The Raptors won last night, somehow. Thanks to a 39-point fourth quarter (and another stellar outing from Kyle Lowry and...Bebe??), Toronto pulled out a road win in Atlanta. Now, they open a six-game home stand, which will be the first time the Raptors will have back-to-back games at home this season, a bit of a scheduling quirk given we're already almost at the quarter mark.
The Nuggets are their first opponent, and one of the more winnable games during this six-game stretch, especially when you consider a date with Golden State looms on Saturday, and the Spurs are coming to town next week.
Here are three things to watch for:
The Rise of Bebe(??)
The man also known as Lucas Nogueria had four points, seven rebounds and a block in 16 minutes against Atlanta last night and was a +22. Soak it all in:
New: VIDEO - Lucas "Bebe" Nogueira Hawks Post-Game Interview - https://t.co/nfsptLdYrO pic.twitter.com/VAFDCQyDK8— Raptors Republic (@raptorsrepublic) December 3, 2015
Bebe: "Maybe a lot of guys are surprised, but not for me, because every day I work so hard for a chance like tonight."— Ryan Wolstat (@WolstatSun) December 3, 2015
Patrick Patterson and Terrence Ross
Aside from Cory Joseph (and Bebe??), the Raptors are lacking any semblance of consistency from their second unit, which adds up to way too many minutes for their starters -- specifically Lowry, DeMar DeRozan and DeMarre Carroll -- that will wear them down. The two players most likely to start turning things around would be Patterson and Ross. Likely. Or hopefully. No better time to get things going then this stretch here. Without contributions from the bench, it's hard to imagine the Raptors holding up over the course of the season, and especially in the playoffs.
The Rookie Play of Emmanuel Mudiay
The 19-year-old rookie will face a tough test against the Raptors. Mudiay has struggled with his shooting this season, a concern for many scouts heading into the draft. On the season, he's shooting 32.1 percent from the field and 25.4 percent from three. The rookie guard is playing over 30 minutes per game, as the rebuilding Nuggets are perfectly content to throw their lottery pick into the fire and deal with the growing pains.
Where to watch: Sportsnet One, 7:30pm EST