Jose Calderon makes his return to Toronto tonight in a game that is otherwise a fart in the wind of the NBA schedule.
Start time: 7:00 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, Greg Monroe, Andre Drummond
Toronto: Landry Fields and Andrea Bargnani are out
Detroit: Jason Maxiell and Will Bynum are doubtful
- There’s no question about the kind of reception Jose Calderon is going to receive tonight – a standing ovation. Calderon returns to Toronto as the franchise’s all-time leader in assists, he’s second in games played, fifth in points scored, sixth in PER and is the only Raptor to enter an eighth season with the club. Calderon may have been frustrating to watch defensively and he may not have ever led the team to any kind of serious success, but he was a solid player for the Raptors for the better part of a decade and was about as classy as a professional athlete can get. He deserves the love he’s going to be shown tonight.
- With both teams clearly playing out the string, there aren’t many things to watch for in this game outside of Calderon’s return, but the matchup of rookie big men between Jonas Valanciunas and Andre Drummond should provide some entertainment. Valanciunas has averaged 13.3 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in about 29 minutes per game over his last 12 games while shooting an incredible 67.7 per cent. Drummond has a rookie-leading PER of 22.66 and has looked like the real deal (aside from free throw shooting) in his first NBA season.
- The Raptors can and likely will be officially eliminated from post-season contention tonight, as a Raptors loss or Bucks win (Milwaukee hosts Charlotte) will do it. On the flip side (the tank for a top-three pick side), the Raps currently hold the league’s ninth-worst record and are only a half-game ahead of the seventh-worst Timberwolves.