Game Preview: Raptors vs Pistons

Holly MacKenzie - Raptors.com

Detroit Pistons (6-6) @ Toronto Raptors (12-2)

When: Wednesday, November 14th 7:30 P.M. ET

Where: Scotiabank Arena

Leading into tonight’s game:

Injury Report: For the Raptors, Norman Powell is out with a left shoulder subluxation. The team has issued an injury update, saying that Powell will be out indefinitely after suffering the injury Nov. 5 at Utah. C.J. Miles will also be out with a right adductor strain. Miles left with the injury in the second quarter against the Pelicans on Monday. For the Pistons, Luke Kennard is out with a right shoulder sprain.

Hot start: At 12-2 through 14 games of the season, the Raptors currently have the best record in the league. The team needs one more victory to match the franchise’s best start through 15 games (13-2), which was achieved during the 2014-15 season. Toronto has won six straight games against the Detroit Pistons which is the team's longest winning streak in the season series.

Closing out at home: Wednesday’s game will be the final in a three-game homestand for Toronto. After facing the Pistons, the team will head out on the road for a three-game trip with games against the Boston Celtics, Orlando Magic and Atlanta Hawks. After dropping their first home game of the season in a 126-110 decision against the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday, Toronto would like to hit the road following a win on its home floor.

Extra Assists

Familiar faces: Wednesday’s game will mark the return of former Raptors head coach Dwane Casey, now head coach of the Pistons. Casey is Toronto’s all-time leader in coaching victories and winning percentage in his six seasons with the team. Toronto had three consecutive 50-win seasons with Casey at the helm, including a franchise-best 59 victories during the 2017-18 season. Former Raptors point guard Jose Calderon is also a member of the Detroit Pistons, as is former Raptors assistant coach Micah Nori.

POTW honours: The NBA announced on Monday that Pascal Siakam was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week for games played Nov. 5-11. Siakam averaged 20.0 points and 4.3 rebounds while shooting 72 percent from the floor and 98 percent from the free throw line as he helped Toronto sweep a four-game road trip for the first time in franchise history. Siakam continued his high-scoring on Monday, following up a career-high 23 points with a 22-point effort in a loss to the Pelicans.

Physicality rules: A visit from the Pistons means matching up against the size and strength of Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond. “They’re good and they’re big and strong,” Raptors head coach Nick Nurse said. “It’s a little bit [of a] different lineup than you see now in this league. They are coming at you with three legitimate bigs…We’ve got to be ready for their physicality and their strength.” While Nurse said his team needs to be prepared for Detroit’s physicality, Jonas Valanciunas is embracing it. “It’s going to be a physical match up,” Valanciunas said. “[Drummond is] a physical guy. He’s always in the paint, a good big guy. It’s always fun to go against him.”

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