Gameday: Pistons vs Raptors, November 19

A "gotta have it" game against a team that has lost 10 straight.

This Raptors era doesn’t have the luxury of looking at games on the schedule and checking off wins. Every contest is expected to be some sort of grind. However Detroit comes into town on a league worst 10 game losing streak. As a result, the Pistons also have the worst record in the NBA. That skid should climb to 11, right?

Earlier home start than normal because of Grey Cup Sunday.

Pistons scope (2-11, 15th in East | Offensive Rating: 24th | Defensive Rating: 21st)

A bottom-10 team on both sides of the ball is not what Pistons fans were envisioning coming into this season.

Many expected a jump in the standings, signs of growth. Maybe even flirting with the Play-In Tournament under new Head Coach Monty Williams. Instead, Detroit is struggling offensively especially with something Raptors fans know all too well. Spacing.

Cade Cunningham has been surrounded with non shooting threats that don’t give him ideal room to operate. As a result, he’s only shooting 40 percent from the field and 30 from three. Many are puzzled that Jaden Ivey (last season’s 5th overall pick) is coming off the bench in favour of Killian Hayes. Ausar Thompson (this year’s 5th overall) has been a bright spot, being the only rookie to rank top 5 in points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks. Marcus Sasser (25th overall) is another rookie playing well, averaging nine points.

Detroit has young talent. The plan just doesn’t seem to be there yet.

Raptors scope (5-7, 11th in East | Offensive Rating: 27th | Defensive Rating: 8th)

The Raptors are 1-2 on this homestand. This is a great opportunity for Toronto to get back in the win column before a road back-to-back in Orlando and Indiana starting on Tuesday. The Raptors broke their trend of bad starts on Friday vs Boston, but their work was derailed when Pascal Siakam picked up three first quarter fouls and trailed by as many as 16. Still, it was anybody’s game in the final minute.

Gary Trent Jr. committed the defensive gaffe on Derrick White’s go ahead three, but his return helped space the floor. That improves even more with the expected return of O.G. Anunoby today. Some head-to-head matchups from Scottie Barnes and Cade Cunningham (4th and 1st picks in the 2021 draft respectively) would also be fun. Scottie of course won Rookie of the Year, and is making a case to be the best player from that class in his third season.

Game Info

Tip-Off: 4pm EST | TV: TSN 4 | Radio: Sportsnet 590

Pistons Lineup

Lots going on here. Jalen Duren (ankle), Joe Harris (shoulder) and Monte Morris (quad) are all out. Isaiah Livers (ankle) and Killian Hayes (shoulder) are questionable. Bojan Bogdanovic (calf) is close to being re-evaluated. Jared Rhoden and Malcolm Cazalon are with the G-League.

PG: Killian Hayes, Marcus Sasser

SG: Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey

SF: Ausar Thompson, Alec Burks, Stanley Umude

PF: Kevin Knox II, Isaiah Livers

C: Isaiah Stewart, Marvin Bagley III, James Wiseman

Raptors Lineup

O.G. Anunoby (finger) is probable after missing the last three games. Thaddeus Young and Christian Koloko (illness) remain out. There hasn’t been an update on Koloko from what we received when the season began. 2-way players are TBD, they were banged up last night.

PG: Dennis Schroder, Malachi Flynn

SG: Scottie Barnes, Gary Trent Jr, Gradey Dick

SF: O.G. Anunoby, Otto Porter Jr, Jalen McDaniels, Garrett Temple

PF: Pascal Siakam, Chris Boucher

C: Jakob Poeltl, Precious Achiuwa

The Line

Doesn’t happen lately but the Raptors are favoured by nine! Going against an injured team on a 10-game skid will do that. Raptors moneyline is -370. Over/Under is 219.5.