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Memphis Grizzlies vs. Los Angeles Lakers Game Preview

Now that the Lakers have picked up their first win of the season, Charles Barkley can eat. That means the Grizzlies don't have to feel bad if they beat a terrible purple and gold squad.

Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports
2014/15 NBA Season
6-1 (2-0 home)
1-5 (0-2 road)
November 11, 2014
FedEx Forum - Memphis, TN
7:00 PM CDT
Fox SportSouth / 92.9 FM ESPN
Possible Starters
Mike Conley PG Jeremy Lin
Courtney Lee SG Kobe Bryant
Tony Allen SF Wesley Johnson
Zach Randolph PF Carlos Boozer
Marc Gasol C Jordan Hill
2014/15 Advanced Stats
94.0 (25th) Pace 98.9 (5th)
99.5 (21st) OEff 103.5 (12th)
92.6 (3rd) DEff 114.6 (30th)

SB Nation Blog: Silver Screen and Roll

Injury Report

Memphis: None

Los Angeles: Ryan Kelly - Questionable (Hamstring); Julius Randle - Out (Leg); Nick Young - Out (Thumb); Steve Nash - Out (Body failure)

Recently for the Lakers

The Lakers have been one of the worst teams in the NBA in the early going this season. Despite Kobe Bryant's best efforts, they look to be headed for a top five draft pick. The offense somehow being passable right now is a sheer miracle, as Kobe is determined to get up as many shots as he can. He's easily averaging the most shot attempts per game currently (23.7). His efficiency numbers indicate that that is way too many shots for him, but at this point, why change? The always entertaining Charles Barkley said he wouldn't eat until the Lakers won a game this season, and he can finally do that after the Lakers beat the struggling Charlotte Hornets in their last contest. How will the Lakers respond after their first taste of success on the young season?

Recently for the Grizzlies

After setting a record for the best start in franchise history, the Grizzlies suffered their first defeat at the hands of the 'better than their record indicates' Milwaukee Bucks. After a tough slate with five of the first seven games played on the road, the Grizzlies are certainly pleased to be sitting atop the NBA standings with a 6-1 record. Marc Gasol is getting the Tom Thibodeau treatment from coach Dave Joerger early, logging 36.5 minutes per game. Fatigue was a glaring issue not just for Gasol, but for the whole squad in the SEGABABA against the Bucks.

Three Things to Watch for

1) Can a Grizzlies reserve finally score in double digits? - Not a single Grizzlies reserve player has scored in double digits through seven games. Vince Carter has come the closest with nine points on two different occasions. The bench unit has essentially been dead weight for the Grizzlies, and playing all five reserves together is clearly something that isn't going to work no matter how badly Joerger wants it to. The Grizzlies quite simply need more from the bench unit, because Joerger can't afford to run the starters into the ground during the regular season.

2) Ed Davis against his former team - Whereas the Grizzlies bench has struggled, Davis has had no shortage of strong performances off the bench. He's scored at least ten points in five of the six games the Lakers have played, and he's been the only reason to watch this team since Julius Randle went down with a gruesome injury. Many around Memphis believed in Davis and thought all he needed was the minutes to prove his value. He's certainly proving his worth to the Lakers, but it remains to be seen what he will ultimately become. It's easy to point out solid stats, but he's getting a lot of opportunities on a terrible team. That's not to say Davis couldn't be a decent piece on a playoff team, but he has never been that in his young career. The jury is still out.

3) Return of Aggressive Marc Gasol - In the first three games of the season, Gasol averaged seventeen shots per game. In the last four games, he averaged eleven. Fatigue might be a factor in the considerable drop off in shot attempts, but eleven attempts per game is not enough for Big Spain. In the 2013-14 season, he averaged just over twelve shots per game, and it was hoped that he would increase that number by three or four attempts this season. That doesn't mean shooting just for the sake of shooting, but an aggressive Gasol looking to create for himself with regularity is beneficial for the Grizzlies offense in the long run. After a couple days off, a rejuvenated Gasol should theoretically pick apart the porous Lakers defense.