The Los Angeles Lakers are rolling a bit now to start the season, winning three in a row resulting in their record being 5-2, tied with the best in the Western Conference going into Tuesday night’s slate of games. Their most recent win happens to be against their opponent tonight, as the Lakers will be playing their second “MLB-type” series playing the Memphis Grizzlies again. The Lakers beat the Grizzlies 108-94 on Sunday afternoon.
Here’s our preview of tonight’s game.
Anthony Davis and Dennis Schröder look to be more efficient
The Lakers shouldn’t have any problems with the Grizzlies if Anthony Davis and LeBron James are both playing, as the Grizzlies are playing without their superstar Ja Morant as he recovers from his ankle injury sustained last week. Davis usually dominated the Grizzlies last year, but only had 17 points Sunday on 6-of-15 from the field. He also had three turnovers, as he continues his up-and-down play this season. In addition, Dennis Schröder shot poorly from the field in Sunday’s game, only making four of his 13 field goal attempts to end with 11 points.
As the Lakers continue to breeze into the opening of this season after winning a championship less than three months ago, expect the team to try and get the two back into a groove as Frank Vogel probably wants to keep everyone on the team on a somewhat consistent-basis in terms of production so that they can truly take advantage of their depth when it’s late in the season. Also, Anthony Davis likes to go off following subpar performances, so a 30-point performance wouldn’t be surprising.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope injury update
KCP injured his ankle in the Lakers’ win over the Spurs on January 1st. He missed the first game against the Grizzlies on Sunday, giving us an update on his status on Monday.
KCP on his ankle: “Ankle is feeling great. I practiced today, got a little movement in. Still not 100%, but hopefully I’ll be able to go tomorrow. Depends how I feel."
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) January 4, 2021
We’ll have to wait until closer to game time to see if he will play, but as Alex Regla of the Throwdowns newsletter reported, KCP knows that the depth of this Lakers roster can withstand an injury to a starting player of KCP’s caliber.
When asked about how the depth of the roster plays a role in his recovery process, KCP says he feels the Lakers' bench is deep enough that he doesn't have to feel like he has to rush back to quickly.
— Alex Regla (@AlexmRegla) January 4, 2021
Given the fact that KCP himself stated this — while we all know he wants to be out there every second — it lends credit to the idea that Frank Vogel and the staff will be overly cautious with rushing him back and that they may keep him out again until they return home to play the Spurs on Thursday. Kyle Kuzma started in place of KCP in Sunday’s game.