1/24/11

Just Another Memphis Monday

Raptors return home and maybe can end this losing streak. But wait a second they have lost 8 of the last 10 at home. If you take away the losing streak and what that does to a team mentally their next 5 games are ones I would class as somewhere between winnable and Raptors having a solid chance at a win. Check it out:

  • (21-23) Memphis (At Home)
  • (18-25) Philadelphia (At Home)
  • (16-25) Milwaukee (At Home)
  • (10-33) Minnesota (On The Road)
  • (16-25) Indiana (On The Road)

But there is the fact the Raptors have lost 7 straight and have come close to winning a couple of those games. The last 2 games of the trip it seemed the Raptors had been beaten down and looked like the losing had caught up with them. Tonight vs Memphis is more than just one game it is about putting the 7 losses in the rear view just as much. Losing streaks can just be like a snowball rolling down a hill after awhile just ask the Cavs about that who are currently in a 16 game losing streak. But the Raptors have shown signs they can get out of this but it is not going to be easy. The one thing that has been lacking has been the ability to play a full 48 minutes. An effort like the Raptors had at times vs Atlanta, New Orleans and San Antonio is capable of beating any of the teams listed above.

The Basics: Memphis 21-23 ( 8-16 on Road) Toronto 13-31 (4-11 vs West)

When Last We Saw Them: The Miami/South Beach Heat only needed 1/3 of there Big 3 to take care of the Raptors. The Raptors made a case for the Raptors to have a big 4 as Mike Miller looked every bit an all-star thanks to the Raptors lack of ability to defend him. That along with what you have come to expect from Lebron vs Toronto was more than enough. No Lebron didn't come close to 81 points as Kobe did 5 years earlier but it was enough to get the job done. Raptors had good games offensively from DeRozan and Bargnani but this loss was all about the D or lack of it.

Key Match Ups: About the only thing that Marc Gasol and Andrea Bargnani have in common is they both come from Europe. If you can find two more polar opposites in the NBA at the same position you would be hard pressed. Gasol is a guy that fights and scraps in the paint and is a beast. While Bargnani is new bread finesse highly skilled big man. It makes for an interesting match-up. Rudy Gay vs Kleiza? Wright? Weems? Whoever is healthy that draws the assignment will have a tough job. Gay can be a dynamic player at times and has at times had some element of success vs the Raptors. The overall match-up for the Raptors that is of greatest concern is the on the glass. Memphis has the bodies to give the Raptors a tough time on the boards.

Other Things Of Note: Memphis is riding a 4 game winning streak vs the Raptors in the overall series. The last time they were at the ACC became a big focus of the whole post Bosh fallout. That was the first game after the All-Star Break that Bosh rolled an ankle and remained in the game only to see the Raptors fall in O.T. Bosh pointed to that game as proof of the fact that he had not given up on the team in his final season as a Raptor. Memphis had a 96-85 win to kick off the Raptors post Christmas schedule. In an odd stat the Grizzlies actually have a losing record vs the East at 7-9. The key might be Pizza in this one. Say What? If Raptor fans are eating Pizza they likely are celebrating a win. Memphis is a terrible 3-16 when they allow teams to score 100 points. If they do not then the Grizz are an impressive 18-7.

Where Is It On? TSN (Thankfully TSN no longer has WWE Monday Night Raw and Monday Night Football is Done)

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