Game Notes:

  1. This was a trap game for 100 different reasons. First off, it was the first road game after a long homestand. Those are hard. Second, it’s in Denver with the thin air and all. Nobody had anything in the tank. It happens.
  2. That being said, how Jonas Valanciunas played on defense was utterly unacceptable. He was winded by the 9-minute mark of the first and let a mobile (but not fast) player in Jokic run circles around him. Valanciunas was completely lead-footed, didn’t even bother with contests, and was rightfully bench. Horrible.
  3. Nikola Jokic is really impressive. He had a stretch during the first where he led two fast breaks and looked completely comfortable doing so. Great touch around the hoop and has range on the jumper as well.
  4. What was up with Raptors assistant Nick Nurse picking up a technical foul during a timeout when he walked out of the huddle to berate a ref? Silly move.
  5. Really hope Kyle Lowry’s wrist is OK. He played 41 and 40 minutes right after the wrist injury looks really dumb in retrospect. He was 3-12 from the floor, 1-6 from deep, and 3-8 from the free-throw line. Fingers crossed.
  6. Fingers also crossed for James Johnson, who slipped on a wet spot and had to exit in the first half. Before that, Johnson had one of his worst games of the year with three failed dribble drives (2 TO, 1 miss), and a litany of poor defensive plays against Danilo Gallinari. Woof.
  7. Bebe Noguiera didn’t look ready to play. And is it just me, or is he kinda out of shape? Looks like he’s carrying a bit of weight in the midsection and he didn’t at all look light on his feet.
  8. Anyone interested in a Randy Foye trade? I wouldn’t mind a gunner off the bench. He was stupid hot on Monday with two really tough threes. He’s also a capable ball-handler and an OK defender.
  9. Solid effort from Norman Powell. Appreciated his energy as he immediately recorded a nice help-side block as he started the third quarter. Missed both of his wide open looks from deep though. He needs to hit that to be a real player in this league.
  10. Good job by Casey to throw in the towel and keep DeRozan and Lowry on the bench for most of the fourth. There’s another game tomorrow in Phoenix. Had to play it smart with their minutes.
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