The Raptors got some bad news yesterday if you missed it with Jerryd Bayless being ruled out for the rest of the season. Today some good news as Demar DeRozan is expected to return to the line up and like he did 130 times before he got injured start. If anyone can related to the Raptors injury woes it is likely their opponent tonight in the Denver Nuggets. While the Raptors have went most of the season with out their Italian star in Bargnani same has been true in Denver with Gallinari.
Gallinari has only played in 33 games for the Nuggets, Bargnani has played in just 24 games for the Raptors. Danilo is not that far behind Bargnani in terms this year when they have played. While you can debate who is the better between the two there is no debating that Gallinari has the better cast around him. Unfortunately will not get a chance to see the two face off against each other tonight it looks like with Gallinari out yet again for the Nuggets.
The Nuggets made a surprising and most feel bad trade at the deadline parting ways with Nene who the Nuggets had fought hard to keep in the off-season. They do have Wilson Chandler who is likely the only Nugget visiting Toronto for the second time this season. The first was of course because he was considering signing with the Raptors after having played in China and returning as a RFA. That would not materialize and he would sign long term with the Nuggets. Which many say was his desire all along and he just used the Raptors as leverage. Which is something the Nuggets don't have in terms of the playoffs in the West. They are hanging on to the 8th spot with just a half game lead over Houston and a two game lead over Steve Nash and surging Suns.
The Nuggets did of course get something for Nene and that was Javale McGee who had one of the more embarrassing moments of the NBA season vs the Raptors with his old team the Wizards earlier in the season. I thought about posting the video of it but pretty sure you all remember. However, of late he has been alright for his new team with 11.3 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2 blocks in his last 3 games.
Any other things you need to know for this one? Keep an eye on Gary Forbes who now even has a bigger chance with both Barbosa and Bayless gone. He faces his former team tonight and that can motivate some people. Although this was Forbes deciding to come to Toronto and not the Nuggets sending him here. If he came for Toronto for opportunity he is now finding it.
Expect the Nuggets to be desperate for the win given the fact they are life and death to make playoffs and just 5-5 in their last 10 games. Raptors had a poor effort vs Magic but getting DeRozan back should help on offense. He won't solve the larger problem the Raptors had of defending the three point shot like they did vs the Magic.