I’m getting sick of that joke already.
          He’s never really grown a beard from what I could see in a Google image search. Maybe it would make him meaner. Didn’t that happen with Gasol (the older one)?
          Maybe that would make him tradeable.

          I don’t really care.

  3. just looking at the replays and they have one dubbed leaping linas where jose passes off to JV actually lol… funny how the nba doesn’t even know who our players are

  4. I live in the States and can’t watch the game, so am following on espn gamecast. WHAT THE HELL is Casey doing with these rotations? I mean, I just don’t understand it. I see ED on the bench with a damn near double double in less than 30 minutes, and Kleiza in fucking crunchtime? 1/6? Taking long threes? No rebounding either. WHY IS HE IN? Then he takes out JV for AMIR? Why not ED? ED and Amir or Ed and JV. But why Kleiza. Please help us all.

    • I came here to post this same thought. What the sweet fuck is Kleiza in the game for? I have a lot of love for Casey, but he seems to place a lot of weight on the “intangible veteran leadership blah blah blah”, which is complete bullshit. The young guys are getting the job done and they need to be in the game. Free Ed Davis!

      • He’s not going to play the Rosses, the Vals and Davises down the stretch of games. He just won’t do it.

        For a “young” and “developing” team, we’re pretty reliant on veterans. Heck, our best player right now is a 31-year old point guard who has no future with this team.

        • If that’s the case, then it’s simply utterly ridiculous. Davis is a third (fourth?) year player by now. That’s a relative veteran, at least on this team.

          Hey Casey, how about playing the BEST players, to give you the best chance to win the game?

  5. Can someone stop ‘Long-two Linus” From shooting all those threes? He can’t shoot threes why does he keep doing it? Just play the layup and pass to someone else guy.

    • Career wise he is almost 34% from three point land. He’s a streaky guy. For perspective, Mo Pete finished his career firing at 37% for 3 points, so there isn’t that much of a chasm between the two.

      Maybe Long Two Linas just needs to be more selective with when he pulls the trigger.

  6. Linus takes no crap, thats why he’s in there. Tough as nails.

  7. I think it is time to trade Lowry for Collisson or another equal point gaurd. Jose is doing well, advantage of Collisson is he is on his last year so if he doesn’t work out you don’t have to resign him.

  8. Thanks!
    Eli Lake

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