The blockbuster matchup between Memphis Grizzlies and Toronto Raptors is happening this Sunday afternoon. Feel free to add to your hype with this comprehensive preview of the matchup.
This weekend, we will be seeing the second seed in the Eastern Conference, Toronto Raptors, going up against the defending NBA champion, Memphis Grizzlies, in a fiery Sunday matchup.
The Toronto Raptors would fight very hard to cement their spot as the second seed in the Eastern Conference, while the Memphis Grizzlies will be eager to uphold their position as the eighth seed in the Western Conference.
Toronto will try to bounce back after a bitter blowout loss against the Boston Celtics. Meanwhile, Memphis is battling for a tough playoff position in the Western Conference. Can Memphis be a black horse with a win over a powerful Toronto on Sunday afternoon?
Memphis Grizzlies Hope For Young Stars
This Sunday may witness some high spirits from Memphis as the team expects to bounce back on track after their losing streak snapped.
Having finally won a game against the OKC Thunder, the Memphis Grizzlies will be relieved to put behind their losing streak and are more than ready for Toronto Raptors as they are fresh off their best performance in the NBA bubble.
Moreover, there are other reasons for the Grizzlies to expect another win this Sunday, with the first being that their offense has been going uphill. In the OKC Thunder beatdown, Ja Morant and Dillon Brooks achieved good scoring with 19 and 21 points respectively while the bench scoring, led by Brandon Clarke and Grayson Allen, scored 46 points for the Memphis Grizzlies. Allen shone particularly brightly with his showcase of veritably clutch three-pointers. In the Sunday Matchup, Allen can definitely be a reliable shooter for the Grizzlies to cause the Raptor some troubles.
However, things have not been very favorable for the Memphis Grizzlies. The team has suffered various mishaps since the NBA season restart after the hiatus. Their continuous losing streak is behind, that’s great, but they still have lost Jaren Jackson Jr. to injury.
Ja Morant has been representing Grizzlies’ hope for this season and is the leading candidate for Rookie of the Year for his stellar performance. However, without Jaren Jackson Jr., the Memphis Grizzlies will need Morant to step up his game and all of their young stars to be in top shape to be able to conquer a scary strong Toronto Raptors.
Toronto Raptors Ready To Comeback
The Toronto Raptors have been going on a relatively smooth ride in the NBA bubble since the season restart. They exerted dominance over powerful opponents such as the Miami Heat and the LA Lakers. However, their seven-game win streak was broken as the team fell short versus the Boston Celtics 2-0.
Friday loss in Orlando did bring some worries to the surface. The Raptors struggled over the game and were blown out as the Celtics’ elite defense exposed their weaknesses.
The Raptors will have to slow down for a bit and figure out how to go up against strong defensive teams. Power forward Pascal Siakam has not been able to rekindle the impressive results he used to exhibit. Prior to Friday’s contest, he was shooting only 36.8 percent in the paint, a far cry from his regular season’s 55.4 percent in that area. His performance has not been terrible, but it is imperative that he finds a way to shoot reliably under pressure.
Despite some concerns, Raptor is still too much of a powerhouse for this upcoming match. Both their defense and offense can fare confidently against the league’s best teams. Raptors will look to use this game as a means to fire up their engines for the compelling challenges in the playoffs.
Another reason for Raptor fans to be confident this Sunday? Fred VanVleet. The 26-year-old player has been integral in Toronto’s lineup. He handles this position of secondary ball-handler with perfection. That coupled with his impressive defensive abilities and clutch three-point shots, Vanvleet has been the Raptors’ game-changing element in many close matchups this season. So far in the seeding games, he has been stepping while Sialam is in an efficiency drop and delivering some elite-level performances. Expect an exciting clash between Vanvleet and Memphis’ leader Ja Morant in this upcoming NBA action.
- Grizzlies are 0-6 ATS in the last 6 meetings.
- Raptors are 9-2-1 ATS in their last 12 games following an ATS loss.
- Raptors are 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game.
Predictions: Raptors in for a victory
A veteran Toronto Raptors would have no problems bouncing back after their loss, and the likelihoods are that Raptors will casually brute-force through this Sunday matchup against Memphis Grizzlies. With Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka in their lineup, Toronto Raptors have been the best defensive team in the NBA bubble. On the offensive end, the story is no different: Raptors also have too much firepower on their hands with Pascal Siakam and Kyle Lowry having been nearly unstoppable. That is not to mention Vanvleet’s stellar efficiency in recent games.
On the other hand, without Jaren Jackson Jr., Memphis will have a tough time against the defending champ. Their chances lie in whether Ja Morant and his teammates can deliver their best ever performance in the season for this crucial game.