The NBA is host to five games on Tuesday night. In those five games, there are plenty of exciting matchups. The Raptors and Grizzlies will meet in a matchup of top teams from each conference. These two teams are playing really well this season and it could turn into a competitive game.
The Raptors have started out this season with a record of 17-4, which has them in first place of the Eastern Conference. This is one of Toronto’s greatest starts in franchise history. The Raptors have won their last fives games in a row coming into Tuesday night’s matchup. Toronto will look to keep the winning streak alive with a with a win on the road.
Memphis has jumped out to a 12-7 record to begin the new season. The Grizzlies are currently sitting in fourth place in the Western Conference. Memphis started out the season on a hot streak and have since cooled down a little bit. The Grizzlies have lost their last two games to the Los Angeles Clippers and New York Knicks. Memphis will look to bounce back with a win against a tough Toronto team.
Tuesday night’s matchup between the Raptors and the Grizzlies will mark the first game of this season’s series. These two teams will meet one more time this season on January 19. Memphis will look to capitalize on their only game at home against Toronto, while the Raptors will look to steal a tough road win.
Last Season’s Matchups
Toronto and Memphis met up twice last season. The Grizzlies hosted the first matchup between these two teams. Tyreke Evans dropped 27 points and Marc Gasol put up another 20 points for Memphis. Neither player was able to get much support though. DeMar DeRozan scored 26 points, while Serge Ibaka put up another 21. Toronto was able to get more support from the rest of their starters, which led them to a 116-107 win in Memphis.
The second game of the season series shifted back to Toronto. Marc Gasol had another 20 point outing for the Grizzlies, but like the first encounter between these teams, it was not enough. Delon Wright had a 25 point night off the bench. Fred VanVleet and DeMar DeRozan each scored 13 to help the Raptors cruise to a win at home. Toronto ended up taking the game 101-86.
Last season the Raptors were able to sweep the season series, but these two teams finished on opposite sides of the standings. Toronto went on to make the playoffs, while the Grizzlies were pretty high in the draft lottery. Memphis is playing much better this season and are looking to get a little revenge with a win against the Raptors on Tuesday night.
Offensive Efficiency vs Defensive Efficiency
The Raptors have been great at both scoring and slowing teams down this season. Toronto is averaging 116.8 points per game this season, which is top five in the NBA. The Raptors have allowed teams to score an average of 107.8 points per game, which is top ten in the league. Toronto has an impressive point differential this season, which points towards the fact that their success is not a fluke.
Memphis has been less impressive in their offensive efficiency this season. The Grizzlies are averaging 103 points per game, which is ranked last in the NBA. Memphis has been successful though because of how well their defense plays. The Grizzlies are holding teams to an average of 100.9 points per game, which is number one in the league. While Memphis has been able to jump out to a successful start because of their defense, the Grizzlies will need to get some better scoring if they want to keep it up.
Kawhi Leonard has been the best player for the Raptors this season. Leonard is averaging 25 points and almost 9 rebounds per game to open up the new campaign. Serge Ibaka has also jumped out to a really solid start. He is averaging 27 points and 8 rebounds per game. Kyle Lowry has averaged 15 points and 10 assists per game at the Point Guard spot.
The Grizzlies have been led by the return of their Point Guard, Mike Conley. Conley is averaging 20 points and 7 assists per game this season. Marc Gasol has been the other key piece at the Center spot. He is averaging 18 points and 10 rebounds per game. Memphis’ rookie, Jaren Jackson, is putting up an average of 13 points per game this season.
Looking at the top performers on each team, the Raptors look like the have a big edge in Tuesday’s tilt. Memphis looks for more of a rounded scoring total though, with a lot of people getting touches. The Grizzlies will need Conley to play tight defense on the outside, while Gasol continues to protect the paint. I do not believe that Memphis will be able to slow down all of Toronto’s top players, if they can keep one or two to a lower total, I believe they have a chance to pull off an upset on Tuesday night.
The Grizzlies and Raptors are streaking in opposite directions right now. With Memphis coming home though, I believe this is a prime opportunity to sneak out a win against Toronto. I believe that the Grizzlies defense can slow down the Raptors enough to give them an opportunity to pull off the win.
BetOnline has Toronto listed as a -5 against the spread on the road. I believe that the Grizzlies should not be this big of underdogs on Tuesday night. The Grizzlies are also listed as a +100 money line against this spread, which gives them quite a bit of value. Memphis has a solid roster and are looking to take a home win to avoid getting swept by Toronto in the season series for a second season in a row. Even if the Grizzlies can’t pull off the win, I believe they are able to keep it close.