Season Series: Raptors 1-0
With the Memphis Grizzlies in town to face the Toronto Raptors, the Raptors look to continue their winning ways over the Grizzlies this season.
Toronto defeated Memphis easily in a blowout preseason game at Air Canada Centre in October, then did the same in the Grizzlies’ house in a 103-87 regular-season victory in November.
The game marked former Raptor Rudy Gay’s return to the FedEx forum for the first time since being traded to Toronto, and it was Gay who led the way offensively for Toronto. With Gay now playing in Sacramento, look for Kyle Lowry to put in a strong effort against the Grizzlies on Friday night.
What To Watch
Kyle Lowry vs. Mike Conley: We could have Kyle Lowry as a player to watch every night because he’s playing at such a high level and is so crucial to Toronto’s success, but watching him play against any of his former teams is always fun. Lowry says these games are just like any other, but it’s natural to want to give your best to a team that was once your own.
Mike Conley, one of the most underrated point guards in the league, is averaging 17 points and six assists per game. He also scored the game-winning bucket to cap off a 9-0 run to close the game in Memphis’ most recent 90-88 victory against the New Orleans Pelicans.
Free throws: In November’s, Toronto shot 39 free throws and made 33 of them. In comparison, the Grizzlies got to the line just 17 times, making 11. DeMar DeRozan is averaging nearly 11 attempts per game over his last seven games. Look for Toronto to be the aggressors here.
Tony Allen’s defence: There’s always a game within the game and when the Grizzlies are in town that subplot is always going to be Tony Allen. Watching Allen lock down perimeter scorers is poetry in motion, and a nightmare for the opponent he is guarding.
Amir Johnson’s block history: In Wednesday’s victory against the Detroit Pistons, Amir Johnson blocked an Andre Drummond shot and moved into a third-place tie with Antonio Davis on Toronto’s all-time blocks list. He’ll try to take sole possession of the third spot against the Grizzlies. Chris Bosh and Vince Carter are first and second on that list, respectively.
“That’s why I work so hard. It always bugged me going home early, just sitting there, doing nothing. It used to make me so hungry, just watching. I’ve got a lot of friends that play in the playoffs. And I always had to hear them all summer talking about their experiences in the playoffs. It always pushed me even further. I just want to get there.” – DeRozan on how it feels to be in a playoff push in March
– “Some of it is DNA…Some guys have to really concentrate on boxing out. Some guys are just natural rebounders. They just go get it. That’s something we’re working with our guys on. There are situations where we don’t do a great job of boxing out, and lose focus and just try to out-jump somebody or out-reach somebody.” – Dwane Casey on what makes a good rebounder
Bonus quotables from Terrence Ross’ recent reddit AMA hosted by TSN’s BarDown
“Coach hates one handed passes. Doesn’t matter if it’s a good pass or a turnover. He hates them.” – Ross on Dwane Casey’s biggest pet peeve
– “Toronto is a lot bigger and a lot more diverse than I thought. I didn’t know how great our fans would be since I thought Toronto was a hockey city, but the fan support is unreal.” – Ross on what has surprised him about Toronto since being drafted here
– “It means a lot. I can’t even express how much it means. I feel like I’m part of history with the organization. It’s an honour (with a u) and it’s a blessing.” – Ross on how it feels being in a Toronto uniform this season as the team heads toward the playoffs
– “I would be trying to get my degree in criminology and then work in forensic science. I was really good in school, especially during college. I was on it. I got a 3.7 GPA. I was killing it.” – Ross on where he would be if he wasn’t starting for the Raptors
Raptors: Kyle Lowry (G), DeMar DeRozan (G), Terrence Ross (F), Amir Johnson (F), Jonas Valanciunas (C)
Grizzlies: Mike Conley (G), Courtney Lee (G), Tayshaun Prince (F), Zach Randolph (F), Marc Gasol (C)
Raptors: Patrick Patterson – right ulnar collateral sprain (out)
Grizzlies: Quincy Pondexter – tarsal navicular stress fracture, right foot (out)
By The Numbers: Raptors vs. Grizzlies
|2013-14 AVERAGES||2013-14 RANKINGS|
Last Time They Met: Raptors 103, Grizzlies 87 - Nov. 13th, 2013