Due to the NBA’s fantastic scheduling, the Toronto Raptors got 2 days off after their loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. They now have another back to back, with a tilt against the Denver Nuggets tonight and the Cavs again tomorrow.
After getting off to a miserable start, the Nuggets started to pick up the pace and now sit at a mediocre 9-11. As you should know, the Raps still sit atop the East at 15-5.
Let’s get to the Cage’s Keys to the Game:
Slow the pace
The Nuggets are the 9th best offense in the league. Contrarily, they are the 27th best defense. Make them play defense and prevent their transition game. This will ultimately allow the Raptors to put up a much more complete defensive effort than we have been seeing. It will be a good test to see how the Raps defense holds up.
The Nuggets live and die by the electric Ty Lawson. Slow him down and you start to limit a lot of what they can do offensively.
This kind of goes with the pace thing. Don’t try to cheat off your man – box out properly as this Nuggets team is a very good at rebounding. The JaVale McGee vs Jonas Valanciunas match-up should be a good one to watch.
X-Factor: Terrence Ross
It really does seem like Ross is the guy that puts the DeRozan-less Raptors over the top. When his offense is clicking, it brings a completely different dynamic (one that doesn’t revolve around dump and clear to KLoe). Defensively, he can be that lock down guy if he’s fired up. Let’s hope he is tonight.
This is what he did last time against Denver.
PS – sorry about the spotty coverage lately. Exams and such have got the crew quite busy – we are doing our best and things should be better than even in about a week.