Desperately Seeking a Win: Grizz vs. Raptors Preview

Share the joy

The Memphis Grizzlies (41-34) have just 7 games left to play.  Tonight they face the Toronto Raptors (50-24) at Fed Ex Forum.  The last time these two teams faced each other in Toronto on February 21 the Grizzlies made just 37% of their shots to the Raptors 41% and lost the game, 98-85.  Mike Conley, Brandan Wright, Mario Chalmers, and PJ Hairston played during that game.

With the exception of Hairston (MAYBE), fans won’t see any of them in a uniform tonight.  In the first match-up, the Grizzlies started Mike Conley, PJ Hairston, Matt Barnes, JaMychal Green, and Zach Randolph.  Tonight’s starters will likely be Jordan Farmar, Tony Allen, Matt Barnes, Zach Randolph, and Chris Andersen.  The Grizzlies are just 1.5 games ahead of the Portland Trailblazers.  They can ill afford to lose tonight’s game, BUT how do they win?


Keys to the Game

Come Out Ready

The Grizzlies have come out slow in their last few games, and they suffered losses because of it.  It’s been over a week since the Grizzlies saw a win (Phoenix, 3/21/16).  The last time they won was also the last time that they had a lead in the 1st quarter.  The Grizzlies cannot afford to come out of the gate sluggish tonight and fall behind to this Raptors squad. Though they’ve secured their playoff spot in the East, Toronto is having a record season, and another win just adds to the excitement.


Play Loose, but Play Smart

Lately the Grizzlies have looked as if they were trying too hard to win.  And they should be. But not at the expense of making costly mistakes.  The personnel keeps changing, which makes having organized plays somewhat difficult.  In fact, the Grizzlies have added another 10 day contract and the team’s 28th player this season, Bryce Cotton.  So, as crazy as it sounds, the Grizzlies will have to just play loose, but smart simply because they’re still trying to gain familiarity and trust.


X-Factor Player

Randolph and Allen have been leading this group through their injuries.  JaMychal Green and Lance Stephenson have had pretty solid play as well.  Tonight the Grizzlies need an X-Factor player.  Someone is going to have to be that unexpected boost tonight.  This win tonight is crucial if the Grizzlies intend to stay in the 5th spot of the Western Conference. There’s simply no other way to put that.


Grizz Nation, make your way to the FedEx Forum tonight to cheer on the home team in one of their last home games this season (only 2 more left).  Game tips at 7 p.m.  Let’s get ready to RIDE and not COLLIDE together tonight!  Go Grizz!!

Carmen Patton
Follow me

Share the joy