On Friday night, the Memphis Grizzlies will travel west for a rematch with the Los Angeles Lakers, which upset Memphis in the first round of last year’s NBA Playoffs. With so many injuries and recent volatility with these two teams, check out our Memphis Grizzlies vs. Los Angeles Lakers predictions, game preview, best bets, and injury report below!
Memphis Grizzlies Vs. Los Angeles Lakers Prediction
The Memphis Grizzlies and Los Angeles Lakers are two teams in complete turmoil despite having their best players healthy. Head coaches Taylor Jenkins and Darvin Ham are on the hot seat; if this poor play for either team continues, they will likely be the first to go, as is standard in the NBA.
Los Angeles has dropped nine of its past 12 games since it won the newly-added In-Season Tournament. In that stretch, the Lakers had the eighth-lowest net rating, allowing teams to shoot 49% from the floor and 41% from deep against them.
Meanwhile, Memphis has been slightly better with Ja Morant on the floor, boasting a 5-3 record, but it is nowhere near as competitive as the past few seasons. Much of this can be attributed to poor bench play and a lack of rebounding. As a matter of fact, the Grizzlies rank 24th in total rebounding rate this season but have been outrebounded by an average of 12 rebounds in their past five games.
Further, this Grizzlies offense objectively makes no sense; they shoot the fifth-most three-pointers in the NBA but rank dead-last, even behind the horrendous 3-31 Detroit Pistons, in 3P%. Diving deeper, players not named Luke Kennard or Desmond Bane have been mind-bogglingly poor from deep the entire season, but especially bad recently.
The rest of this Grizzlies team has shot 29.2% from behind the arc in their past three games, including a 4-for-25 performance against the Kings and a 7-for-25 outing versus the Spurs.
Even though Los Angeles has been poor in defending the three-point line in the past 12 games, that won’t matter against this Memphis squad. Watch the Lakers pack the paint with defenders, except for Desmond Bane and Luke Kennard, and force Memphis’ role players to knock down three-pointers to beat them. It has been a fool-proof game plan all season long.
Memphis Grizzlies Vs. Los Angeles Lakers Prediction: Lakers -4 (-110)
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Memphis Grizzlies Vs. Los Angeles Lakers Best Odds
Los Angeles is a four-point home favorite against the Memphis Grizzlies, which likely suggests that LeBron James (listed as questionable) will be playing. The Lakers have Moneyline odds of -166, while Memphis is a +140 dog to steal an upset on the road and avenge its postseason series loss from last year. The total for this Western Conference matchup is around 225.5 points, with -110 odds for the Over and the Under.
Memphis Grizzlies Starting Lineup
Los Angeles Lakers Starting Lineup
Memphis Grizzlies Vs. Los Angeles Lakers Injuries
The injury report for the Los Angeles Lakers is extremely long ahead of their home matchup with Memphis, a team they upset in the first round of the 2023 NBA Playoffs. Rui Hachimura, D’Angelo Russell, and Gabe Vincent will all miss this game, while LeBron James and Cam Reddish will be game-time decisions.
The Grizzlies finally have Ja Morant back from his 25-game suspension, as well as Luke Kennard from a bone bruise on his knee and Marcus Smart from a sprained ankle; however, they will be without Brandon Clarke (Achilles) for six to eight more weeks and Steven Adams for the remainder of the 2023-24 season. Unfortunately, Memphis will be without Derrick Rose, who is week-to-week after suffering a thigh injury, and Vince Williams Jr. is questionable.