Dec. 30 (STATS) -- The Memphis Grizzlies hope a coaching change can help turn them around.

Tony Barone Sr. makes his debut when Memphis welcomes the Toronto Raptors to FedEx Forum on Saturday.

The Grizzlies (6-24) have won seven straight from Toronto (13-18) since a 92-87 home loss on Dec. 1, 2002.

Barone, Memphis' director of player personnel, takes over for Mike Fratello after the all-time winningest coach in team history was relieved of his duties Thursday.

Fratello led the team to a 95-83 record and two consecutive playoff appearances, but a tough start this season and lackluster effort even after the return of star Pau Gasol wasn't enough to save his job.

"Our players simply had lost confidence,'' team president Jerry West said, adding he expects players to be able to look in the mirror each night and know they played their best.

Barone has never been an NBA head coach, but was an assistant under Hubie Brown, who coached the Grizzlies between 2002-04. Barone also was head coach at Texas A&M from 1991-98 and at Creighton from 1985-91. Barone also seems more inclined to implement a style of play West wants.

One of the new coach's plans, along with a deeper rotation, is increased playtime for rookie Rudy Gay, who is averaging just 8.7 points in 23.3 minutes.

"The biggest issue we have to clean up is our own attention to detail in terms of effort because if you don't give effort, for whatever reason, you get frustrated, and that's where this team is now. It's a frustrated team,'' Barone said. "We're going to try to relieve them of their frustration and play much more loose.''

While the players welcome the change, they are cautious about expecting too much, too quickly.

"We'll see if that's the change that we needed to have around here,'' said Gasol, who is averaging 16.0 points in eight games since returning from a broken foot suffered over the summer while competing for Spain at the World Championships. "Only with games ... and results and seeing us playing on the court is going to tell us if that's what we needed or if it wasn't the change that needed to be made and if it's something else.''

The Grizzlies have dropped five in a row and 11 of 12 after a 112-96 defeat to Milwaukee on Wednesday in what turned out to be Fratello's last game.

"We can't hold ourselves together for 48 minutes,'' Gasol said. "We are having too many breakdowns, and teams are taking advantage of that.''

The Raptors are coming off a 107-97 loss to Chicago on Friday - their 15th straight loss to the Bulls.

Six players scored in double figures, led by T.J. Ford, who scored 20, and Andrea Bargnani, who scored 16 off the bench, but Toronto allowed the Bulls to shoot nearly 60 percent from the field, a season-high by any opponent.

Ford is listed as day-to-day after spraining his ankle late in the game. The Raptors also fell to 6-5 without leading scorer Chris Bosh (injured left knee), who missed his 11th straight game and is not expected back for this contest.


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