2/22/12

Rested Raptors Take On Detroit Basketball

The Raptors will not be able to say they didn't have time to prepare for this one. They have not played since Friday with that ugly loss at the hands of the Bobcats. We saw Kemba Walker in that one, a guy some Raptors fans wanted in the draft. Tonight we see another in Brandon Knight. We also get to see one of the candidates for the Raptors coaching position in Lawrence Frank. He ended up going from being an assistant coach in Boston to the head man in Detroit. It has been a long season for him, but has his team playing well of late winners of 7 of the last 10. The Pistons have played two games since the Raptors last played. They like Toronto had earlier in this home stand upset Boston 96-81 on Sunday. Last night they blew a sizable lead in the 4th and lost to the Cavs 101-100.

Detroit looks nothing like the Pistons teams that were contenders and won a title with Larry Brown over the Lakers. Since Rip Hamilton left for the Bulls really the last remaining piece from those days is Tashaun Prince. Ben Wallace is back for a second and likely final run in Detroit as well. They also have former Raptor Charlie V who has only played in just two games this season and has been plagued with an ankle injury. He along with Ben Gordon signed massive deals with the Pistons and it has been a massive failure by all accounts. Joe Dumars the former Piston legend player was at one time considered one of the best G.M's in the league. His selection of Darko, the trade to acquire Allen Iverson and these signings are just three of many reasons not many think that anymore.

Still despite all that the Pistons do have then own core of young talent starting with former Georgetown center Greg Monroe who is leading the team in scoring with 16.3 points per game and is close to averaging a double double on the season with 9.7 rebounds. We already mentioned Brandon Knight who started slow but has been showing signs of improvement after that slow start. These two combined with a number of younger players like Austin Daye, Jonas Jerebko and even Rodney Stuckey make up that core. These in short, are not your father's Pistons. Also is gone is the normal sellout crowds that were common place for Pistons. The decline in the economy in Detroit has been mirrored the decline of the Pistons. That makes for a bad combination in trying to sell tickets.

3 Keys:

Full 48: Raptors have no excuses to go flat out in this game. Having not played since Friday and this being the last game before the All-Star Break. So nothing short of a 48 minute effort will be acceptable.

Run Run Run: Take advantage of the fact you are the fresher team and push the pace of this game. Get out and run in transition. Try and wear the Pistons out and make them give in. They are also wrapping up the schedule prior to All-Star Weekend so give them a reason to punch out early.

Best D Wins: Frank was being considered for the Raptors job for the same reason Casey got the job and that is defense. Both are considered to be known for that and you can expect both with be matching wits with there limited talent to try and stop the other from having success.

I am down at the ACC for this one once again so no re-cap tonight. Also no Radio tonight as the station is doing some sort of charity try and the show has been given the week off. But I will be down at the ACC looking for some stuff to keep you entertained over the All-Star Break.

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