Photo Credit: Canadian Press
The Toronto Raptors will face the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night at Ball Arena in Denver.
The Nuggets are fourth in the Western Conference with a 40-21 record. They score the fourth-most points-per-game with 115.5 and allow the ninth-fewest with 110.2. Denver is also third in the league in offensive rating with 116.7.
They are led by center Nikola Jokic, who is averaging 26.2 points, 11 rebounds and 8.7 assists this season. The Joker can do it all on the offensive end, shooting 56.7 percent from the field, 40.9 percent from three and 85.8 percent from the line. He leads the NBA with a 36.1 efficiency rating, and is second in the league in triple-doubles this season with 15. Jokic, arguably this year’s leading MVP candidate, has taken on the responsibility of carrying Denver’s offense since Jamal Murray’s season-ending injury on April 12.
The Raptors backcourt will look to dominate their opponent’s guards in the absence of Murray and defensive specialist Gary Harris, who was dealt at the trade deadline. Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet will look to expose the undersized Facundo Campazzo on the perimeter, so expect a high scoring game from Toronto’s star guards.
OG Anunoby has been on a tear lately, averaging 23 points over his last five games, shooting 56 percent from the field and 45.9 percent from deep in that span. His offensive outburst has not slowed down his renowned defensive game, as he held Kevin Durant to just 17 points in the loss to Brooklyn on Tuesday night.
Toronto prevailed 135-111 in their first meeting with Denver in March, when the Raptors snapped their nine-game losing streak.
Catch tip-off in Denver on Thursday night at 9PM EST on Sportsnet.
*Stats listed as of Wednesday afternoon, prior to Denver’s game against the Pelicans.