Matchup: Toronto Raptors vs. Detroit Pistons
Records: Raptors (17-22), Pistons (10-29)
Where to Watch
Date: Wednesday, March 17
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, MI
After dropping five in a row, the Raptors look to get back to their winning ways as they visit the Pistons, who have lost four straight.
At long last, the Raptors appear to be inching closer to full strength. It's no coincidence that in each of their last five losses, the team was without five key players (and three starters), who were all out due to the NBA's health and safety protocols.
MORE: Four Raptors cleared to practice, Anunoby remains out
Upon the team's arrival to Detroit, four of the five - Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, Malachi Flynn and Patrick McCaw - were cleared to participate in practice while OG Anunoby was cleared to ramp up his activity with 1-on-0 skill work.
While Nick Nurse has maintained hope that all five are able to return by the week's end, the league's official injury report indicates that the four that practiced could be back as soon as Wednesday, with Flynn, McCaw and Siakam listed as questionable while VanVleet is listed as doubtful.
The imminent return of the above players is big news for a Raptors team that has struggled to spread the wealth offensively as of late. In its most recent loss to the Chicago Bulls, Toronto scored just 95 points, with Norman Powell (32), Kyle Lowry (20) and Chris Boucher (17) being the only players that finished in double figures. The fourth-leading scorer finished with just six.
In a way, a few players returning to add depth on Wednesday would bring things full circle as Toronto's recent stretch began with a 129-105 loss to Detroit on March 3.
Coincidentally, that 24-point victory was the last time the Pistons earned a win as the team is coming off of a 10-point home loss to the San Antonio Spurs.
While Detroit was also extremely shorthanded the last time these two teams met, it has since welcomed leading scorers Jerami Grant and Josh Jackson back into the lineup, as well as Frank Jackson and former Raptor Delon Wright.
Of course, the familiarity doesn't stop with Wright, as former Raptors lead man Dwane Casey holds a 4-3 record against his former team courtesy of the blowout win two weeks ago. With both teams seemingly closer to full strength, Toronto will look to make the last meeting a distant memory by getting back on track against the owners of the East's worst record.
Raptors vs. Pistons: Betting odds, spread, over/under
Spread: Raptors -3.5 (-110), Pistons +3.5 (-110)
Raptors Money Line: -165
Pistons Money Line: +145
Over/under: 220.5 (-110)
* Odds courtesy of William Hill Sports Book
Per the NBA's official injury report at 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 16
OG Anunoby (health and safety protocols) - Out
Malachi Flynn (health and safety protocols) - Questionable
Patrick McCaw (health and safety protocols) - Questionable
Pascal Siakam (health and safety protocols) - Questionable
Fred VanVleet (health and safety protocols) - Doubtful
Hamidou Diallo (strained right groin) - Out
Wayne Ellington (right adductor strain) - Doubtful
Killian Hayes (strained right hip) - Out
Rodney McGruder (sprained right elbow) - Questionable
Jahlil Okafor (left knee surgery) - Out
Dennis Smith Jr. (health and safety protocols) - Questionable
Last Time They Played
Date: March 3, 2021
Score: Pistons 129, Raptors 105
Pistons: Mason Plumlee - 14 PTS (6-12 FG), 11 REB, 10 AST
Raptors: Norman Powell - 36 PTS (14-20 FG), 5 REB
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