Raptors Looks to Overcome COVID Issues Against Hapless Pistons

Matt Wiesenfeld

The Toronto Raptors are down several players and coaches tonight due to health and safety protocols after their game meant to take place on Monday, was postponed until tonight. Still, this lame Detroit Pistons team might not be able to take advantage.

Detroit Pistons (9-25) vs. Toronto Raptors (17-17), TSN, 7:00 PM ET

Is This a Good Situation for the Pistons?

Detroit has the worst record in the Eastern Conference. They are not a disappointment they are just bad, so they will take all the advantages they can get.

The Pistons might not have a COVID concern right now but they have their own player availability issues. It looks like they will be playing tonight without the services of Jerami Grant and Blake Griffin, their top forwards, and Delon Wright, one of their starting guards. It might be hard to break up their three-game losing streak with who they are planning to put on the floor tonight. Grant is their leading scorer and has been their best player all season.

Detroit does play defense pretty well. They are 14th in points allowed and that is where they are going to have to hang their hat tonight. Maybe if they are extra solid they can stay in the game against the depleted Raptors.

All Hands on Deck for Toronto

For their last game, the Raptors were down head coach Nick Nurse, most of the coaching staff, and top forward Pascal Siakam. That proved to be not much of a hurdle against a Houston team that is reeling right now. Things have gotten worse though.

Tonight, Toronto may be getting lucky with the opponent once again, but the Raptors have been forced to add Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, and rookie Malachi Flynn to the list of players in safety protocol. Fortunately, Kyle Lowry returned from a thumb injury a couple of games ago, or else things would have really been bleak. He loves a good challenge and I expect a great game from their leader.

With Lowry and Norm Powell, the Raptors still have a significant advantage in the backcourt. With some extra usage, those two could combine for 50 or maybe even 60 points if they need it. The question is what kind of production can Toronto count on upfront. If you have been watching Raptors games this season you are well aware of the cult of Chris Boucher, but can he have the same impact when the team truly needs him? He probably gets a start as Toronto sticks with a relatively small lineup.

Toronto gets a chance to see which players on their deep bench could do better with some extended minutes. It might get a little wild.

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