Raptors Cage

Game Day Preview: Toronto Raptors will try to push winning streak to 11 games vs Pistons

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

It’s game day and the Toronto Raptors will look to improve upon their franchise best 10-game winning when they face the Detroit Pistons this evening. This will be the first meeting of the season between these ball clubs. With a win, the Raptors would also come away with a spotless record for this 7-game homestand. The Pistons are currently sitting 7th in the eastern conference with their latest loss coming at the hands of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Toronto’s last loss was to the Cavs where they lost in convincing fashion. Since that loss they’ve embarked on their historical winning streak. Let’s just hope Andre Drummond and friends don’t get any bright ideas.

Cage’s Keys to the Game

Box out

It’s no secret the pistons have one of the more revolutionary rebounders of this generation in Drummond who’s averaging 15.1 rebounds per game. The Raptors have some decent size, but that’s not enough to be a consistently strong rebounding team. Toronto will need to make an effort to put a body on a man and not watch the ball when a shot goes up.

Run them off the line

With Stan Van Gundy putting his pieces together, the Detroit pistons have almost become identical to the Dwight Howard led Orlando Magic. Meaning that basically every player not named Drummond will have the green light to shoot the rock. The Raptors need to take them out of their game by closing out hard and funnelling their perimeter players into the painted area.

Play winning basketball

The play of the Raptors has been a revelation over these last 10 games. The ball is moving, and the team digs deep on every possession. With the way the Raptors have played it’d be easy to get complacent. The Pistons are a good ball club who could’ve very well had two all-stars with how Reggie Jackson has been playing this season.

X-Factor: Bismack Biyombo

Tonight’s X-Factor is Raptor’s backup centre Bismack Biyombo. Jonas Valanciunas will have his hands full battling down low with Drummond, however this is the type of matchup where physicality takes precedent. If JV proves ineffective in containing the beast that is Andre Drummond, expect Biyombo to come in the game ready for war.

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