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
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
Toronto: Kyle Lowry and Andrea Bargnani remain out
Detroit: Rodney Stuckey is probable
- 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…