It’s a meeting between two scrambling teams, with the Memphis Grizzlies trying to climb out of a funk and the Toronto Raptors itching to move up in the standings. Memphis won the first meeting last December 29th, 119-106.
Catch the game tomorrow at 7:00 AM, Manila time.
HOME: Memphis Grizzlies (32-20, 21-4 HOME)
Projected starting five:
- Ja Morant (Day-to-Day) / Tyus Jones
- Desmond Bane
- Ziaire Williams
- Jaren Jackson Jr. (Day-to-Day) / Santi Aldama
- Xavier Tillman
Did NFL Hall-of-Famer Shannon Sharpe put a hex on these guys? The once red-hot Grizzlies have gone ice-cold. They will enter tomorrow’s contest having lost seven of their last eight games, a stretch that started after the now-infamous incident with Sharpe. They are averaging 111 points per game in that span while allowing 118.8.
Adding to the pressure is the likely absence of their All-Stars, Ja Morant (wrist) and Jaren Jackson Jr. (thigh) – Dillon Brooks is also out because of suspension, though he’s been struggling a lot this season. As such, it will be Desmond Bane’s time to step up. The third-year guard is scoring career-bests 21.6 points and 3.1 threes on the season. He also had 16 points, five rebounds, four assists, and a pair of steals in the initial meeting with Toronto.
Tyus Jones will get the nod if Morant sits this one out. Expect him to have a good numbers if so, as he has posted 20.0 points and 7.8 assists in eight starts this season.
The Grizzlies are 2-7 ATS in their last 9 games overall.
AWAY: Toronto Raptors (24-30, 9-18 AWAY)
Projected starting five:
- Fred VanVleet
- Gary Trent Jr.
- Scottie Barnes
- Pascal Siakam
- Precious Achiuwa
The Raptors are simply not getting it done despite a competitive squad. They are just 12th in the East and 4-6 over their last 10 games, a rhythm that’s been the theme all season long. Two-way guard OG Anunoby is also still out.
What’s “kind of” good is this is still a dangerous group every night, simply because they’re a mesh of versatile hoopers when they click. Also, they are facing an undermanned Memphis team, so that’s an added appeal, at least for tomorrow.
Noted All-Star snub Pascal Siakam, top facilitator Fred VanVleet, reigning Rookie of the Year winner Scottie Barnes, and quick-offense Gary Trent Jr. – it’s a nice collection and all can suddenly provide significant damage. Siakam, as always, will lead the way. He (25 pts, 10 rebs) and Barnes (14 pts, 10 rebs) both had double-doubles in their last matchup against the Grizzlies.
The Raptors are averaging 118.1 points in their last 10 games, while surrendering 116.5. They are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
Handicap: The Raptors (+4.5) escape with a close win.
Over/Under: I see them slightly missing 228.5. Going under might be good.