Detroit Pistons: 3 things to watch vs. shorthanded Raptors

Kyle Lowry #7 of the Toronto Raptors looks on while playing the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Kyle Lowry #7 of the Toronto Raptors looks on while playing the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Pistons
Pascal Siakam #43 of the Toronto Raptors is introduced, prior to the first half of an NBA game against the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

After their last game was postponed due to COVID protocol, the Detroit Pistons will finally get their chance against a shorthanded Toronto Raptors team at their new home arena in Tampa.

The Raptors have played their way back into playoff contention while the Pistons keep tanking away, hoping to secure a top overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft.

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The two franchises will always be connected by coach Dwane Casey, who always has something to prove against the team that fired him after he won Coach of the Year.

It has worked out for both teams, as the Raptors got their title (coincidentally the year LeBron James left the conference, which I am sure had NOTHING to do with Nick Nurse’s sudden success) and the Pistons got a steady hand to help mentor and develop their young players.

If the Pistons were to win a game before the break, this wouldn’t be a bad choice, as they have Toronto’s second-round pick in 2021 and they’d love it to be as close to the top of the round as possible.

Here are three things to watch in a game between two teams trying to go in opposite directions.

Detroit Pistons: Who is going to play vs. the Raptors?

The Raptors have six players and several coaches (including Nick Nurse) on their injury report due to COVID protocol including Pascal Siakam, OG Anunoby, Fred VanVleet, Patrick McCaw, Malachi Flynn and Jalen Harris.

The Detroit Pistons could be without the services of star forward Jerami Grant, who is listed as day-to-day but is expected to play. We may see Grant sitting out with minor injuries more often as the season goes on, as his presence alone is enough to keep the Pistons in some of these games.

We could see some wonky lineups, especially for Toronto, who will not only be led by veteran point guard Kyle Lowry on the floor, but he might also be coaching the team.

This should be an interesting night for people who want to see developmental players who normally ride the bench.