The Toronto Raptors are coming off an impressive comeback win against the Atlanta Hawks last night, in which the Raptors (12-7) were able to rally behind an unbelievable franchise-high, 22-point 4th quarter from Kyle Lowry. Now, on the second night of a back-to-back, they have a challenge against the youthful Denver Nuggets.
Despite the Denver Nuggets (6-13) currently one of the Western conference’s lowly team, they posses some young studs like Kenneth Faried, and Gary Harris – passed the league’s concussion protocol; expected to start – and the sharpshooter in Danilo Gallinari, the Raptors will have to face a challenge of very talented individuals.
Raptors Cage’s Keys To The Game
Stay Mentally Tough
Tough situation for the Raptors to come into; expounding so much energy and mental belief into a tough win last night. But, they’ve got to continue and grind. To see some sluggish play may not be a surprise, just hope that they’re able to stay afloat as this might be one of their toughest trips, physically and mentally wise.
Get Back On Defense
Denver has a ton of athletes, and that starts with their young guy Emmanuel Mudiay, and their athletic forward, Kenneth Faried. The Raptors have to be smart thinkers, and develop the mindset that they have to stop any running game that the Nuggets will attempt, considering that the stamina of the Nuggets’ players will be significantly better, coming from a high altitude area.
Manage the Minutes (Dwane Casey)
Simple, but easier said then done, especially considering how the make-up of the game will carry out. Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Cory Joseph, and Patrick Patterson are likely gassed after a hard-fought come-back win last night; Casey has to be able to manage his rotations, so that they aren’t gassed, and have enough energy to either close out the game, or – hopefully not in this situation – to fight for a win.
X-Factor: DeMarre Carroll
DeMarre Carroll is gonna have a tough time, especially with the young, talented wings that the Nuggets possess. Easy enough, Carroll has to step up defensively, and force them to pass the ball. Spreading the floor, and the running game will be major necessities too, but, his main focus will be to limit any production from the likes of Harris, and Gallo.