Matchup: Toronto Raptors vs. Detroit Pistons
Records: Raptors (17-17), Pistons (9-25)
Where to Watch
Date: Wednesday, March 3
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: Amalie Arena, Tampa, FL
The Toronto Raptors are slated to get back to action on Wednesday night as they host the Detroit Pistons at Amalie Arena.
It's been over a year since these two last met and on the Pistons side, plenty has changed since. Former Raptors head coach Dwane Casey remains at the helm but the roster has undergone an upheaval to where no players that saw the floor in the last meeting on Jan. 31, 2020 remain on the roster.
This has been a transitional year for a Detroit team that enters with the East's worst record at 9-25 after dropping each of its last three games. Don't sleep on the Pistons, though, as seven of their nine wins have come against the Boston Celtics (twice), Phoenix Suns, Miami Heat, Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets.
Leading the way for this Pistons team is offseason free-agent acquisition Jerami Grant, who has emerged as the frontrunner for the league's Most Improved Player award by posting a career-best average of 23.4 points per game up to this point in the season. Listed as doubtful, Grant has shown the ability to fill it up at a high rate this season.
Career-high 4⃣3⃣ for @JeramiGrant ! #DetroitUp pic.twitter.com/GP9m56j7ye- NBA (@NBA) February 18, 2021
With Blake Griffin, Killian Hayes and Delon Wright out, Detroit will lean on a young group that consists of 2017 top 10 picks Josh Jackson and Dennis Smith Jr. as well as rookies Saben Lee and Saddiq Bey, the latter of whom was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week earlier this season.
As with most young teams, the Pistons have had their fair share of struggles on the road, where they've posted a 3-15 record this season. With a poor road team coming to town, the Raptors will look to take advantage to get back above .500 for the second time this season.
It's been quite the week for Toronto, which earned a win over the Houston Rockets on Friday before seeing its next two games get postponed due to the league's health and safety protocols. Among postponed games was this meeting with Detroit, which was initially scheduled for Tuesday, March 2 .
TAKEAWAYS: Lowry leads Raptors past Rockets
After a four-day layoff, the Raptors look to build upon the momentum in their win on Friday, a game that six-time All-Star Kyle Lowry credited the team with showing a great amount of professionalism by finding a way to win despite being without six coaches, including head coach Nick Nurse.
The team was also without starting forward Pascal Siakam, who is also in the league's health and safety protocols and, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski , will be out until after the All-Star break. Chris Boucher started in Siakam's absence.
In this one, Toronto will be without Siakam as well as OG Anunoby, Malachi Flynn, Patrick McCaw and Fred VanVleet due to the league's health and safety protocols. In response, the team has called up Jalen Harris and Donta Hall from the G League's Raptors 905.
With assistant coach Sergio Scariolo at the helm on Friday, Lowry recorded a historic 20-point triple-double while Norman Powell continued his streak of impressive play with 30 points (on 10-for-15 shooting) as the Raptors moved to 17-17.
Kyle Lowry notched his 18th career TRIPLE-DOUBLE (21 PTS, 11 REB, 10 AST) in the @Raptors victory over Houston! #WeTheNorth pic.twitter.com/wnGeUfqhLr- NBA Canada (@NBACanada) February 27, 2021
After a 2-8 start to the season, Toronto has been above .500 for roughly 48 hours this year. Wednesday night marks an opportunity to get back above the break-even mark as a meeting with the Boston Celtics stands between the Raptors and a much-deserved break for the 2021 All-Star Game.
Raptors vs. Pistons: Betting odds, spread, over/under
Spread: Raptors -7.5 (-110), Pistons +7.5 (-110)
Raptors Money Line: -330
Pistons Money Line: +270
Over/under: 211.5 (-110)
* Odds courtesy of William Hill Sports Book
Per the NBA's official injury report at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 3
OG Anunoby (health and safety protocols) - Out
Malachi Flynn (health and safety protocols) - Out
Patrick McCaw (health and safety protocols) - Out
Pascal Siakam (health and safety protocols) - Out
Fred VanVleet (health and safety protocols) - Out
Jerami Grant (left quadriceps contusion) - Doubtful
Blake Griffin (not with team) - Out
Killian Hayes (right hip strain) - Out
Frank Jackson (illness) - Out
Josh Jackson (illness) - Out
Jahlil Okafor (left knee surgery) - Out
Delon Wright (strained right adductor) - Out
Last Time They Played
Date: Jan. 31, 2020
Score: Raptors 105, Pistons 92
Raptors: Pascal Siakam - 30 PTS, 7 REB, 4 AST
Pistons: Andre Drummond - 20 PTS, 20 REB, 1 STL, 1 STL
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