The last time these two teams faced, the Pistons came out victorious, which has happened a lot since Dwane Casey has taken over as coach of the Pistons.
The Raptors have won 6 of their last 7 games and are now above .500. They have gotten healthy as a team and are playing some of their best basketball of the last couple seasons.
The Pistons are also hot by their own standards as winners of 4 of their last 7 games, although the 3 losses have been very ugly. But those are the ups and downs of a young team and the Pistons have been playing better as a team since returning from their COVID outbreak.
Where: Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, MI
When: Friday, January 14 at 7:00 pm
Watch: Bally Sports Detroit
Odds: Pistons (+8)
As mentioned above, the Raptors are hot and playing a lot better basketball than the last time these two teams faced and the Pistons came out on top. The Raptors are healthy and really starting to put things together.
Fred VanVleet could be looking at his first All Star game appearance with the way he is playing this season. He is averaging 22 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 6.6 assists. VavVleet has always been a solid player for the Raptors, but I don’t think many people thought he had this level of play that he could reach, especially being a bit undersized.
Another player for the Raptors that has reached another level is OG Anunoby. He is another guy that has always been a solid role player offensively and very good defensively, but he has reached a whole other level on offense this season. He is averaging 19.3 points and 5.1 rebounds while only shooting 36.3 percent from 3-point range, his lowest mark since his 2nd season.
To top everything off, they have Paskal Siakam back healthy and playing like his usual self and fellow Rookie of the Year candidate, Scottie Barnes.
The Raptors’ ability to develop players out of nowhere is unmatchable by many teams in the league.
After a rough season last year due to playing home games in Tampa Bay, the Raptors look back and ready to compete in the Eastern Conference again.
As for the Pistons, If you ignore the 3 blowout losses, they have 4 impressive wins over their last 7 games. In those wins, the Pistons were moving the ball well, hitting their shots, and were able to do enough defensively to contain opposing star players like Donovan Mitchell and Giannis Antetokounmpo.
In the 3 losses, they were run off the floor early and never able to recover as they turned the ball over, missed a lot of shots, and played very shoddy defense.
What Pistons team we get tonight remains to be seen, but it is likely going to be one of the two extremes we have seen over the last seven games. That is the fun of watching a very young team, but there has been a lot more bad than good recently.
This isn’t the same Raptors team the Pistons beat early in the season. And even though the Pistons have played mostly well over their last 7 games, it is tough to see a way for them to come out on top.
But if there is any team the Pistons can pull out an unexpected win against, it is the Raptors, who Dwayne Casey has a ridiculous 7-3 record against since becoming coach of the Pistons. This is the Pistons Championship game right now and I expect them to play a good game even though the Raptors are playing their best basketball right now.
Toronto Raptors (20-18): Fred VanVleet, Gary Trent, OG Anunoby, Scottie Barnes, Pascal Siakam
Detroit Pistons (9-31): Killian Hayes, Cade Cunningham, Hamidou Diallo, Saddiq Bey, Isaiah Stewart
Question of the game
Do you think the Pistons are getting better based on their performance over the last 7 games or is it just a few lucky games sandwiched between bad blowout losses?