(Tampa Bay, FL) The understaffed Toronto Raptors fell at home on Wednesday night to Dwayne Casey’s Detroit Pistons, 129-105. 

Let’s start by giving credit where credit is due. Detroit played, as Jack Armstrong put it during the broadcast, “out of their minds tonight.” They shot almost 54% from the field as a team and had 20 three pointers. 

Wayne Ellington turned into an absolute flamethrower for the Pistons and had eight 3’s on 72.7% from beyond the arc. He finished with 25 points, a team high. They also got major contributions from their bench, Rodney McGruder and Saben Lee both dropping 20 points in the win. 

Toronto was missing head coach Nick Nurse again along with some members of his staff, along with Pascal Siakam, Fred Vanvleet, OG Anunoby, just to name a few, out due to contact tracing. The bench had a really tough night, and with so many starters missing it truly felt like the Raptors had a mountain to climb the entire match. 

Despite the tough loss, Norman Powell understood the grind tonight and had an absolutely stellar performance. He finished with 36 points on an astoundingly efficient 14/20 from the field (70%), including five from deep. Aaron Baynes and Kyle Lowry also put in strong shifts with 13 and 21 points respectively, both shooting above 45% from the hardwood.  

The Raptors will have a tough battle tomorrow in Boston at 7:00 PM. The Celtics are only one spot above Toronto in the rankings, sitting just one game ahead. This will be both teams’ last game before the All-Star break, meaning you can expect that they will leave it all on the floor. 

It is likely that the 2019 champions will be missing some key members of their squad again when they face off against Brad Stevens’ men. They have struggled so far this season in the second legs of their back-to-backs. They will have to grind it out in order to try and end the first half of the season on a positive note. 

Written by Thomas Debost

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