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Pistons head north to take on Raptors

Essentials

  • Teams: Detroit Pistons (7-20) at Toronto Raptors (7-19)
  • Date: December 19, 2012
  • Time: 7:00 p.m.
  • Television: FSD

What to look for

After losing 12-of-13 games from early November to mid-December, the Toronto Raptors have rebounded to win their last three games in a row against Dallas, Houston and on the road against Cleveland.

The Raptors are currently without the services of Kyle Lowry and Andrea Bargnani, which has forced them to rely much more on each other as opposed to playing like a slew of individuals. Indeed, the ball movement looks sharp as players are sharing the wealth and attacking when an opening is provided by the opposing defense.

Otherwise, the team has been more than happy to spread around the rock and find the best option possible to create a high percentage shot.

This is a testament to the professionalism of Jose Calderon that has seemingly been on the block every single season that he’s been a member of the Raptors. Whether it’s T.J. Ford or Kyle Lowry, the Spaniard has always been complimentary of the lead guards playing ahead of him and stepped into the starting rotation and performed admirably whenever injuries have hit.

Consequently, it’s not unreasonable to make the proclamation that Jose is the best backup point man in the league outside of Eric Bledsoe.

Toronto will be dangerous at home tonight as the team seems reinvigorated by their recent winning streak and part of the credit also goes to the ever-underrated Amir Johnson.

Much like Calderon, Johnson has been asked in recent seasons to switch roles on the fly for the sake of accommodating team needs; whether it’s being the first big man off the bench or being a starter, the 6’9’’ forward has definitely been a plus for the team.

He might not be seeing as many minutes as he did in the previous two seasons (although not by much), but his pick-and-roll chemistry with Jose Calderon has at times looked like a telepathic connection as the Spaniard just always seems to find him when he rolls hard to the hoop.

Jonas Valanciunas and Ed Davis are the starting frontcourt du jour, but pay close attention to Johnson in the contest tonight because his ability to defend the pick-and-roll is quite important for the Raps. He has the foot speed and intellect to hedge or trap hard and then rotate back to his man, although there are times where he takes poor angles to close on in the ball handler. Nonetheless, his athleticism and long arms make him a pest defensively for opponents.

Indeed, according to NBA.com’s advanced stats tool, when the big man is on the bench, Toronto surrenders 101.5 points per game on 47 percent field goal shooting per 48 minutes, but when Johnson hits the court, the defense improves considerably and only yields 95.9 points per game on 43.9 percent field goal shooting per 48 minutes.

This isn’t merely because the Los Angeles native is a good defensive player, he also does a good job of boxing out players and rebounding his area as evidenced by his 9.4 rebounds per 36 minutes.

Put it all together, and the Detroit Pistons will have their hands full tonight when the tandem of Calderon and Johnson hit the court together, but players such as DeMar DeRozan and Linas Kleiza will also be heard from as well in the contest.

This should be an interesting contest as both teams are fighting to prove that they have the potential to be better than what their records say about them.

Read about the Raptors

Raptors Republic.

Statistical support provided by NBA.com.

26 Comments

  • Dec 19, 20126:48 pm
    by gmehl

    Reply

    Seriously if we can’t beat the Raptors with the starting lineup that Frank has been using then i think it is time for a change. I also don’t think just 1 change to the starters is going to cut it either. This is what i think should be done:
    Starters

    Knight
    English
    Singler
    Monroe
    Drummond

    Bench rotation

    Stuckey
    Prince
    Maxiell
    Villanueva
    Kravtsov
    Bynum

    • Dec 19, 20126:51 pm
      by gmehl

      Reply

      Maybe Jerebko could be put on the bench in place of Bynum, Kravtsov or Villanueva

  • Dec 19, 20127:21 pm
    by frankie d

    Reply

    in the early going, the team is letting monroe have the ball without running that stupid pick and roll/pass.
    it has been effective.  hopefully they will keep doing what works.
    btw, monroe has to take and hit the elbow jumper.  if they give it to him, he has to take it. 

  • Dec 19, 20127:49 pm
    by gmehl

    Reply

    At the start of the season i posted a couple of times about us trading Maggette for Calderon. Most people shot me down and laughed at me and said no it will stunt Knight’s development. If we had Calderon starting at PG and Knight at SG this team would be looking a whole lot better. Even if we had pulled off that trade and it didn’t work out it wouldn’t of affected our cap room for next season because Maggette and Calderon are both 10.2mil expiring deals. 

    • Dec 19, 20127:51 pm
      by frankie d

      Reply

      i really like calderone and would love to have a guy with his talent on the team.
      only reservation is that he is 31.
      how well that fits in with the team’s current direction is a question. 

      • Dec 19, 20127:54 pm
        by gmehl

        Reply

        Well everyone seems to think Knight needs a veteran PG to show him the ropes so why not Calderon?? He can shoot the three consistently enough which is another thing we really lack. I am sure Dumars already inquired and got knocked back…or maybe not. Can’t have enough SF i guess!

        • Dec 19, 20128:43 pm
          by frankie d

          Reply

          i’ve always thought a younger version of calderone – if one was out there – would be ideal.
          it would be nice to have a young guy to grow with the team, rather than an old grizzled vet on his last contract.
          a young vet like …say, eric maynor would top my wish list.
          but the team does desperately need a guy with the talent to run a team. 

    • Dec 19, 20127:51 pm
      by gmehl

      Reply

      If Calderon logs enough minutes tonight then he might be a chance to get Scott Skiles 30 assist record. He’s got 10 already with 5 minutes to go before halftime.

    • Dec 19, 20128:18 pm
      by I HATE FRANK

      Reply

      I get it..but the Raptors has are Similar to the Pistons…and with Calderon they only have 7  wins…

      what  makes you think he’s make the Pistons any better? Id rather Knight stay at the PG position… and add an explosive wing player

      • Dec 19, 20129:22 pm
        by gmehl

        Reply

        Its nothing to do with Knight but rather i feel would make the bigs life on our team a lot better. This is team is so messed up with what they do. They put Knight in to a starting point guard role to sink or swim but the wont do it with Drummond. To me that is a double standard right there.

        • Dec 19, 201210:08 pm
          by I HATE FRANK

          Reply

          I agree!!!!!!!! 

  • Dec 19, 20127:50 pm
    by frankie d

    Reply

    amazing speed and quickness by the big guy, drummond on that steal.
    incredible.
    i’m sure the raptors’ players were as amazed that he could move that fast, as i was.
    he is a special, special talent! 

  • Dec 19, 20128:14 pm
    by gmehl

    Reply

    I’m not watching this game live (following it on gamecast) as i am at work but by looking at the stats is it safe to assume that we should be leading this game. We have missed 7 free throws and are killing them on the boards. Anyone watching live that can fill me in??

    • Dec 19, 20128:35 pm
      by I HATE FRANK

      Reply

      exactly not taking advantage of either…

      and The Raptors are being carried by Deronaz 

  • Dec 19, 20128:51 pm
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    Pistons were down 7 with Maxiell in the game….

    Drummond Comes in Pistons had a chance to tie the game…

    Maxiell -7
    Drummond +5

     

  • Dec 19, 20128:59 pm
    by Otis

    Reply

    Man I can’t stand people saying the Pistons should be ahead or should have won the game. This team doesn’t deserve to win these games. They’re getting beat by another bad team who’s missing two of their best players. Largely because this team has something called a “point” guard. The name sounds familiar like a distant memory or something…

    If Joe Dumars thought he was going to reinvent how the game of basketball is played, do you think there’s any chance he figured out by now it’s not working??

    • Dec 19, 20129:02 pm
      by Otis

      Reply

      I hate to say it, but Moose and Dre ain’t looked all that good together tonight. They gotta play these guys together more so they can get some chemistry so that eventually we can see what they look like in the starting lineup. Man I just don’t get it with this team. SMH

      • Dec 19, 20129:08 pm
        by I HATE FRANK

        Reply

        I disagree… They played well …

        The Run came against the Pistons …With Daye and Charlie in the game together…

        When Drummond and Monroe were in the game the Pistons went on a run…they cut an 7 point lead to 2…

        we are 13-24 for FT’s .. 

  • Dec 19, 20129:05 pm
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    WOW…Daye and Charlie in the game Together….

     

  • Dec 19, 20129:11 pm
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    Greg Can be SOOO GOOD off the Elbow…he just needs to make that jumper… thats the shot that will make him a all-star

  • Dec 19, 20129:16 pm
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    We help The Raptors every time we play zone…they only have one player that can get their own shot…so why play ZONE?

  • Dec 19, 20129:18 pm
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    NO REASON TO PLAY ZONE!!!!!!!!

     

  • Dec 19, 20129:27 pm
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    I can not stand Frank seriously!!!!

  • Dec 19, 20129:31 pm
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    No way in HELL DAYE and Charlie should be on the floor together…. 

    No way we should have been playing ZONE DEFNSE that long…we gave a jump shooting team too many looks… 

    this is Crazy! 

  • Dec 19, 20129:37 pm
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    So Now Drummond has to wrestle minutes away from Charlie? I GIVE THE HELL UP!!!!!!!

  • Dec 19, 20129:41 pm
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    We officially have a worse record this year, than last year 28 games in!

    I honestly wont be surprised if we lose back to back against the Wizards…

    Greg should have came into the game earlier in the 4th…charlie did and daye did not need to be in that game….

     

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