The ‘tentative’ rearrangement of the schedule will see the Detroit Pistons will play the Tampa, I mean Toronto Raptors tonight (and who’s the North now, huh!?). After completing due diligence regarding contact tracing, the NBA determined that the game can take place. Because of health and safety protocols, the Raptors will be down several players including three starters. Does that mean the struggling Pistons have a chance?
When: 7 p.m. EST
Where: Amelie Arena, Tampa, FL
Watch: Fox Sports Detroit/Fox Sport Detroit Plus
Odds: Pistons +6.5
According to ESPNps Tim Bontemps, due to health and safety rules, Raptors will be without Fred Van Vleet, Pascal Siakam, OG Anunoby, Malachi Flynn and Patrick McCaw.
The Raptors will be without Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam, Malachi Flynn and Pat McCaw because of the NBA’s health and safety protocols for tomorrow’s game against the Pistons. That is in addition to Nick Nurse and several other coaches.— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) March 2, 2021
That means that they’ll be without their first-, second- and fifth-leading scorers this season, and their first, second and fourth players that play most minutes on average.
In addition, they’ll be without their head coach, Nick Nurse and a few other coaches, who five days ago entered NBA’s health and safety protocols. In these circumstances, one of the assistant coaches, Italian, Sergio Scariolo, is acting as HC and trying to right the ship on these troubled waters.
The withdrawal of aforementioned players from the Raptors roster means that Kyle Lowry will be Toronto’s only available nominal point guard. He soon will turn 35, so he rather won’t be able to play a full 48 minutes. Thus, they’ll need to be creative. At the moment, the idea is to play DeAndre’ Bembry and rookie Jalen Harris (59th pick in last year’s draft out of Nevada) at point some.
Sergio Scariolo names DeAndre' Bembry and Jalen Harris as potential point guards for tomorrow's game when Kyle Lowry needs a break— (@AaronBenRose) March 3, 2021
Bembry is a wing, and Harris had a good stint in G League bubble, but played only 4 scoreless minutes in NBA so far, so this could be a mess.
The only good news about this Toronto team are that any fans of Japanese basketball will have a more chance to see their compatriot, Yuta Watanabe, play significant minutes, and that we all might have a chance to see former Piston, Donta Hall, who’ll suit up for the game to round up with Harris Raptors game squad.
I believe the Raptors will have 12 active players for tomorrow: Kyle Lowry, DeAndre' Bembry, Chris Boucher, Terence Davis, Aron Baynes, Stanley Johnson, Matt Thomas, Norman Powell, Yuta Watanabe, Paul Watson, Donta Hall & Jalen Harris— (@AaronBenRose) March 2, 2021
As regards the good guys, it’s still unclear if the Pistons will have Jerami Grant available as he missed yesterday practice with calf strain.
Let’s hope he won’t be rushed to play in this a little rushed and cheat game.
Detroit Pistons (9-25):
Dennis Smith Jr, Svi Mykhailiuk, Saddiq Bey, Jerami Grant, Mason Plumlee
Toronto Raptors (17:17):
Kyle Lowry, DeAndre’ Bembry, Norman Powell, Stanley Johnson, Aron Baynes
May it still be interesting, good game somehow, fellow DBBers!!!