Photo Credit: Chris O’Meara/Associated Press
The Toronto Raptors, who finally appear to be much healthier will look to snap their losing streak tonight on the road against the Pistons.
The Raptors meet Detroit for the second time in as many weeks as the two slumping teams continue to search for a win. The Raptors began their current five game losing streak with a disheartening performance against the Pistons March 3rd, losing 129-105.
Detroit had a season best offensive night, recording 20 three pointers, while Wayne Ellington scored a season high 25. The Pistons themselves however have lost four in a row since that victory and dropped 10 of their past 12 games, sitting last place in the East.
It’s been a tough stretch for the Raptors who have played their last six games without Pascal Siakam and last five absent Fred VanVleet – the team’s two leading scorers. On Tuesday, both were cleared to return to the team as was Pat McCaw and Malachi Flynn. The status for them tonight remains questionable, but seemingly likely for Siakam, McCaw and Flynn.
In their absence, Norman Powell has stepped up, leading the Raptors in scoring five of the team’s past eight games. Kyle Lowry and Chris Boucher have also played well through this stretch, however the defense continues to be a concern. Against the lackluster Pistons offense tonight, Toronto must be able to clamp down and minimize the perimeter shooting that hurt them last matchup.
The Pistons will be without Wayne Ellington tonight, but should have team leader Jerami Grant and former Raptor, Delon Wright back after they both missed the first game against Toronto.
Wright has started 27 games and leads the team in assists with five per game, while Grant is having a career year. Averaging 23.4 points per game and almost 36 minutes a game, both team highs by a wide margin, Grant has shown his worth in his first year with Detroit after receiving $60 million from them this past November.
The Raptors look to get back in the win column, even if they need some luck on this St. Patrick’s day. Tipoff is set for 7PM EST on TSN.