The Raptors (8-10) and Grizzlies (9-8) clash in Game five of the six game road trip. This should be a pretty good measuring stick for Toronto as opposed to the Utah and Golden State games, where the Raps were clearly the inferior opponent.
Speaking of the Jazz, that’s who the Grizzlies just got their most recent win against on Monday thanks to 26 points from Jaren Jackson Jr.
— NBA (@NBA) November 23, 2021
That might be a huge confidence boost for the former number four overall pick, who dare I say has been a little disappointing in his fourth season so far? Jackson is averaging 14.6 points this season off only 38.8 percent from the field, which is frightening for a big. Your NBA three point percentage leader Jonas Valanciunas was moved in the offseason for Steven Adams (I still hate this trade), which theoretically should have opened up the hierarchy. The Grizzlies’ defensive rating has freefallen from sixth last season to LAST (?!?!?). That’s another hard one to understand. Memphis is a top-10 offensive team though, and are packed with a few other West teams in that .500 range
If you’re making a short list of most exciting players to watch in the league today, it’s hard not to include Ja. All signs are pointing to Morant making his first all-star team this season if he stays healthy (just work on those landings okay?). He’s doing more now in his third season, averaging 25.5 points (9th in the NBA), and seven assists which falls just short of the top 10. His shooting has improved and he is a mesmerizing finisher who isn’t afraid to try and use his NBA 2K posterizer badge on an unsuspecting big. Memphis only ranks 18th in three point percentage (33.9%) so I would assume Nick Nurse will want to trap Morant quite a bit to get the ball out of his hands. Desmond Bane would be the guy you don’t want to leave open. He’s averaging over 15 points and leads the team in made threes. What a gem of a pickup as the 30th pick of the draft last season.
The Mississauga, Ontario native has only played in four games this season and is questionable with a hamstring injury. This answer from a few days ago cracked me up, just wanted a reason to put this here.
“Coach got me passin the ball now I’m hard to guard” 😭😭😭 hes my favorite pic.twitter.com/Hkkk8gGJeB
— GrizzliesGarrett (@BurnerJa) November 19, 2021
I feel Scottie Barnes is due to get some buckets. He’s slightly grazed the rookie wall a bit, failing to score more than 10 points in each of his last three games, and hasn’t shot over 50 percent in his last six. Against the worst ranked defense? (a Memphis team, I still can’t believe that). Sign me up.
Tip-Off: 8:00pm EST | TV: TSN 4 | Radio: TSN 1050
OG Anunoby (hip pointer), Precious Achiuwa (shoulder tendinitis) and Yuta Watanabe (calf strain) are listed as questionable
PG: Fred VanVleet, Dalano Banton, Malachi Flynn, Goran Dragic
SG: Gary Trent Jr, Svi Mykhailiuk
SF: Scottie Barnes, Justin Champagnie
PF: Pascal Siakam, Chris Boucher
C: Khem Birch
Dillon Brooks as I mentioned above is questionable. Sam Merill (ankle) and De’Anthony Melton (groin) are expected to be out for at least a few more games
PG: Ja Morant, Tyus Jones, Jarrett Culver
SG: Desmond Bane, John Konchar
SF: Kyle Anderson, Ziaire Williams
PF: Jaren Jackson Jr, Brandon Clarke
C: Steven Adams, Xavier Tillman, Killian Tillie
Memphis is favoured by 3.5 points. The over/under is 221.5. The Grizzlies rank sixth in points per game at 110.1, but the under is speaking to me so I’m going with that. 5-2 this season.