Golden State Warriors (8-2) vs Toronto Raptors (7-3)
8pm ET on ESPN
The Warriors 133-120 win Sunday over the Phoenix Suns was exactly the kind of game the rest of the league was dreading when Golden State signed Kevin Durant in the off-season. Steph Curry and Klay Thompson each dropped 30, Durant kicked in 29-9-5, and Draymond Green went 14-7-11 – how are you supposed to deal with that? As a team, the Warriors are now shooting a league-best 50% from the floor, are also top in assists with 30.5 per game, and they’re getting it done on the other end of the floor, as they’re 3rd in steals (10.1 pg) and 7th in blocks (5.7 pg). Their one weakness is rebounding, but it hard to get rebounds when you don’t miss and you don’t let your opponents shoot.
While the Warriors are well rested and coming off a victory, the Raptors are heading into the second half of a back-to-back, having lost Tuesday to the Cavaliers 121-117. Toronto lost despite Kyle Lowry’s game-high 28, with 9 assists, and DeMar DeRozan dropping 26 – the team had been 5-0 in games in which the two combined for 50 or more. DeRozan is the league’s high scorer, averaging 33.2 ppg, largely a result of his taking 6.8 shots per game versus last season, when he scored 23.5 ppg.
Memphis Grizzlies (5-5) vs Los Angeles Clippers (10-1)
10:30pm ET on ESPN
After having their playoff dreams decimated by injuries last season, all indications were that Mike Conley was gonna take his ball and seek glory elsewhere. But Conley was convinced to stick around when the Grizz offered him the richest contract in NBA history. Unfortunately, though Memphis kept the band together, and brought in Dallas’ Chandler Parsons (the self-anointed best white player in the NBA), the investment is not yet paying dividends, though they did beat Utah on Monday, 102-96. Marc Gasol led the team in scoring with 22 points, but it was Vince Carter who provided the extra boost, coming off the bench to score 20 points, while Conley posted a Conley-esque 18-3-7. Carter has been the story of the Grizzlies’ season thus far, averaging 10-4-2 while playing 27.7 minutes a night, his most PT since the 2010-11 season.
Following Monday’s 125-118 defeat of the Brooklyn Nets, the Los Angeles Clippers now have the best record in the NBA at 10-1. They did it by besting the Nets in essentially every column of the stat sheet: rebounds 43-37, assists 32-18, steals 17-6, blocks 6-2, turnovers 21-11, shooting 53%-44%, free throw shooting 81%-77%… What was unusual about this win was that it was just the third for LA that was by less than 10 points. The Clips also lead the league in fewest points allowed (92.2) and point differential (16.6), and maybe, just maybe, they’ll finally live up to their hype and talent.
Watch the Warriors vs Raptors at 8pm ET, followed by Grizzlies vs Clippers at 10:30pm ET Wednesday on ESPN by subscribing to Sling Orange