Raptors Cage

Game Day Preview: Desperate Raptors looking to turn things around vs Pistons

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JV Drummond

The Toronto Raptors will look to turn their play around tonight as the Detroit Pistons are back in T Dot for another tilt. The two previous match-ups these teams have had have been heated to say the least.

The struggling Raptors will look to put in a solid 48 minutes and start their first winning streak of 2015. Despite the fact that they won last game vs the Philadelphia 76ers, true fans understand just how bad that performance was.

The first time out, James Johnson demolished Andre Drummond, which spurred a tussle. The Raps crushed the Pistons. Last time out, the Pistons stormed back and took down the Raps at home. Round 3 should be interesting.

The Pistons will be without Brandon Jennings, who has turned a new leaf since Josh Smith‘s departure. While you have to feel a bit of sympathy for Detroit who was playing so well, when DeMar DeRozan went out, nobody was taking it easy on the Raps. So, let’s put the pedal to the metal and get back on track. Let’s get to the…

Cage’s Keys to the Game

JV vs Drummond

This is always a very interesting match-up. Jonas Valanciunas has gotten the better of Andre Drummond both match-ups, and keeping him in check will be ultra important. It’s certainly fun watching two future star big men go head to head, as they will likely rival each other for years to come. Let’s hope JV gets to play in the 4th.

The elimination of iso-ball

Dwane Casey has to realize that Lou Williams is killing the Raptors offense. This ‘iso-ball’ mentality that Lou has is cancerous, as Kyle Lowry and Greivis Vasquez have fed off this as well. At this point, the highest usage players offensively are not sharing the rock – this has been the problem for quite some time. Let’s move the ball, please.

Intensity 

This Detroit team has been playing like they have something to prove. Selfless, smart, efficient, and gritty basketball. It sounds like the Raps of last year.

Meanwhile, the Raps have been playing lazy, arrogant, inefficient basketball which has resulted in a terrible start to 2015. It’s time for them to realize that nothing’s going to come easy, and the reason they were so good to start the year was because they were selfless, smart, efficient, and gritty. James Johnson exemplifies a lot of those things – it would be great to see him back in the rotation over Terrence Ross, who displays none of them.

X-Factor: DeMar DeRozan

DD has not been himself for the most part since his return, and it has really hurt the offensive output. Let’s hope he can get it going tonight, as Lowry really needs help from his backcourt companion.

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