As the calendar turns to December, the Raptors (6-9) continue their homestand against the house that Masai built, the Denver Nuggets (9-6). Unfortunately, turning the calendar to December means that I’m swamped with end-of-term schoolwork (for the final time in my life though, fortunately), and so this preview’s going to be a bit more abbreviated than usual. Instead of reading through my questionable-value-add preamble, let’s just get down to brass tax:

Tale of the Tape
O-Rating: Toronto 104.44 (15th), Nuggets 107.69 (8th)
D-Rating: Toronto 103.81 (9th), Nuggets 105.88 (17th)
Pace: Toronto 95.5 (24th), Nuggets 100.8 (3rd)
Strength: Toronto offensive rebounding (1st in the league in O-rebounding percentage), Nuggets general offence (not in top 5 in anything – in top 12 in most offensive categories)
Weakness: Toronto distribution (30th in assist rate), Nuggets turnovers (5th in TOs, 28th in forcing opponent TOs)

The Pick

The line is off on this game as Kenneth Faried is still day-to-day – and if he can’t play, expect the Raptors to have a big advantage on the boards. Danilo Gallinari is still out, too, and so it’s going to be tough for the Nuggets to match the Raps in terms of wing scoring if Rudy Gay even has a semi-passable game. I’m going to say Raptors by 4 as they end their losing skid and take control of the Atlantic once again, with the Lowry/Lawson matchup being the game’s pivotal one.

Again, apologies for the brevity of this post. I’ll make it up to you all with Raptor-themed Christmas carols.

  • GoingBig

    The Titanic Division keeps on giving – watched Milwaukee(2-13) defeat the Boston Celtics.

  • KJ-B

    The biggest struggle/problem/challenge/conundrum I see with the Toronto is Rudy Gay’s secret struggle…not the one that has expelled from the locker in the form of stat sheets but the one in his psyche.

    RUDY GAY CANNOT stand the fact that DeMar DeRozan has surpassed him as a scorer. Rudy is still a better ALL AROUND player, maybe for not much longer if he continues to obsess over PPG…

    I watch many a game where the only person that can put a blanket over DeRozan’s hot streak is not an opposing player/scheme but Rudy Gay. He seems hell bent on letting DeMar put up 40 in a game, even if this untalented group oft needs it, as long as he’s wearing Raptor colors.

    This competition that Rudy has going with DeMar which he’s going to lose in terms of PPG is a cancer and is a prime reason the raptors are 30th in ball movement. Rudy would much rather the ball stick than see DeMar have a game where he scores 20 or more points than he does.

    Rudy Gay’s ego is worth every bit of the $18mil but his crab-in-the-bucket game is not!

  • André Börg

    I was watching the Rockets vs Spurs the other night and heard the Rockets color guy say that they had only shot 2 mid-range jump shots the night before against the Nets. The shot chart here shows that they shot 5 all game: http://scores.espn.go.com/nba/shotchart?gameId=400489107

    Rudy and Demar will likely hoist twice that many mid-range J’s in the first quarter this afternoon

    GO RAPTORS!.

  • FREEJV

    if we get blown out or play bad this game Masai is gonna do something cuz this is his old team and hes gonna see if this raptors team is ahead of that team or not.

    • robertparrish00

      Guess we are worse-even without 2 starters.

      • FREEJV

        yep time to trade rudy for rafael araujo

  • onemanweave

    Hope when you share the Raps Christmas carols, you include this perennial favorite:

    Rudy, the Green-Light Gunner

    Rudy, the green light gunner — had a very slow release
    Sometimes when it came to defense — he forgot to move his feet
    Rudy, the green light gunner — didn’t really give a hoot
    If you’re lookin for that big max contract — all you need to do is shoot, shoot shoot

    Then one cold crisp Toronto eve — Masai came to say
    Rudy with your shot so busted – I don’t think you can be trusted
    To hoist up more than 37 — maybe it’s past time to pass
    Or Rudy the green light gunner — I’m a-gonna ship your ass
    To Minnesota — where it’s even colda.

    Then how the Raptors loved him – and they shouted out at last -ah!
    Rudy the green light gunner — you’ll soon be gone like Primo pasta.