And then there was one. On Friday, the Raptors will play their final seeding game ahead of the 2020 NBA Playoffs, bringing an end to their regular season. The Raptors already know who they’ll face in the first round, so we’re unlikely to see much from Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam and Marc Gasol. This will almost certainly be another opportunity for players on the second unit to shine, such as Matt Thomas, Stanley Johnson and Chris Boucher, each of whom have been making the most of their extended minutes lately.
Following their loss to the LA Clippers on Wednesday, the Nuggets are locked into a first-round matchup with the Utah Jazz. The difference with them is they have two key members of their rotation in Gary Harris and Will Barton who have yet to play in the season restart. This game will be their last opportunity to get some minutes before the playoffs begin.
An injury report will be made available closer to tip.
- On the season, the Nuggets rank sixth in offensive efficiency (112.6) and 16th in defensive efficiency (110.3).
- The Raptors, meanwhile, rank 13th in offence (110.7) and second in defence (104.6).
- Nuggets rookie Michael Porter Jr. has been one of the breakout stars of the bubble. Through seven games, he’s averaging 22.0 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists.
- Nikola Jokic is creating 22.0 points per game with his assists in the bubble, the fifth-highest rate in the league.
- Boucher tied his career-high with four blocks in Toronto’s comeback win over the Philadelphia 76ers.
- OG Anunoby recorded a career-high seven steals in the first meeting between the Raptors and Nuggets this season.
Last Time They Played
Date: March 1, 2020
Score: Denver Nuggets 133, Toronto Raptors 118
Nuggets: Nikola Jokic – 23 PTS, 18 REB, 11 AST
Raptors: OG Anunoby – 32 PTS, 7 REB, 7 STL, 3 AST
The Toronto Raptors look to keep the ball rolling after winning 10 of their last 11 games. The Toronto Raptors are averaging 112.7 points on 45.7 percent shooting and allowing 106.5 points on 42.8 percent shooting. Pascal Siakam is averaging 23.1 points and 7.4 rebounds while Kyle Lowry is averaging 19.5 points and 7.5 assists. Fred VanVleet is the third double-digit scorer and Norman Powell is grabbing 3.6 rebounds. The Toronto Raptors are shooting 37.2 percent from beyond the arc and 79.7 percent from the free throw line. The Toronto Raptors are allowing 33.6 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 45.3 rebounds per game.
The Nuggets are 7-0 ATS in the last 7 meetings in Toronto and 20-6 ATS in the last 26 meetings. The over is 6-1 in the last 7 meetings in Toronto and 8-2-1 in the last 11 meetings.
Neither of these teams have anything to play for with the playoff matches already set, and an early start, this could be a sloppy game all across the board. Lots of guys who don’t play much and lots of turnovers. With that said, I’d lean toward the Nuggets and the free bucket. The Denver Nuggets have spent a lot of time in the bubble playing undermanned, so a lot of the guys who should see starter minutes in this game are guys who have been seeing consistent minutes anyway. I wouldn’t touch this game personally, but the Nuggets get the slight lean.