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|Team||Point Spread||Total||Money Line|
|Los Angeles Lakers||-9 -110||O 218 -113||-420|
|Memphis Grizzlies||+9 -110||U 218 -108||+320|
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The Memphis Grizzlies have a lot of hustle and desire, but that won’t help them overcome the Los Angeles Lakers’ in talent. Expect a high-scoring match on the Lakers’ side of things.
Los Angeles Lakers to Win (-420)
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|Lakers vs Grizzlies Information|
|What||Los Angeles Lakers vs Memphis Grizzlies|
|Where||FedExForum, Memphis, Tennessee|
|When||8:00 PM ET, January 5, 2021|
|How to Watch||NBATV|
|Los Angeles Lakers||Head-to-Head||Memphis Grizzlies|
|Frank Vogel||Head Coach||Taylor Jenkins|
|5-2 (T-1st in West)||Standing||2-4 (11th in West)|
|116.0 (4th of 30)||Off Rtg||105.5 (23rd of 30)|
|105.0 (6th of 30)||Def Rtg||111.1 (18th of 30)|
|100.8 (18th of 30)||Pace||101.9 (12th of 30)|
Leaders (Per Game)
|L. James (23.6)||PPG||J. Morant (26.3)|
|A. Davis (8.8)||RPG||J. Valanciunas (11.7)|
|L. James (7.4)||APG||J. Morant (6.3)|
|A. Davis (1.3)||SPG||D. Brooks (1.8)|
|K. Antetokounmpo (2.0)||BPG||D. Melton (2.0)|
|M. Harrell (.632)/A. Davis (8.7)||FG%/FGM||J. Valanciunas (.548)/J. Morant (10.0)|
|K. Caldwell-Pope (.526)/L. James (2.4)||3P%/3PM||D. Bane (.500)/Bane, Brooks (2.3)|
It’s easy to get caught up in the star power on the Los Angeles Lakers roster. However, in their Sunday victory over the Memphis Grizzlies, it was the efforts from the reserve unit that inspired their success.
After going up 8-0 to start the game, the Lakers starters couldn’t maintain their energy and allowed a 20-0 run. Down 12, it was the energy of Montrezl Harrell that powered their comeback. Contributing 16 points and 9 rebounds off the bench, Harrell’s +12 on the night was only bested by LeBron James.
Memphis is sure to come out with the same energy in the next game, so the Lakers must be prepared. While they have the talent to come from behind, a gritty team like Memphis isn’t the type you want to fall behind to regularly.
The Memphis Grizzlies struggled across the board, especially if you look at the stat sheet. While the Grizzlies shot 41.1% from the field in their last game, their 27.3% conversion rate from deep on 33 attempts foreshadowed their fate.
The Grizzlies move the ball well as a team, but without a singularly capable creator, they struggle to find good looks in crucial moments. All eyes are on Tyus Jones, who moves to a starting position and has primary playmaking duties.
Jones may have only had three assists, but the Grizzlies as a unit had 24 in their Sunday loss to the Lakers. A victory likely won’t come from a singularly brilliant performance, but getting contributions from multiple players on improved efficiency.
— Spectrum SportsNet (@SpectrumSN) January 4, 2021
After winning his first NBA Championship with the Los Angeles Lakers, Kyle Kuzma was rewarded him with a three-year $40 million extension. Since said extension, Kuzma has failed to live up to expectations – even in what would be considered a lesser role.
Kuzma is averaging just 11.7 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 1.6 assists on 45.7% shooting from the field and 41.7% shooting from three. While his efficiency has improved and his uptick in blocks (1.1 per game) is welcome, he’s not been the tertiary threat that the Lakers hoped for.
With the introduction of Schroder and Harrell, Kuzma’s responsibilities without James and Davis on the floor are more limited. Against a grinding team like Memphis, Kuzma must show he can find points in different ways, as the ball won’t always be in his hands.
Brandon Clarke big-to-big alley-oop to Jonas Valanciunas pic.twitter.com/nEzYE1yJix
— Fastbreak Breakfast (@fastbreakbreak) January 2, 2021
The Grizzlies were poor in their last outing, but they found a small amount of success in the paint with Jonas Valanciunas. The veteran Lithuanian center is a talented low-post player and finisher. With only Gasol and Harrell guarding him, Valanciunas has the advantage.
In their last game Valanciunas posted 14 points and 10 rebounds on 50% shooting from the field. He did struggle on the defensive end though, accumulating five fouls in just 26 minutes.
Establishing a paint presence will be crucial to the Grizzlies’ success if they hope to win the game. The big Lithuanian is their best option to do so.
Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.
Email: [email protected]More info on Christian Jope
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