Good news from last night: Andrea came back and didn’t re-injure anything.
Bad news: The Raptors came out flat and got smacked around by the lowly Pistons 105-86
Worst news: Jose Calderon went out with a sprained ankle and will be out for at least tonight’s game, if not longer.
Things do not get better tonight as the Raptors head back across the border to the ACC and host the Bucks, who are still in the playoff picture and have won five straight against the Raptors.
Expect newly added Raptor Gary Forbes to see extended minutes off the bench in Calderon’s absence. Forbes hopefully will be an improvement over Anthony Carter who was mediocre on his best day. Jerryd Bayless will also once again be given the chance to prove that he can be the Raptors point guard of the future, something he has failed to prove all season. Both players will need to step up over the next few games.
The Raptors do catch a break as Andrew Bogut is once again injured, the promising Australian center has had a bad run of injuries in recent years and has appeared to catch the same injury curse that has struck another recent #1 draft pick, Greg Oden. With Bogut out expect Ersan Ilyasova to continue to increase his recent impressive scoring run with the added touches. Ilyasova scored 32 points against the Bulls and 26 against the Knicks in his last two games and has been one of the surprises of this season. James Johnson should be given the assignment to slow him down.
Andrea Bargnani should receive cautious minutes in his return from injury. After re-injuring himself in his last return the Raptors must be cautious with him to avoid further problems in the future.
Drew Gooden has owned the Raptors in their last meetings. Averaging 20 points and 12 rebounds in the last three games between the two squads.
Tonight’s game tips off at 6:00 PM EST (remember Daylight Savings Time) and will be on FSN Wisconsin and Sportsnet One for American and Canadian viewers