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An alien is about to burst out of Jonas Valanciunas' chest cavity in this picture, I think. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Pre-Game: Raptors At Pistons, March 29th

Look, I’m not watching this game. I’m not usually one to pick college ball over the professional game, but I would be insane to watch the twitching corpse of Detroit’s season battle Rudy Gay’s masonry over the Michigan and Michigan State games tonight. Between Gay and Jason “Mason” Maxiell, this game will feature enough bricks to build a small house. So, yeah. I’ll happily tell you what to watch for, but one of the peons contributing writers will be watching this game.

Anyway, analysis! The Pistons continue to be abysmal in pretty much every way a team can be. They can’t score or defend, yet they still play a down-tempo style, which does them absolutely no favors. Aside from a one point win against the league’s worst team, the Pistons have been blown out by nearly every team they’ve faced the last month or so, regardless of whether it was on the road or in Auburn Hills.

Still, Jose Calderon remains a very good player — he leads the NBA in three point shooting between his time with the Raptors and Pistons at 46 percent — and should be motivated to play well against his former team. Greg Monroe has continued to play well despite minimal help from his front court compatriots and being forced to create much of his own offense. Beyond those two, though, it’s a struggle to name anything else Detroit has going for them.

The Raptors are 4-11 in their last 15 games. The loss of efficient scorers in Calderon and Ed Davis, coupled with the inefficiency of their replacements has stagnated Toronto’s offense, manifested perfectly in Rudy Gay’s hero-ball antics. Kyle Lowry, Amir Johnson, and Jonas Valanciunas are still reliable players, but the Raptors are very reliant on mercurial scoring outputs from Gay, Alan Anderson, and John Lucas — meaning they’re capable of scoring 115 one night and 80 the next. To be fair, Toronto’s defense has improved a bit with Gay on board, though not to an exceptional degree.

Not that any of this matters. I can’t imagine anyone in the state of Michigan is going to be interested in watching two depressing lottery-bound teams attempt to out-tank each other when Michigan and Michigan State are playing in the Sweet 16. Hell, I know I won’t be.

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Tags: Detroit Pistons Toronto Raptors

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