So, I missed the last Raptors’ game as a result of a panic attack that put me in the ER, and honestly, looking over the box score, good for me. Now, if only I had gotten to stay in there a little while longer I might have been able to meet Serge Ibaka and Fred VanVleet, who, it is being reported, are too banged up to play in tonight’s contest against the Denver Nuggets.
Gasol out. VanVleet out Ibaka out for Raptors— Ryan Wolstat (@WolstatSun) March 1, 2020
Ibaka and VanVleet join Marc Gasol on the sidelines, which, you might note, is especially concerning for tonight’s game, as the Nuggets’ gameplan is centered around a Very Large Serbian Man: newly minted two-time All-Star Nikola Jokic. In the absence of Gasol and Ibaka the Raptors will presumably now be forced to rely on Chris Boucher or Rondae Hollis-Jefferson to defend Jokic in the post, and those two, for all their gumption, don’t really have the heft to hold up in that matchup.
The Raptors will likely be relying on Nick Nurse to pull a rabbit out of a hat in this one, as it seems they’ll need an unorthodox way to slow down Jokic if they’re to slow him down at all. Of course, even if they’re able to limit Jokic’s impact, they’ll still need to be wary of a strong Nuggets supporting cast headlined by Kitchener’s own Jamal Murray.
Will the Raptors’ recent slide continue? Or will they strike gold in the rough? Let’s watch.
Where to Watch:
Sportsnet One at 6pm EST
Toronto — Kyle Lowry, Norman Powell, OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
Denver — Jamal Murray, Will Barton, Gary Harris, Jerami Grant, Nikola Jokic
Toronto — Fred VanVleet (shoulder - out), Serge Ibaka (knee - out), Marc Gasol (hamstring - out), Dewan Hernandez (ankle - out)
Denver — Paul Millsap (ankle - out), Noah Vonleh (ankle - out), Bol Bol (foot - out)