5 teams the Raptors are clearly worse than despite their records

The Toronto Raptors are short-handed, injury-riddled and ill-fitting. Even teams below them in the standings are better than they are - here's why.

Ochai Agbaji, Toronto Raptors and Cade Cunningham, Detroit Pistons
Ochai Agbaji, Toronto Raptors and Cade Cunningham, Detroit Pistons / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages
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No. 4: The Detroit Pistons are clearly better than the Raptors

Much ink was spilled and breath expelled discussing how truly atrocious the Detroit Pistons were earlier this season. They put up one of the longest losing streaks in NBA history and seemed destined for the worst record in the league.

Their long-term future has not improved much, but a combination of greater health and some roster turnover at the Trade Deadline has changed the quality of the Pistons. Cade Cunningham is still largely inefficient but playing at a much higher level than earlier this season, while young center Jalen Duren is making the leap and looks like a blue-chip option at the pivot.

The Raptors got to see the Pistons' newfound strength firsthand this week as they went into Detroit and were knocked around. Duren demolished the Raptors' outmatched frontline and scored 24 points with 23 rebounds, including nine on the offensive glass. The Pistons have just 12 wins on the season, and they looked like the clear better team than the Raptors.

No one on the Raptors is playing as well as Cunningham is right now, and no big is approaching the impact of Duren. The Raptors may have a brighter outlook in terms of draft capital and an established young star in Scottie Barnes, but right now the Pistons are better than the Raptors, and they proved it.