The Raptors are tops in the league, but are set to play some difficult games over the next three weeks — including the Warriors... twice! One of those games against Golden State is on tap this Thursday. Tonight, Toronto has to put the excitement of that one aside, as they visit a talented and surprising Memphis team in their own right.
The Grizzlies come in 12-7 and healthy, which is exceedingly rare given the last two seasons. As it goes, though, when Mike Conley and Marc Gasol are playing, Memphis is quite a good team — that’s bearing out the first month of the season.
Conley and Gasol have had support, too. Former Spur Kyle Anderson is here to be long and athletic. Jaren Jackson Jr. is an outstanding rookie who not many are talking about. The Grizzlies might not be as gritty or as grindy as they once were, but the new way of winning is pretty potent too.
So the Raptors need to be up for this one! Great matchups are all over the court, as Gabe Nisker pointed out in this morning’s preview. Lowry and Conley, Kawhi against his former teammate, even Valanciunas and Gasol has given us some memories over the years (though it’ll be Serge Ibaka given the assignment out of the gate).
Even though everyone’s excited for Thursday, don’t sleep on this one being just as entertaining. Let’s see how the Raptors do.
Where to Watch
Sportsnet One, 8PM
Toronto: Kyle Lowry, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Pascal Siakam, Serge Ibaka
Memphis: Mike Conley, Garrett Temple, Kyle Anderson, Jaren Jackson Jr., Marc Gasol
Toronto: Greg Monroe (out - back spasms), Norman Powell (out - shoulder)
Memphis: Dillon Brooks (out - knee), Chandler Parsons (out - knee)