Raptors Rapid Recap: Denver 97 - Toronto 96

- On a night when the Toronto Raptors crushed the visiting Denver Nuggets 58-38 on the glass, it was the inability to grab rebounds in the final minute that resulted in a three by "Mr. Big Shot" Chauncey Billups to tie the game at 95 followed by a buzzer-beating jumper by Carmelo Anthony for the one-point win.

- The late-game struggle on the glass coincided with Jay Triano's decision to 'go small' to match up with the Nuggets, as opposed to simply continuing with what was working throughout the game. The wasted double digit rebounding performances by three Raptors -- Chris Bosh, Andrea Bargnani and Amir Johnson -- is something that hasn't been seen by a Toronto team in over a year.

- Bargnani grabbed 15 — FIFTEEN!!! — rebounds in this one. I believe Hell has frozen over as a result.

- Despite the heartbreaking loss, a couple of changes to the starting lineup resulted in one of the Raptors' best efforts of the season. Antoine Wright got the nod in place of a sick Hedo Turkoglu while Sonny Weems replaced painfully ineffective starter DeMar DeRozan.

- Coming off the bench appeared to agree with DeRozan, who shot a blistering 7/8 from the field for 15 points in just over 21 minutes. However, the rookie mistakes and defensive miscues were still on full display.

- While they're benching DeRozan, would it be too much to ask Triano to flip Jarrett Jack for Jose Calderon again? Calderon is clearly better off the bench for some inexplicable reason while Jack is better running out with the starters.

- Forgotten man Marco Belinelli also looked solid tonight in just 15 minutes off the bench.

- The Raptors used a 29-16 third quarter to build a nine-point lead, but gave it back by allowing the Nuggets to win the fourth quarter 25-15.

- If the Raptors continue to play the way they did tonight, it's possible they could split a very difficult back-to-back set against the Miami Heat on Sunday and the Charlotte Bobcats on Monday. We'll probably have a much better sense of how the bottom three seeds in the Eastern Conference will play out by Tuesday morning.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Raptors HQ

You must be a member of Raptors HQ to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Raptors HQ. You should read them.

Join Raptors HQ

You must be a member of Raptors HQ to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Raptors HQ. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker