The Grizzlies and Lakers are set to duke it out at Staples Center on Friday night, in a matchup that is sure to be interesting. Memphis has been up and down, as they are still dealing with numerous injuries, while the Lakers were just barely able to dispose of the hungry Thunder a few nights ago. What a season this has been as a whole.
As great as it is to see Ja Morant and Jonas Valanciunas back for Memphis, they remain without six players for this game. De’Anthony Melton, Justise Winslow, and Brandon Clarke are the most notable absentees. Believe it or not, Winslow has not played in a single game for Memphis since being acquired for Andre Iguodala last year. Most folks probably forget he’s even on the roster, honestly. And Jaren Jackson is yet to debut.
LA is feeling the injury bug themselves, too. Alex Caruso and Anthony Davis both missed the last game and have a shot at playing tonight, but nothing is a given. The lift that both of them provide on the defensive end is practically irreplaceable, proving just how valuable they are. AC is going to get a nice payday this summer.
The spread is slated as Lakers -7.5. The over/under is set at 220.5 points.
Grizzlies Look to Move Back Over .500
In what has been a pretty up-and-down year, Memphis still finds itself at .500. They had a long break in between games with COVID-19 health and safety protocol taking them out of action for almost two weeks. But they’ve overcome that and come back with strong play. This is a team that is still just scratching their surface, a ceiling that is endlessly high.
When JJJ returns, we will find out just how well he fits. They did well in the draft to find Desmond Bane, who has been one of the best shooters in the league. Ja Morant is not far from All-Star level. But, Brandon Clarke has also been very injury prone, which should be worrying, given the injury woes their other stars also have.
Hopefully, the Grizzlies don’t become an all-time question mark at the end of the day.
Lakers Seek to Stay Hot
It might be a bit overblown that LeBron hasn’t missed a game this year. But, what is not overblown or even talked about enough, is just how well he is playing. James has been in the league since 2003, and now, year 18, and he’s still playing as well as ever. And in the thick of the MVP race.
Most guys start to tail off as they get older. LeBron is not human, clearly. His pal Carmelo Anthony, a year older, is still getting buckets but is by no means a star. Dwyane Wade is in his second year of retirement. Who knows what would have happened with Chris Bosh. They are just hoping that he’s healthy now.
The Lakers have been good all year, as they now seek to knock Memphis off.
The Lakers Get the W
Make sure to ride with LA. They’re not losing this one. That’s a guarantee.