Photo Credit: AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post
In the midst of a nine-game losing streak and increased trade buzz surrounding their players, the Toronto Raptors return to their temporary home in Florida tonight looking to snap their skid against the Denver Nuggets.
It could be a defining week for the Raptors and their future as the NBA trade deadline is tomorrow and the team has dropped out of a playoff spot, sitting at 17-26 on the season. Toronto is still looking for their first win in March having lost 11 of their past 12 games, their longest losing streak in 10 years.
With increased pressure on the Raptors to make a move, could tonight’s game be the last time we see either Kyle Lowry or Norman Powell in a Toronto uniform?
The Raptors will be in tough tonight as they face the 26-17 Denver Nuggets for the first time this season. The Nuggets are one of the hottest teams in the league, having won nine of their past 11 games.
The Raptors defense has struggled lately, allowing 114 points or more in all nine games of the current losing streak. The team defense will be pivotal in a victory tonight as they will be tasked with stopping MVP candidate, Nikola Jokic and Kitchener, Ontario native, Jamal Murray who lead the offensive attack for the Nuggets. An offense that is ranked near the top of the league in most metrics.
Aaron Baynes and Chris Boucher will be crucial in stopping Jokic who is averaging over 27 points per game to go with 11 rebounds and 8 assists, top 10 in the association in each of those stats. Jokic recorded his 12th triple double of the season in a win last night against Orlando. Jamal Murray, who may be the top Canadian in the league has averaged 21.1 points and nearly five assists this season, both second on his team.
The Nuggets will be without Gary Harris once again tonight, while the Raptors should have a fully healthy lineup. Tonight’s game on TSN will feature five women leading the coverage, the first all-female NBA broadcast.
The women will make history as the Raptors look to snap a historically bad run, tonight against Denver. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 PM EST.