Matchup: Toronto Raptors vs. Detroit Pistons
Records: Raptors (18-8), Pistons (11-16)
Where to Watch
Date: Dec. 18, 2019
Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
TV: TSN (Canada), Fox Sports Detroit or NBA League Pass (USA)
Location: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, MI
Toronto and Detroit meet for the second of four times Wednesday night, as the Raptors visit Little Caesars Arena as part of a quick one-game road trip.
The Raptors, who earned a victory over the Pistons earlier in the season, enter Detroit on a two-game win streak and look to continue to build momentum after going through a mini-slump in which they lost four out of five games.
Working in Toronto's favour is its success over teams with losing records this season; the Raptors (14-0) are one of just three teams in the NBA - the others being the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers - that have yet to lose to a team with a record below .500. Wednesday night is the second of three-straight against teams below .500 as the Raptors are coming off of a decisive win over a struggling Cleveland Cavaliers team on Monday and return home to face the Washington Wizards on Friday.
MORE: Takeaways from Raps 133-113 win over Cavs
In Toronto's most recent win, Pascal Siakam led the way with an efficient 33 points (on 13-for-24 shooting) while Kyle Lowry recorded his second double-double of the season with 20 points and 11 assists. Starting in place of the injured Fred VanVleet, Norman Powell again stepped up, finishing with 26 points (on 11-for-15 shooting), six rebounds, five assists and four steals.
Powell, who will likely start again with VanVleet listed as doubtful, has played so well in a starting role that it has caused head coach Nick Nurse to consider whether or not he should make permanent changes to the starting lineup.
MORE: Should Powell continue to start once VanVleet returns?
While the Raptors will likely be without their starting guard for the fourth straight game, the Pistons' frontcourt duo of Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond is listed as questionable after missing the team's most recent game, a 14-point loss to the Wizards.
Starting in place of the duo was Markieff Morris (22 points, five rebounds) and Thon Maker (four points, four rebounds). Morris's 22 points tied a season-high and matched Derrick Rose's game-high total in the loss.
Working against Detroit's favour was its 3-point shooting (13-for-39) that fell short of the team's season average of 38.5%, as well as its team defence, as it allowed the Wizards to shoot 55.7% from the field and 52.9% from deep in the game.
The Pistons enter Wednesday night's meeting ranking 19th in the league in opponent field goal percentage (46.8%) and 15th in opponent 3-point field goal percentage (36.3%). Toronto ranks sixth and seventh in the aforementioned categories, respectively.
Can Toronto use these differences to its advantage? Much will depend on the strength of the Pistons roster as well as Powell's ability to continue to step up in the likely absence of guard VanVleet.
See how it all unfolds Wednesday night at 7 p.m.
Stanley Johnson (groin) - Out
Matt Thomas (finger) - Out
Fred VanVleet (knee) - Doubtful
Andre Drummond (eye) - Questionable
Blake Griffin (knee) - Questionable
Reggie Jackson (back) - Out
Khyri Thomas (foot) - Out
- Toronto has won seven of the last 10 against Detroit.
- It is a meeting between top-five perimeter shooting teams as the Pistons' 38.5% 3-point shooting is second in the league while the Raptors' 37.8% shooting from deep ranks fourth.
- Pistons head coach Dwane Casey coached the Raptors from 2011-18. Casey led the Raptors to a franchise-record five-straight postseason appearances and won Coach of the Year in 2017- 18. Casey went 320-238 in seven seasons in Toronto.
- Raptors forward Stanley Johnson spent three-plus seasons in Detroit (2015-19), posting averages of 7.1 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.0 steals in 267 games (64 starts).
Last Time They Played
Date: Oct. 30, 2019
Score: Raptors 125, Pistons 113
Raptors: Pascal Siakam - 30 points (13-21 FG), 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals
Pistons: Andre Drummond - 21 points (10-17 FG), 22 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 block