The new era Toronto Raptors face off against the Memphis Grizzlies in Scotiabank arena tonight and they will be looking for their second win in the post Siakam era. The Memphis Grizzlies are no powerhouse, with a record of 15-27 but they can still present many problems for Toronto, especially on the defensive end. They have a world of injuries on their end, as Ja Morant, Marcus Smart, and Desmond Bane are not going to play, not to mention Steven Adams who is out for the season. With Memphis being this injured, it is a prime opportunity for Toronto to get back into the win column.
Jaren Jackson Jr. will be the lone star player for Memphis tonight and his defensive prowess is something that could be troublesome for Toronto, especially for Scottie Barnes and RJ Barrett who like to live at the rim. With Jackson patrolling the paint it will potentially hinder Barrett’s finishing and the rest of Toronto’s finishing as well. The silver lining is Jackson is not a great rebounder so maybe Toronto’s recent rebounding woes will be mended tonight. Jackson is a threat offensively as well and has shown that he can get to work in the paint, and is tenacious in his pursuit of that. His three point shot is middling at 33 percent but on certain nights he can punish you from outside as well. Jontay Porter has shown that he can hold up in the paint for stretches during his recent starting stint but with all the injuries to the Grizzlies you can probably get away with doubling Jackson and living with the results. With so many injuries to their guard rotation they will have to rely on guys like Vince Williams and Ziare Williams for a solid chunk of their offense, and while they are fine tertiary players, Toronto doesn’t have to be extremely concerned with them. A guy who can really burn you if you’re not careful is Luke Kennard. Kennard is shooting 43 percent from three this season and he can heat up in an instant.
Offensively Toronto will need the three point shooting to be on point tonight, as the aforementioned Jackson will no doubt alter paint looks all night. Jackson switches on defense a bunch so perhaps Toronto can use that to free up Barrett for his cuts to the rim. Quickley will have to utilize his floater plenty tonight as well, and Scottie Barnes has never shown any apprehension at attacking any rim protector in the NBA so expect him to take it to Jackson tonight. Marcus Smart being out hinders their perimeter defense but Vince Williams is solid on that end. Ultimately you really only have to be extremely concerned with Jackson on the defensive end.
All in all this will be a game that is very winnable for Toronto, but it will take execution on the offensive end, and cohesion and unity on the defensive end.
Tip-Off: 7:30pm EST | TV: TSN 4 | Radio: Sportsnet 590
Jakob Poeltl (ankle) remains out.
PG: Immanuel Quickley, Dennis Schroder
SG: Gary Trent Jr, Gradey Dick
SF: RJ Barrett, Bruce Brown, Jalen McDaniels, Jordan Nwora, Garrett Temple
PF: Scottie Barnes, Chris Boucher, Otto Porter Jr.
C: Jontay Porter, Thaddeus Young
Ja Morant is out(shoulder), Desmond Bane is out(Ankle), Marcus Smart is out(Finger), Xavier Tillaman Sr is questionable(Knee), Derrick Rose is out(Hamstring), Jake LaRavia is out(Ankle), Steven Adams is out(Knee), Brandon Clarke is out(Achilles)
PG: Luke Kennard, Jacob Gilyard
SG: John Konchard, Ziare Williams
SF: Vince Williams Jr, David Roddy
PF: Jaren Jackson Jr., GG Jackson
C: Santi Aldama,
Lines are from Fanduel