The Raptors have lost eight straight in Denver in mostly embarrassing fashion. The Nuggets have lost three straight overall. Something’s gotta give tonight.
Start time: 9:00 PM ET
Probable starting lineups
Toronto: Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Mickael Pietrus, Andrea Bargnani, Jonas Valanciunas
Denver: Ty Lawson, Andre Iguodala, Danilo Gallinari, Kenneth Faried, Kosta Koufos
Toronto: Landry Fields and Alan Anderson are still out, while Linas Kleiza is a game-time decision with a sore hip
Denver: Wilson Chandler is out
- The Nuggets may have lost three straight, but they’re also 4-1 at home this season (their only home loss came against the Heat) and haven’t lost a home game against the Raptors in nine years (December 30, 2003). The worst part about it is that Denver’s last five home wins against Toronto have been by an average margin of 27.4 points, which includes three deficits of 32 or more. Those numbers are both sickening and unsurprising.
- Both teams come in well rested after having the weekend off following Friday night games.
- With Kleiza listed as questionable, Pietrus should take his rightful place in the starting lineup tonight and maintain that place until Fields and Anderson return to the lineup.
- A couple of matchups I’ll be watching tonight – Lowry vs. Lawson and Bargnani vs. Faried. Lowry and Lawson are probably both top-10 point guards when they’re at their best, while Faried has grabbed more offensive rebounds this season than Bargnani has total rebounds.
- Speaking of Bargnani frustration, people continue to see a trade to the Lakers for Pau Gasol as the most sensible solution. On one hand, I want Andrea to settle into a groove so that the Lakers can be convinced to take him, but on the other hand, I worry that any Bargnani hot streak will convince Bryan Colangelo that “the enigma of all enigmas” has finally figured it out and is therefore untradeable again.
- With the Raptors about to tip off a Western road trip and some late night ball games coming this week, our “Thoughts On the Game” posts (Oliver’s got tonight’s game) will obviously go up much later than usual, but we’ll still get them done. If you can’t wait up, be sure to check them out in the mornings. We’re also going to try getting a podcast done tomorrow. In the mean time, enjoy the game, which will hopefully be decided by less than 27 points.