While it may have felt at times like this 2019-20 regular season would never end, we are indeed finally at its conclusion. In 30 minutes, the Raptors and Nuggets will tip-off on their final game before the NBA playoffs begin on Monday. And in truly weird (and befitting) fashion, Toronto will end the season having competed in 72 games, while the Nuggets end on game number 73. Maybe this is just me, but the asymmetry of this hurts my brain.
Nevertheless, even with nothing at stake, Toronto and Denver are going to play this game. For the Raptors, the contest presents one last chance to tune up the rotation’s seven core players (though only Powell and Gasol are active). Players eight through 17 are also, of course, looking for a chance to prove they can perform in the spot minutes they may or may not get in the post-season. Remember: in the 2018-19 title run, Toronto relied on seven players, finding few chances for Patrick McCaw (injured now) and Jodie Meeks (long gone). We’ll see how things change come Monday.
As for the Nuggets, well, their roster is all over the place now, and getting stranger by the second. Obviously, Denver still relies on their big man Nikola Jokic, but with Gary Harris and Will Barton both out, they’ve turned to rookie Michael Porter Jr., and an overall bigger lineup. (The 7’2” Bol Bol got a bunch of run with Jokic on the court, for example.) They’re still a dangerous team though, sitting in third in the West.
In that spirit, this could be an interesting test for the Raptors. Or it could just be an interesting something for both teams as they play out the finale of the string. For now, below are the exceedingly random updated game details — and here’s our preview from this morning by Mitch Orsatti.
Where to Watch
TSN at 1:30 PM ET
Toronto — Terence Davis, Matt Thomas, Norman Powell, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Marc Gasol
Denver — Jamal Murray, Torrey Craig, Jerami Grant, Paul Millsap, Nikola Jokic
Toronto — Patrick McCaw (left knee soreness — out), Serge Ibaka (knee — out), OG Anunoby (knee — out), Oshae Brissett (knee — out), Kyle Lowry (rest — out), Pascal Siakam (rest — out), Fred VanVleet (rest — out)
Denver — Gary Harris (hip — out), Will Barton (knee — out)