Nuggets at Raptors, game-day Dino-bytes
Our post-shootaround look at tonight’s Raptors game
DENVER (33-19) vs. TORONTO (19-32)
Air Canada Centre
TIPOFF: 7 p.m.
TV: TSN; RADIO: FAN590
WEB: Oh, yes, we will be here for the usual in-game blog shortly before 7 p.m.
Denver: Ty Lawson, Andre Iguodala, Danilo Gallinari, Kenneth Faried, Kosta Koufas; Toronto: Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Rudy Gay, Amir Johnson, Jonas Valanciunas.
Key backups tonight
Denver: Andre Miller (savvy veteran a pass-first PG); JaVale McGee (quick big man plays with energy); Toronto: Terrence Ross (game should be a pace he likes), John Lucas III (can he match Sunday’s fourth quarter?)
Denver leads, 1-0
The horrid early-December road trip out west began with the Nuggets scoring a 113-110 win at the Pepsi Centre.
And Denver has won nine of the last 10 meetings between the teams.
What happened this morning?
A matter of pace
Dwane Casey was talking about how the Nuggets thrive on an up-tempo game and are going to score their fair share of points.
But he also pointed out the Nuggets don’t seem to be all that fond of defence and would rather give up a shot than defend for long stretches in any possession.
He said the Raptors have to be patient because with two or three passes, they are likely to get a good shot.
Still a bit sick
Andrea Bargnani, laid low by the flu since Saturday night, did not take part in shootaround and is being termed a “game-time decision.”
The best bet – if betting was legal – would be that that decision is negative. But time will tell.
Stat, take it or leave it
I know some care and Amir Johnson has now blocked at least one shot in 11 straight games. Big accomplishment? His career best is 13 straight with at least a block.
It’s nothing personal
We did chat with Jonas Valanciunas, briefly, after shootaround and everyone tried to steer the conversation to his solid play in the second half of the Indiana game and Sunday against New Orleans.
He was having none of it, even when he was asked about his back-to-back double-doubles.
“As long as the team is winning I feel great … I don’t like to talk about myself.”
The view from there
Here’s a latest dispatch from the Denver Post, wherein Andre Iguodala says a strained neck won’t keep him out tonight.
Those in charge, for what it’s worth
Ed Malloy, Sean Corbin and Kevin Scott are tonight’s officials.
That’s not Mendy Rudolph, Jake O’Donnell and Earl Strom.
(You’ve got to be of a certain vintage to know those names)
Another stat that may, or may not, matter
The Nuggets are the worst free-throw shooting team in the league, making just 69 per cent of their attempts.