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Game Preview: Memphis Grizzlies vs Los Angeles Lakers

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NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Los Angeles Lakers Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

WHO: Memphis Grizzlies (5-9, 3-6 home) vs. Los Angeles Lakers(13-2, 5-1 away)

WHEN: 7:00 PM CT

WHERE: FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee

HOW TO WATCH/LISTEN: Fox Sports Southeast/92.9 FM ESPN Memphis

INJURY REPORT:

MEMPHIS: Grayson Allen (Ankle, out) Ja Morant (Hand, probable)

DENVER: Anthony Davis (Shoulder, probable) Kyle Kuzma (Eye, probable) Avery Bradley (Leg, out) DeMarcus Cousins (Knee, out)

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUPS:

MEMPHIS: Ja Morant, Dillon Brooks, Jae Crowder, Jaren Jackson Jr., Jonas Valanciunas

LOS ANGELES: LeBron James, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Danny Green, Anthony Davis, JaVale McGee


Following the Grizzlies lone winning streak on the season, the young Grizz are currently on a two game skid, dropping games to the Nuggets and Warriors.

Memphis will look to right the ship as they welcome the best team in the Western Conference, the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Lakers are playing their second game of a back to back for only the second time this season. They are currently 1-0 in second nights of back to backs, but that was against the lowly Warriors and within the friendly confines of Staples Center.

Just as people overreacted to the rough start to the season, there are similar overreactions to the Grizzlies winning games against the Utah Jazz and on the road against the Spurs. It has been well documented that patience is the key this season. This young bunch will look other worldly one on night but can lay an equally lackluster performance the next. That is just the product of youth.

The Grizzlies will be debuting their throw back jerseys for this season, a tribute to the Vancouver Grizzlies. The Vancouver Grizzlies were 1-22 against the Los Angeles Lakers all time. Since moving to Memphis, the series is currently tied at 33 wins a piece.

Here are some keys to the game if the Memphis version of the Grizzlies are to reclaim the series lead after dropping the first matchup this season 120-91.

Team Defense: There is no one defender on the team capable of shutting down either Lebron James or Anthony Davis on their own. The duo combined for 63 of the 120 points on their own back in October. AD had his historic 40 point 20 rebound game in just 30 minutes of play. The Grizzlies will have to limit at least one of the two top 10 players in the league to even sniff a chance. Only one player other than these two averages more than ten points per game.

Avoid the Whistle: Memphis sent Davis to the free thrown line 27 times in their last matchup. Jaren Jackson Jr.’s knack for fouling has been well documented and will be on full display in this one. It does not matter who is defending AD, it will always be a tough task. Jaren will need to defend without fouling to not only keep Davis off the free throw line, but to remain in the game as an offensive option.

Turn Up: The Lakers are top 10 in the league in almost every single defensive category including second in points allowed at 101. If the Grizzlies spend more time in half court sets than running wide open it will be a long night with the arsenal of rim protectors at their disposal. Danny Green, Rajon Rondo, KCP and James are all above average perimeter defenders. The Grizzlies are sixth in pace in the NBA while the Lakers are 22. Memphis will need to speed them up to have a chance.

Prediction: Los Angeles 115- Memphis 100