The surging Denver Nuggets will continue their homestand by hosting the struggling Toronto Raptors at Ball Arena on Thursday night. The Nuggets are currently on a three-game winning run while the Raptors enter this tie on the back of a loss.
Fixture: Toronto Raptors vs Denver Nuggets | NBA Season 2020-21
Date & Time: Thursday, April 29th, 9 PM ET (Friday, 6:30 AM IST)
Venue: Ball Arena, Denver, CO
Toronto Raptors Preview
The Toronto Raptors lost some ground in the race for the play-in spots following their loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday. Nick Nurse's men have still won five of their last seven games. The Raptors will start a four-game road trip with their matchup against the Denver Nuggets.
The Toronto Raptors do not have any fresh injuries to deal with, but Gary Trent Jr. is set to miss a third consecutive game. This would mean extended minutes for rookie Malachi Flynn, who's done well lately. He scored 18 points against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday and followed it up with an efficient 13-point outing against the Nets.
OG Anunoby has been among the more reliable players for the Toronto Raptors over the last week. Anunoby has contributed on both ends of the court, averaging 23.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.3 steals through the last four games.
Key Player - Pascal Siakam
Pascal Siakam had an excruciatingly bad game against the Brooklyn Nets, but he's been on a hot streak in April otherwise. Siakam leads the Toronto Raptors in scoring and has averaged 24.2 points, 6.5 rebounds and 4.4 assists per contest this month. Siakam toyed with Denver Nuggets defenders in the previous outing against the Western Conference franchise and finished with a game-high 27 points on 50% shooting.
Toronto Raptors Predicted Lineup
G Kyle Lowry, G Fred VanVleet, F OG Anunoby, F Pascal Siakam, C Khem Birch
Denver Nuggets Preview
The Denver Nuggets extended their winning run to three games with a close win against the New Orleans Pelicans last night. The Nuggets have been in good form since the NBA trade deadline and are just one game behind the third-seeded LA Clippers, whom they face later this week.
The Denver Nuggets have had to deal with long-term injuries to Jamal Murray and Will Barton, but that hasn't slowed them down. Michael Porter Jr. has filled the offensive void in the absence of these two. Porter has averaged 26 points and 6.6 rebounds in the eight games that the Nuggets have played since Murray's injury.
Aaron Gordon played more of a defensive role at the start of his tenure with the Denver Nuggets, but he's trying to produce more going forward of late. Gordon has averaged 12.2 points and 4.8 rebounds in the last five games for the Nuggets. He'll be tasked with guarding Pascal Siakam against the Toronto Raptors.
Key Player - Nikola Jokic
It's all about the Nikola Jokic show in Denver right now. Jokic is coming off a fine performance against the Pelicans, where he managed 32 points, eight assists, seven rebounds, three steals and three blocks. Jokic is the runaway favorite for MVP honors this season with averages of 26.3 points, 8.7 assists and 10.9 rebounds per game. He'll be hoping to prevent the Denver Nuggets from getting swept by the Toronto Raptors for the season on Thursday.
Denver Nuggets Predicted Lineup
G Facundo Campazzo, G PJ Dozier, F Michael Porter Jr., F Aaron Gordon, C Nikola Jokic
Raptors vs Nuggets Match Prediction
The main reason why the Denver Nuggets got trounced in the previous game against the Toronto Raptors is that they were too hapless defensively. They've got some recruitment towards that end and the offense is flowing fine even without Murray and Barton in the rotation.
The Raptors may have most of their key players available, but Anunoby and Siakam are the only two guys who've shown any consistency. Expect the Nuggets to eke out a win in what's likely to be a close contest.
Where to watch Raptors vs Nuggets?
Local coverage of the game will be available on Altitude Sports while SN while telecast the same in Canada. You can also live stream this matchup via the NBA League Pass.