Toronto (34-16) at Detroit (27-25)
When: Monday, February 8th 2016
Where: The Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, MI
Time: 7:35 ET | TV: Sportsnet One, FSN Detroit
The surging Toronto Raptors continue their six-game road trip when they visit the Detroit Pistons on Monday night. Toronto has won 13 of their last 14 games and are only two games behind Cleveland for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. The guard-duo of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan have been unstoppable lately and posted 59 points combined in a 110-103 win at Portland on Thursday. Lowry, who has been named an All-Star starter, is averaging 28 points in the Raptors last two victories and DeRozan 25.5. The Raptors are now 2-1 on their road trip after falling 112-93 at Denver to start the trip, breaking their franchise-record 11 game winning streak. The 11th win was a 111-107 win at home against the Pistons where DeRozan led all scorers with 29 points. Lowry had an off day in that one making just 4-of-15 shots, but still managed to finish with 18 points and 8 rebounds. Jonas Valanciunas, who we have in tonight’s fantasy lineup, has 28 points on 10-of-18 shooting and 17 rebounds in the last two games. The Raptors will play at Minnesota on Wednesday to complete the first-half of their season.
Detroit can’t seem to stop anyone lately and have surrendered over 100 points in six straight games – four losses. The Pistons are coming off a 112-104 loss at Indiana on Saturday in which Reggie Jackson led the team with 26 points on 10-of-15 shooting. Jackson has been hot from three-point land hitting 12 of his last 21 attempts from long range. Andre Drummond, the league’s leading rebounder at 14.9 a game, has collected 13 boards in each of the last three games, but still can’t shoot free-throws. He has hit just 15 of his last 43 attempts and is at 34.9% for the season. Eighth overall draft pick Stanley Johnson (9.1 points, 4.2 rebounds) has seen more minutes lately and he’s paying dividends on the offensive side. Johnson has 47 points and 28 rebounds in his last three games after pulling down a season-tying high 10 boards on Saturday. Detroit is hanging onto the 8th and final playoff spot in the East, just a game and a half ahead of Charlotte. They will wrap up the first half of the season against Denver on Wednesday.
It seems like a small number to lay on a team this hot against a team that can’t play defense right now. I’ll take Toronto coming off three-days rest.
Pick: Raptors -1.5