Toronto Raptors v Denver Nuggets

A suddenly healthy Raptors squad entertains a shorthanded Nuggets team at the Air Canada Centre.

Start time: 7:00 PM ET
Channel: TSN

Probable starting lineups
Toronto: Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Rudy Gay, Amir Johnson, Jonas Valanciunas
Denver: Ty Lawson, Corey Brewer, Evan Fournier, Kenneth Faried, Kosta Koufos

Injury report
Toronto: Linas Kleiza and Mickael Pietrus are still on this team…I think?
Denver: Andre Iguodala, Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler are all out

Random Thoughts:

  • A 33-19 team who currently sits fifth in the Western Conference should not be taken lightly by the Raptors of all teams, but this has to be seen as a winnable contest for Toronto. The Nuggets have been bad on the road (11-16) and without the services of Iguodala, Gallinari and Chandler, the Raptors should have quite the advantage on the wings. Having said that, the Nuggets still have some capable offensive weapons.
  • The Raptors should have the advantage at the wings, and the point guard matchup between Lawson and Lowry should be a battle, but this game might be decided by the big men. I’m interested in seeing Valanciunas match up with JaVale McGee once McGee comes off the bench and if Amir Johnson can match “The Manimal’s” energy. Of course, the Raptors will have a certain seven-foot bench scorer back tonight, which could be a tipping point for either team.
  • Speaking of Andrea Bargnani, I was really hoping we would have got to see him match up with his countryman in Gallinari tonight. Bargnani is the far more talented and physically gifted player, but I don’t think there’s any doubt that Gallo has surpassed him as a player in the NBA. As I’ve mentioned a few times recently, I’m not sure whether that’s a testament to Gallinari’s work ethic or Bargnani’s lack of it.