In case you didn't know, the Los Angeles Lakers -- who are housed at Silver Screen and Roll -- are better than average at playing organized basketball. Last season they were also pretty competent at outscoring their opponents, which is usually the mark of sustainable success.
This season Andrew Bynum has emerged as a possible rotation player averaging a half-decent 20-10 with a block thrown on top. He is taller then most human beings at seven feet and is also pretty strong, since he weighs just under 300 pounds without a hint of Eddy Curry.
Seriously though, the Lakers are a pretty freaking good basketball team even without Super Kwame and ex-Grizzly Pau Gasol, who are both out for this game. Kobe Bryant, Lamar Odom, and Ron Artest are a threesome that could probably take this team to the playoffs even with those bigs out all season. The bench mob isn't what was once advertised, but Shannon Brown is a little basketball demon and the rest are competent.
Storylines of the Game
Brotherly Love- Will Pau Gasol get up and hug his brother after posterizing Josh Powell?
Counting- Kobe Bryant will probably score lots of points in this game. Can the box score hold them all?
Hit the Boards- Without Pau or Andrew Bynum the Lakers might struggle to wrestle many boards from Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph, who have both impressed on the glass all season.
START IVAHSON- Please. No seriously. Please. Mike Conley hasn't shown anything this season, and Derek Fisher is old too anyhow.
Culture Clash- Not so sure that the Lakers will be keen to run with the Grizzlies with most of their frontcourt out. I think they'll want to slow things down a bit so they can run plays for their shooters to score. That's not to say that the Grizzlies will hold them under 100, but expect a slower game then previous outings.
Lakers 104, Grizzlies 98- The Lakers are still too good for the Grizzlies to handle, even with these guys out. Games like these, down men but against an inferior team, are where the championship pedigree really shows. Maybe at home the Grizzlies could steal this, but not tonight in Los Angeles.