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Preview: Toronto Raptors VS Memphis Grizzlies – February 8th, 2021

Photo Credit: NBAE via Getty Images – TheAtlantic.com

Coming off a tough loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday night in their fourth consecutive game on the road, the Toronto Raptors are looking to secure a win against the Memphis Grizzlies. The Raptors had just come off the second night of a back-to-back and will look to get things back on track in their first and only meeting against Memphis this season.  

Against the Hawks, the Raptors could not keep up defensively, allowing Atlanta to score 132 points on 56.8% shooting and 52.8% from beyond the arc. After losing a game that was close for much of the four quarters, the Raptors may have been affected by fatigue coming off their impressive win over the powerhouse Brooklyn Nets on Friday. Expect the Raps to be well rested and ready to respond on the defensive end following Super Bowl Sunday.

The Grizzlies are now 9-9 this season after coming off their third consecutive loss Saturday night in their matchup versus the New Orleans Pelicans. Memphis has had a very up and down season, including six postponed games, and the team has yet to have a fully heathy roster. The Grizzlies have been missing key forwards Jaren Jackson Jr. (knee) and Justise Winslow (hip), who both have yet to play this season and remain sidelined with their respective injuries.

Key players to look out for on the Grizzlies include former Raptor Jonas Valanciunas who returned Saturday from health and safety protocols and posted 23 points on 9-for-11 shooting, along with 7 rebounds. Also, the 2020 Rookie of the Year Ja Morant is looking to take off again following his recent ankle injury.

Tonight’s matchup is filled with Canadian connections on both ends. Watch out for Mississauga native Dillon Brooks, who in light of his streaky start to the season is looking to get things rolling.  Vancouver’s Brandon Clarke is still questionable for tonight’s game after missing Saturday’s contest (calf).

Fellow Canadian and Montreal native Chris Boucher is looking to build off of his career high performance, shooting 76.9% for a game high 29 points along with 10 rebounds against Atlanta. Watch for his spark off the bench and his high energy presence down low and on the perimeter.

Tune into tonight’s game at the FedEx Forum, beginning at 8:00 p.m, EST.

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