The NBA is set up with a strong night of action throughout March 29. Eleven games will be up on the board throughout Monday night. One of these games will be between the Toronto Raptors and the Detroit Pistons. These two teams have struggled throughout this season, but I expect a good game. This one will tip off at around 8:00 PM Eastern time.
The Raptors have put up a record of 18-28 to this point in the season, which has them sitting in eleventh place of the Eastern Conference. Toronto is only two games back from the tenth seed. The Raptors have lost back to back games and eleven of their last twelve. Toronto will look to turn it around with a big win in this one.
Detroit has earned a record of 12-33 throughout this season, which has them in last place of the Eastern Conference. The Pistons have struggled throughout this entire season. Detroit has lost four games in a row and seven of their last nine. The Pistons are in tanking mode it appears, but I expect them to try and knock off Toronto again in this one.
These two teams have struggled as of late, but this could be a good game. Toronto is still in the playoff race, but needs to find a way to end this losing streak. The Pistons are far down in the standings, but a small run could get them back in the playoff race. If either team can set the pace early in this one, it could be enough to earn a big win.
The Raptors and the Pistons have already met up twice throughout this season. Toronto hosted the first game of the season series on March 3. Norman Powell dropped 36 points and Kyle Lowry added 21. It was not enough for the Raptors though. Wayne Ellington finished with 25 points. Rodney McGruder and Saben Lee both dropped 20 points off the bench as Detroit earned a 129-105 win.
The second game of the season series shifted to Detroit on March 17. Norman Powell scored 43 points. Chris Boucher dropped 21 points, but once again Toronto came up short. Saddiq Bey finished with 28 points and 12 rebounds, while Jerami Grant put up 23 points. Delon Wright added 18 points as the Pistons were able to grab a 116-112 win at home.
Detroit has been able to earn a win in both games against the Raptors so far this season. Toronto went 3-0 against the Pistons last season. The Raptors have struggled throughout this season series and are now without Norman Powell. If Toronto can have some players step up in this one, it could be enough for them to finally knock off this Detroit team.
Field Goal Shooting
Toronto has been solid shooting the ball throughout this season. The Raptors have only been able to make 44.7 percent of their shots from the field, which is 25th in the league. Toronto has been shooting 37.7 percent of their shots from deep, which is 10th in the NBA. The Raptors have drained 82.8 percent of their shots from the charity stripe, which is 4th in the league.
The Pistons have been struggling from the field this season. Detroit has been able to shoot 44.3 percent from the field, which is 27th in the NBA. The Pistons have made 34.9 percent of their shots from behind the arc, which is 23rd in the league. Detroit has also sunk 77 percent of their shots from the free throw line, which is 19th in the NBA.
Neither team has been great shooting from the field, but the Raptors have been better from deep and the free throw line. Toronto has been much better on defense as well. The Raptors have held opposing teams to a 45.9 percent from the field, which is 10th in the NBA. Detroit has allowed their opponents to make 47.7 percent of their shots from the field, which is 26th in the league.
Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam have helped lead this Raptors team throughout this season. VanVleet and Siakam are both averaging 20 points per game. Kyle Lowry has averaged 17 points and 7.5 assists per game. OG Anunoby is averaging 14.5 points, while Chris Boucher has averaged 13.5 points per game. Gary Trent Jr. will play his third game for Toronto after averaging 15 points with Portland this season.
Jerami Grant has been the leader for Detroit this season. Grant has averaged 23 points per game. Josh Jackson is averaging 13 points per game this season. Wayne Ellington has averaged 11 points per game. Saddiq Bey is averaging 10.5 points per game, while Mason Plumlee has averaged 10.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game.
The Pistons should have Jerami Grant in this one as he is listed as probable. Gary Trent Jr. has averaged 7 points in his first two starts with the Raptors. Toronto will look to get him going in this one as they try to knock off Detroit. Toronto has the better depth entering this one, but they will look for someone to step up after losing to the Pistons in the previous two matchups.
Detroit has been able to earn two big wins against the Raptors so far this season, but I expect Toronto to bounce back in this one. I think that Gary Trent Jr. can get going against the Pistons defense. I also think the Raptors will finally shut down Detroit’s offense. As long as Toronto can avoid a slow start after playing on Sunday night, they should be able to earn a win in this one.
BetOnline has the Raptors listed as a -4 ½ against the spread in this one. This gives a solid edge to Toronto on Monday night. These two teams have struggled as of late, but I think the Raptors will come out wanting this game more. Toronto is still very much in the playoff race and they need wins like this one. I like the value on the Raptors as slight favorites over this Detroit team.