I was ready to write off another season of Raptors basketball after a couple embarrassing losses over the weekend, but a few days off has me ready for another fix. The boys are back in action tonight against the Detroit Pistons at the ACC. As always, a full preview available at Raptors Republic, featuring my NBA 2K10 game simulation.
A Pistons team sans Richard Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince may be just what the Raptors defense ordered…well, either that or the Toronto D might be just what a shorthanded Detroit offense ordered. New additions Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva are certainly getting a shot to step up right away, and Gordon did just that last night with 23 in an 85-80 win over Orlando — the same Magic team that lit the Raps for 125 points on Sunday, except they actually had Vince in the lineup yesterday. The Pistons also pounded the same Memphis team on opening night that beat the Raptors Friday.
I actually do think the Raptors will bounce back with a win tonight. Chris Bosh won’t have his hands full with an opposing big man the way he did with Zachary Randolph and Superman the past two games, meaning it’ll look a lot prettier if he puts up 30 and 15 this time around. The Raps also need Jose Calderon to get it cooking — I realize it’s a new-look team and all and his role has changed since the beginning of last season, but just play ball, young man. You’ve been doing it your whole life.
I’ll actually be down at the ACC checking this one out in person — here’s hoping it’s not a depressing ride home on the GO Train. Go Raps!