Lakers face Grizzlies for final time this season

Photo taken by Joe Murphy/NBA Entertainment


The Los Angeles Lakers will look to sweep another season series tonight after doing just that against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday. They’ll look to go 3-0 on the season against Ja Morant and the Memphis Grizzlies as the Lakers welcome them to the Staples Center. It’ll be the first time the Lakers have faced Morant, as he missed both games earlier in the season.

The Grizzlies come into tonight as one of the most “meh” teams in the NBA. It’s crazy how penciled in they are as a “middle of the pack” team, coming into tonight with a 10-10 record with both a 110.3 Offensive AND Defensive Rating, resulting in a 0.0 Net Rating that ranks 14th out of 30 NBA teams. They won their most recent game on Wednesday (130-114 against the Hornets) after losing four straight before that.

Here’s our preview of the game tonight.

Injury news

We’ll see if Anthony Davis returns tonight. As Harrison Faigen of Silver Screen & Roll reports below, he comes into this game “questionable” as he did for both Thunder games this week (missed both). Alex Caruso also missed both Thunder games this week but is “probable” for tonight. Our sweet, sweet Jared Dudley also receives an upgrade. He has not been active for quite some time.

On the other side, the Grizzlies will still be without Brandon Clarke and De’Anthony Melton (per Evan Barnes of Memphis Commerical Appeal) as they have been for some time now recently. A surprise absence will be their rookie Desmond Bane, who will be out for “personal reasons” (seems to be related to a death in his family).

Betting central

Lakers -6.5; Over/under 218.5; Lakers -250 (all odds via DraftKings Sportsbook as of 10:15 a.m. PST)

Betting is hard! I come into this game 5-9-1, although I am 5-4 in my last three games. I’m still playing catch-up to our writer Kyle and his 11-8 record on the season.

This game is especially hard to bet, as I cannot tell whether or not the spread is currently made with the assumption that Anthony Davis will be held out. Instead, I’m going to bet the over on 218.5, although this is also a total that can be heavily influenced by Davis too as I’d be much more confident in the Lakers keeping the Grizzlies’ offense in check if he was playing. Still, the Lakers’ defense has been somewhat poor lately even when you consider that Davis has missed some games. The Grizzlies scored 130 on Wednesday and have pushed or hit the over in seven of their last 10 games, so I’ll just say “screw it” and take the uncertainty of the over compared to the uncertainty of the spread.

As for player props, the Lakers’ ones are not currently available on DraftKings due to the uncertainty of who is playing tonight. Looking at the Grizzlies, I’ll take the over on Kyle Anderson’s points at 13.5 and the over on Dillon Brooks’ made threes at 2.5 (good odds too at +144 on DraftKings). Although Anderson only scored 10 points in each of the two games against the Lakers earlier in the year, he’s had point totals in the past three games of 27, 15, and 21. 13.5 seems like a number chosen by someone who hasn’t been paying attention so I’ll go with that.

In regards to Brooks, I think the Lakers will focus their gameplan on Ja Morant leaving some holes in the plan for Brooks to capitalize on. He’s also been hot from deep in his past two games, making eight of his 18 attempts (44%).

Where to watch

The game will be nationally televised on ESPN, but will also be on Spectrum SportsNet if you prefer Billy Mac and Stu. The game will tip-off at 7:00 p.m. PST.

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