Game Preview: Raptors vs Grizzlies
Toronto Raptors (17-4) @ Memphis Grizzlies (12-7)
When: Tuesday, November 27, 8 P.M. ET
Where: FedEx Forum
Leading into tonight’s game:
Injury Report: For the Raptors, Norman Powell (left shoulder subluxation) is out. For the Grizzlies, Dillon Brooks (left knee sprain) and Chandler Parsons (right knee soreness and back soreness) are out.
Testing: The Raptors are entering a stretch in the schedule where three of their next four games are against Western Conference opponents ranked in the top-4 in the western conference standings. Starting with Memphis on Tuesday, the Raptors will then host the Golden State Warriors on Thursday, play the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday, and host the Denver Nuggets the following Monday. Raptors head coach Nick Nurse has been adamant about taking things one game at a time, but he’s also looking forward to the challenge ahead. “It’s good, I want to get in some tough games,” he said. “I want to get in some knock ‘em out, drag ‘em out [games] and I want to see what we’re made of. I’m looking forward to it.”
Five straight: Sunday’s 125-115 victory over the Miami Heat was the fifth straight for the Raptors. Tuesday’s game provides an opportunity for the team to match its longest winning streak of the season of six games, something they have already done twice this season. At 17-4, the Raptors have three more wins than any other team in the league.
Assist man: Kyle Lowry contributed another double-double in Sunday’s victory, dishing 10 assists to go with 12 points. Lowry is leading the league in assists, averaging 10.4 per game. His career-high average is 7.4 for assists-per-game, accomplished during the 2013-14 season. Before a recent game against Washington, Wizards head coach Scott Brooks heaped praise upon Lowry for his success this season “Kyle, it seems like he’s just ageless,” Brooks said. “He just keeps playing. He keeps getting better. He’s tough and a winner. He’s leading the league in assists. I don’t know if he’s ever done that before. You don’t usually do that at his age if you have not done it before unless your name is Stockton.”
Family over everything: Sunday’s game was special for Delon Wright because it meant getting to face off against Dwyane Wade. Wright has known Wade since he was 12 years old and his brother was drafted by the Miami Heat. Wade posted to his Instagram about getting to play against Wright after Sunday’s game, saying “This is what dreams are made of…I’ve known Delon Wright since he was 12 years old. His brother Dorell Wright is one of my closest friends. Getting the opportunity to watch his growth has been dope to say the least but moments like last night neither of us will ever forget.”
Familiar faces: Grizzlies assistant coach Jerry Stackhouse spent three seasons with the Raptors, including two seasons as the head coach of Raptors 905. He led the team to back-to-back appearances in the G League Finals, including 2016-17’s championship season. Chad Forcier, also a Grizz assistant, coached Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green when he was an assistant coach in San Antonio, and Serge Ibaka during his time in Orlando. Grizzlies forward Kyle Anderson spent four seasons in San Antonio with Leonard and Green. Kyle Lowry was drafted 24th overall by the Grizzlies in the 2006 NBA Draft and spent three seasons with the team.