|2013/2014 NBA Season|
|March 14th, 2014|
|Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
|6:00 PM CDT|
|Fox SportsSouth/ 92.9 FM ESPN|
|Mike Conley||PG||Kyle Lowry|
|Courtney Lee||SG||DeMar DeRozan|
|Tayshaun Prince||SF||Terrence Ross|
|Zach Randolph||PF||Amir Johnson|
|Marc Gasol||C||Jonas Valanciunas|
|2013/14 Advanced Stats|
|92.3 (30th)||Pace||94.5 (22nd)|
|103.1 (T-16th)||OEff||104.9 (10th)|
|102.2 (9th)||DEff||101.0 (6th)|
Line: Even: O/U: 186.5
Opponent's Blog: Raptors HQ
Stop DeMar DeRozan's Bread and Butter Play
The Raptors run a myriad of plays for DeRozan, their most prolific scorer. There is one play the Raptors go to early and often that involves double baseline down screens that allow DeRozan to read his defender and either curl back into the paint off the second screen or flare to the corner for an open jumper. The play is highly effective, and the Grizzlies will need to limit DeRozan's easy looks in order to leave Toronto victorious. Check out the aforementioned play below.
Mike Conley vs. Kyle Lowry
Conley and Lowry are two of the most refreshing, blue collar point guards in the NBA, and watching them play against each other is like watching two beloved bulldogs go at it. Lowry and Conley play tenaciously on both ends of the floor, and the two didn't disappoint in the first matchup between these two teams earlier this season. Conley posted a line of 29 points, 5 assists, and 3 steals. Lowry put up 21 points, 6 assists, 3 rebounds, and 2 steals. Let's hope for more of the same this time around.
In the first meeting between these two teams, Memphis' bench only scored 14 points. That's not nearly enough. With a much improved bench since that meeting, the Grizzlies will have the advantage when each team's second unit is in the game. The Raptors are an excellent defensive team, and the Grizzlies would do well to create easy looks for Mike Miller by running him off screens and utilizing dribble hand offs as well as letting Kosta Koufos do his thing and get easy putbacks on offensive rebounds. If those two can anchor bench scoring, the Grizzlies will be in great shape.
Final Prediction: The Grizzlies are one of the hottest teams in the NBA right now, clicking on all cylinders. This game will be a battle. Right now, the line is even in Vegas, indicating just how closely matched these two teams are. A better bench since the last time these two met coupled with a much-improved defense should be enough to give the Grizzlies the edge though. It helps that the Raptors don't have Rudy Gay anymore to drop an inefficient 23 points like he did in the first meeting between these two teams.
Final Score: Memphis 94, Toronto 92