Rip Hamilton tries to continue his dominance of the Toronto Raptors

Essentials

Teams: Toronto Raptors at Detroit Pistons

Date: March 16,  2011

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Television: Fox Sports Detroit Plus

Records

Pistons: 23-44

Raptors: 18-48

Probable starters

Pistons:

Raptors:

  • Jose Calderon
  • DeMar DeRozan
  • James Johnson
  • Ed Davis
  • Andrea Bargnani

Las Vegas projection

Spread: Pistons -5.5

Over/under: 208

Score: Pistons win, 106.75-101.25

Three things to watch

1. No Amir Johnson

After missing former bench warmer Arron Afflalo when playing Denver the other night, the Pistons again will avoid giving a player who barely played for them the chance to show them up. Amir Johnson, who averages 10 points, 7 boards and a block in about 26 minutes a game for Toronto, will not start due to a sprained ankle. Look for more of Raptors rookie Ed Davis, who the Pistons probably would’ve drafted had Greg Monroe not been still on the board.

2. Checking DeRozan

Quietly, DeMar DeRozan is putting together quite the offensive season for the Raptors. He’s averaging 16 a game, shooting 46 percent and he’s scored 30 or more twice in the last six games. If the Pistons are going to have success staying in front of him, that probably means Rodney Stuckey will have to defend him most of the night.

3. Hamilton’s Raptor dominance

Oddly enough, Rip Hamilton has played two of his best games this season against Toronto. He’s shooting 56 percent against the Raps, best against any opponent this season by far, and averaging 23 a game against them, also a season-best average for teams he’s played more than once.

Pregame Reading

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