The Los Angeles Lakers will be ending their current road trip tonight against the New Orleans Pelicans. The trip started off well, as the Lakers beat the Warriors 116-86 without LeBron James. He came into last night’s contest against the Memphis Grizzlies as questionable but ended up starting as the Lakers were going to be coming at the Grizzlies nearly at full strength (Danny Green did not play). Although the Lakers had LeBron James and Anthony Davis playing, they got beat nearly all night ending in a 105-88 loss.
Looking at the box score, a couple of statistics pop out. One is the turnover battle, a battle that the Grizzlies won comfortably only having seven turnovers compared to the Lakers’ 14. The total of 14 isn’t too much for the Lakers, as it was only a few weeks ago that they set their season-high with 24 in the 125-120 win against the Warriors, but having double the amount of turnovers in a game is almost always going to end in a loss. Add in the fact that the Grizzlies were able to secure 15 offensive rebounds, and the 17-point loss doesn’t seem that surprising.
Anthony Davis also noticed this, bringing up offensive rebounds in addition to the turnovers when being asked about what made the Lakers lose the game.
*On turnovers being the key to the game*
“Yep. That and offensive rebounds. You know, we turned the ball over too much, they capitalized, and we gave them a ton of offensive rebounds. We’re not going to win any game playing like that.”
"We know they're fighting for the 8th spot and tomorrow we're going to an arena where another team is fighting for the same spot."@AntDavis23 on what wasn't working tonight and what they have to improve on tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/Z0TJb5Qj41
— Spectrum SportsNet (@SpectrumSN) March 1, 2020
Although the Grizzlies still hold a 2.5 game lead over the Pelicans for the 8th spot in the West, the Pelicans are the ones trending upwards while the Grizzlies are trending downwards. The Pelicans are just the better team at the moment with the late-season arrival of Zion Williamson. The point is that if the Lakers put forth the same amount of effort against the Pelicans tonight, they will be following up the 17-point loss to the Grizzlies with another large loss to the Pelicans.