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.

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