Spruce Derden-US PRESSWIRE
All odds are against he Raptors tonight, as they face one of the NBA's top teams in Memphis. Is the upset possible? Yes, but VERY unlikely.
It's very difficult to find a reason for the Raptors to win tonight's game in Memphis.
The main cause for concern in tonight's game is the positional battles. The Grizzlies have the edge in every position, which is an obvious cause for concern for Raptors fans.
PG: Mike Conley jr. is one of the NBA's best at turning defense into offense. He's also had a real scoring touch of late, recording 19 points against the Lakers. After being destroyed by Jeremy Lin last night, this match up isn't looking any easier for Kyle Lowry and co.
Mike Conley did miss their last game due to flu-like symptoms, but is expected to play tonight's game.
The Raptors PG's have struggled on the offensive side lately, and facing Conley won't make things any easier.
SG: Tony Allen plays the bulk of the minutes for Memphis at SG. He's not much of a scoring threat, but is one of the best defenders the NBA has to offer. Whoever is facing him, be it Ross, Calderon or DeRozan, will have a really tough time on the offensive end tonight.
SF: Rudy Gay is a guy who simply knows how to get the ball in the bucket. He's the top scorer on this Grizzlies team, and Raptors fans know all too well about Gay's ability to score late in games. He's one of the NBA's top SF's, and DeRozan/Mcguire/Kleiza will have a tough time containing him.
PF: As I mentioned on twitter, the Bargnani-Randolph match up was one that I wasn't excited to watch. A top NBA rebounder vs. a guy who shows very little interest in this idea of rebounding.
So, when I found out Andrea Bargnani will not play in tonight's game due to a sore ankle, I wasn't too dissapointed. This will open up minutes for the rest of the bigs, all of which are better rebounders than Andrea and will do a better job at covering Zach Randolph than Andrea would. Andrea's offense will be missed, but who knows.. maybe Ed Davis continues his play from Sunday and becomes a legitimate scoring threat.
C: Since we drafted him, I've felt that if Jonas Valanciunas reaches his full potential, he'll be just as good as Marc Gasol. Unfortunately, he's just 15 games into his NBA career and has yet to reach that level, therefore Marc Gasol has the advantage in this match up.
All odds are against the Dinos tonight, but remember... this is the Raptors we're talking about. There's no way to predict how they'll play in this game, so an upset is definitely possible.