The Raptors head to Detroit to take on Jose Calderon and the Pistons, one of the few teams in the NBA that has actually played worse than Toronto recently.
Start time: 7:30 PM ET
Channel: Sportsnet One
Probable starting lineups
Toronto: Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Rudy Gay, Amir Johnson, Jonas Valanciunas
Detroit: Jose Calderon, Brandon Knight, Kyle Singler, Andre Drummond, Greg Monroe
Toronto: Andrea Bargnani is out
Detroit: Will Bynum is out
- The obvious storyline coming into this game is that for the first time since the trade, the Raptors will be playing against Jose Calderon (Calderon and the Pistons return to Toronto on Monday night). Jose has been his usual self since moving to Detroit, averaging 11.8 points, 6.7 assists and even adding 1.1 steals per game in 24 games for the Pistons while shooing the lights out (52% from the field, 52% from deep, 91% from the free throw line), but the team is just 6-18 in those games and have lost 14 of their last 16.
- For Pistons fans and NBA observers in general, the real story of this game is the return of prized rookie Andre Drummond, who has missed the last seven weeks with a stress fracture in his back. Not only will Drummond be returning tonight, but he’ll also be making his first career start. How depressing yet typical Raptors would it be if Calderon and Drummond – who was drafted one pick after Terrence Ross – torch Toronto in this game? For the record, I was one of many doubters when it came to Drummond’s game.
- Amir Johnson suffered a left leg contusion against the Hawks on Wednesday night and looked like he was in a heap of pain, but in typical Amir fashion, the big man will still suit up tonight for the Raptors. If anyone on this team deserves a nice, long break at the end of this season, it’s Johnson. Speaking of Amir, how about this tweet from Raptors Director of Analytics Alex Rucker?
The Raptors most effective duo has been Kyle + Amir, outscoring opponents by 157 over 959 minutes on the court together.
— Alex Rucker (@Alex_Rucker) March 29, 2013
- On that note, I really hope that Lowry takes tonight’s matchup against Calderon personally and goes into attack mode, as this team is a lot more fun to watch when Kyle is being Kyle.
- If you’re keeping an eye on the bottom of the standings with the hope of a Raptors draft pick come June, the Pistons currently hold the league’s fifth-worst record and are 2.5 games behind Toronto, who hold the eighth-worst record.