Matchup: Toronto Raptors at Memphis Grizzlies
Records: Raptors (17-4); Grizzlies (12-7)
Where to Watch
Time: 8:00 p.m.
Radio: SN 590
Location: FedEx Forum, Memphis, TN
If you expect to see a high flying fast paced affair when the Toronto Raptors travel to Memphis for their game against the Grizzlies think again. While the rest of the league continues to speed up, the Grizzlies are comfortable slowing it down. Since 2012, the Grizzlies have only ranked as high as 26th in pace. This year they're dead last at a pace of 96.4. The Raptors sit 11th in the league currently at a pace of 102.0. If the Raptors can speed the Grizzlies up, which is tough to do, they'll put themselves in a position to get a tough road win.
The point guard matchup is one to watch tonight as Mike Conley and Kyle Lowry - two of the league's best two-way point guards - take center stage. After missing almost all of last season, Conley is back in the lineup averaging 20.3 points, 6.6 assists and 1.1 steals.
Lowry started the season playing out of his mind but has since come back down to earth. Though perhaps not spectacular, he's been solid averaging 16 points, 12 assists, and 5.6 rebounds per game over his last three games. In a game with fewer possessions, it's going to be on Lowry to protect the rock, he's only had six games with one or fewer turnovers.
Marc Gasol has benefitted from having Conley back in the lineup on both ends of the floor. With Conley setting the tone defensively, Gasol has been able to stay back and survey the court like an NFL safety leading to averages of 1.3 blocks and 1.6 steals per game and a defensive rating of 100. The last time he had anything close to those numbers he won Defensive Player of the Year in 2012-13.
Missing from the game tonight will be Mississauga native Dillion Brooks who is still out with a Grade 2 MCL sprain. Brooks is expected to be a major part of the Canadian basketball program going forward even telling Donovan Bennett from Sportsnet that he wants to make Canada the "best basketball nation in the world."
Last Time They Played
Date: February 4, 2018
Score: Raptors 101, Grizzlies 86
Raptors: Delon Wright - 15 points, four rebounds, two assists
Grizzlies: Marc Gasol - 20 points, six rebounds, five assists