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Memphis Grizzlies vs. Los Angeles Lakers: Game Preview, TV/Radio Information

The Memphis Grizzlies officially say goodbye to Kobe Bryant (if he plays) as they play the Lakers for the last time this season.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

WHO: Memphis Grizzlies vs. Los Angeles Lakers

WHERE: Staples Center in Los Angeles, California

WHEN: 9:30 PM CT




Memphis: Marc Gasol (Foot, Out for Season), Mike Conley (Achilles, Out), Chris Andersen (Shoulder, Day to Day), Jordan Adams (Knee, Out)

Los Angeles Lakers: Kobe Bryant (Shoulder, Questionable), Ryan Kelly (Wrist, Day to Day), Anthony Brown (Foot, Out)

For the Lakers' perspective, check out Silver Screen and Roll.

Even on the second game of a back to back, the Memphis Grizzlies need all of the wins they can get. They arrive in Los Angeles after playing last night in Phoenix against the Suns hoping to take advantage of a Lakers team surely playing out the slate. It has been another miserable season for the Lakers, who have lost four straight games heading in to their national TV game with the Grizzlies tonight.

Kobe Bryant may not play. The Lakers are more interested as an organization in improving their Draft Lottery stock than winning this game and are 9-25 at home. The Memphis Grizzlies, even though they just played a game last night and even though they are still short handed, need to win this game.

How can they do it? Three keys.

Be Sound Defensively

Memphis does not need to re-invent the wheel while defending these Lakers. They are the worst team in the entire NBA shooting the basketball; they are 41.7% overall from the field, and 31.8% from beyond the arc for the entire season. Their shot chart is about as unremarkable as they come-

Lakers Shot Chart

Not a single area of green. Just about as mediocre as you can be.

The Lakers have players like Lou Williams and Nick Young who can get hot at any moment. They must make sure they play their game and defend to their scheme, or else these types of players can get in to a rhythm fast.

Limit D'Angelo Russell

In a rare recent positive development for the Lakers, Russell has looked much more the part of the second overall pick as of late. In his last ten games Russell is averaging 19 points on 44% shooting with four assists and three rebounds, showing explosiveness as a scorer. Meanwhile, if you haven't noticed lately, the Grizzlies Point Guard situation has had some success, but hasn't been ideal...

Now, the two current Grizzlies Point Guards of note (McCallum and Farmar) must find a way to keep up with the younger, more talented Russell. Otherwise, it is going to be a long night.

Let Lance Stephenson Spin

It sounds crazy...because it kind of was six weeks ago...but Lance Stephenson continues to be a huge part of Memphis Grizzlies success these days. "Born Ready" was a huge part of Memphis' run to pull out a win in the fourth quarter of last night's game against the Phoenix Suns. He can be turnover prone, as he was last night, but that is to be expected sometimes with the way that Lance plays the game. He is the only Memphis Grizzly who can create his own shot on the wing, and create for others.

Lance is almost certainly not going to be able to play this way when the team is fully healthy. But seeing as how that isn't going to happen at any point this season...may as well let him do his thing and live with the rewards and consequences, especially considering the "treats" have outnumbered the "tricks" as of late.

The Prediction

The Grizzlies have gone from losing four straight to winning two straight and perhaps going on a full-blown winning streak if they can get a victory against the Lakers. One of the keys from last night's win is only Matt Barnes played more than 30 minutes, and Barnes had the game before off due to suspension. They should be relatively well-rested for the second game of a back to back against one of the worst teams in the NBA.

Memphis is playing to hold on to a five-seed and a potentially preferred playoff match-up with the Clippers. The Lakers have nothing to play for. The Grizzlies should win, and will on the backs of (who else) Zach Randolph and Lance Stephenson.

Memphis 102, LA Lakers 94

Follow @sbngrizzlies