Toronto Raptors (42-17) vs. Denver Nuggets (40-19)
Date/Time: Sunday, March 1, 2020 6:00 PM
The Nuggets are coming off a blowout loss where their head coach laid into them and back at home on Sunday night they host a Toronto Raptors team that has lost two in a row.
On the season Toronto is 33-26 ATS with an O/U record of 30-28 and Denver is 27-28-4 ATS with an O/U record of 28-30.
The Raptors have dropped two games in a row and while they rank a legit 13th in the league in ppg (112.7 ppg) they have only scored 97 and 96 points, respectively, in their last two games. Toronto is still in second place in the Eastern Conference nine games back of the Milwaukee Bucks, who they recently lost to, and a half a game up on the Boston Celtics.
The Nuggets were blown out in their last game losing 132-103 on the road to the L.A. Clippers. After the game head coach, Dave Malone ripped into his team calling them “soft” and he also questioned their “competitive spirit and effort.” With the loss, the Nuggets are now tied for second place in the Western Conference with the Clippers six games back of the L.A. Lakers.
On the season the Nuggets are 23-7 at home and the Raptors are 19-8 on the road.
This is the first game between these teams this season.
Cold Shooting Leads to Second Straight Loss
The Raptors were at home in their last game in a 99-96 loss to the Charlotte Hornets where they only shot 34.7% from the floor and 23.3% from 3-point range. They allowed the Hornets to shoot 43.6% and the game was close because Toronto forced 18 turnovers and only committed five.
Pascal Siakam led the Raptors in the loss to the Hornets with 24 points but was only 9/23 from the floor and Kyle Lowry and Norman Powell combined for 43 points.
On the season the Raptors rank first in the league in points allowed per game (106 ppg).
All-Star Siakam (23.7 ppg) leads the team in scoring and while he has totaled 46 points in the last two games he failed to shoot over 42.9% in either of them. Lowry (19.2 ppg) is the second leading scorer and while he went for 21 points in the last game he only shot 35.7% from the floor. He only went for 10 points in his previous game and in his five games since the All-Star break he has averaged 14.6 ppg on 34.3% shooting.
A Game to Forget
In the blowout loss to the Clippers, the Nuggets had a game to forget down as much as 33 points and they allowed L.A. to shoot 53.9% from the floor. Nikola Jokic had 21 points and nine rebounds and Jerami Grant came off the bench to score 20 points but was only 5-15 from the floor.
Paul Millsap and Gary Harris are combining to average nearly 23 ppg on the season but they totaled four points on only two shots in the loss to the Clippers.
Jokic (20.8 ppg 10 rpg) has averaged 23.3 ppg in the four games since the All-Star break and he may have a big game since Raptors C Serge Ibaka is likely out with a knee injury. Jamaal Murry (18.7 ppg) only had 11 points in the L.A. game and he has totaled 27 points in his last two games.
Denver is ranked tied for seventh in the league in points allowed (107-2 ppg) but in two of their last three games they have given up at least 128 points.
The Nuggets were throttled in their last game and the Raptors have not only lost two in a row but both games were at home.
With the Nuggets back home at the Pepsi Center and after getting a tongue-lashing from their head coach they will respond, big-time, in this game.
Denver will play with intensity on both sides of the floor and they will win and cover sending the Raptors to their third straight loss.