Welcome Back, Hello Grizzlie Bears

Got to get back in the groove. The Raptors last game before the Christmas break was forgettable hopefully you had a good holiday and have forgot about it. The Grizzlies played last night and defeated the Pacers 104-90. The Raptors are on this road trip minus Andrea Bargnani and face a back to back with Memphis and tomorrow the Mavericks. Given that, Raptors really need to get this one because the odds of them beating Dallas are fairly slim. Who will step up? Good question but someone needs to do so. The Raptors also added Ronald Dupree which is a curious move that doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Dupree was cut loose in the pre-season to get the Raptors down to 15 bodies. The Raptors had been going with an open roster spot since the trade that saw Jack, Banks and Andersen shipped to New Orleans for Bayless and Peja.

The Basics: Toronto 10-19 (3-10 on Road) Memphis 13-17 (5-5 in Last 10)

When Last We Saw Them: Raptors checked out for holidays early even though they were there in body they were not in spirit. They also were a banged up group as Bargnani and Johnson never lasted the whole game due to injury. Jerryd Bayless never even made it to the floor with food poisoning. By the end of this game Raptor fans likely wanted to throw up themselves as the Raptors were pretty brutal.

Key Match Ups: Rudy Gay comes off a 30 point performance vs the Pacers and will match up with Linas Kleiza? Sonny Weems has had back trouble prior to the Christmas break and likely has lost his starting job to Kleiza. Gay would be a tough match-up for either. Marc Gasol can be a pest and with no Andrea Bargnani Ed Davis and Joey Dorsey will get all they want from him all night long. Last but not least if Amir Johnson is good to go he will have a big load to mange will Zach Randoplh. He comes off an 18 point and 16 rebound performance vs the Pacers.

Other Things Of Note: The Raptors have 6 of the next 7 games on the road where as we mentioned are 3-10 on the road. Andrea Bargnani did not make the trip with the Raptors. Toronto is just 2-8 in their last 10 games. Raptors have dropped 3 straight to their former Canadian rivals. The trail in the all time series as well with a 13-16 record.

Where is it On? Sportsnet UNO (In fact this entire Road Trip is)

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