Los Angeles Lakers vs Memphis Grizzlies 12/9/21: Starting Lineups, Matchup Preview, Betting Odds, Live Stream

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Memphis Grizzlies Matchup Preview (12/9/21)

The Los Angeles Lakers will try to build on their recent 15-point win against the Boston Celtics by traveling to Memphis to face the Grizzlies, who have been red hot for the past five games, even without Ja Morant. As a matter of fact, the Grizzlies set an NBA record while Morant has been out due to a sprained knee: they beat the Oklahoma City Thunder by 73 points! This is without a doubt the most embarrassing beatdown in the league’s long history. Memphis has had the benefit of playing some weaker teams, such as the Thunder, Raptors, Mavericks, Kings, and Miami Heat without several key players. Still, it is wildly impressive that the Grizzlies have been able to rattle off five straight wins without their best player.

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Memphis Grizzlies Betting Odds

If I was not writing about this game, I would be staying as far away from this game as humanly possible. This is a tough game to predict, because Memphis has been hot, but also has not played good enough competition for me to really be a believer in the long term. On the other side, there is the Los Angeles Lakers, who are the worst team in the NBA against the spread, despite having arguably the greatest player ever on their team. It is next to impossible to get a good indication on how the Lakers will play on any given night, due to inconsistency and chemistry issues. Still, with everything being factored in, I would lean towards the Lakers ATS. The reason is simple: LeBron James. LeBron has been putting up 30+ points with ease. Even though LeBron likely wanted to start to be looked at as more of a secondary scoring option with Anthony Davis taking the lead, that has not come to fruition.

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TV Schedule

Date: 12/9/21
Time: 8:00 PM ET
Arena: FedExForum – Memphis, TN
Channel: NBA League Pass

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Los Angeles Lakers Starting Lineup

PG: Russell Westbrook
SG: Talen Horton-Tucker
SF: LeBron James
PF: Anthony Davis
C: Dwight Howard

Los Angeles Lakers Analysis

There is some hope for Los Angeles. The Lakers’ convincing win at home over the Boston Celtics gave fans a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel, as it was probably the best that Anthony Davis, LeBron James, and Russell Westbrook have played together all season. Additionally, LeBron has been putting up some huge statlines for a player in his late-30s. It is clear that the idea of using Anthony Davis as a primary scorer is not going to work out for the Lake Show. LeBron seems to have realized this and has consequently taken over the offense. As long as Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis take a bit of a backseat to LeBron offensively, then the Lakers can change their current trajectory.

Memphis Grizzlies Starting Lineup

PG: Tyus Jones
SG: Dillon Brooks
SF: Desmond Bane
PF: Jaren Jackson Jr.
C: Steven Adams

Memphis Grizzlies Analysis

The Grizzlies are winners of five straight NBA games despite losing their best player, Ja Morant, to a knee injury. The fight that they are playing with is inspiring for now and the future. Desmond Bane has established himself as a legitimate scoring threat in the NBA and is one of the biggest steals of the 2020 NBA Draft. The health of Jaren Jackson Jr is also a huge positive, as he has never seemed to be able to stay healthy. Memphis will need to have a terrific offensive night, with a good scoring distribution amongst the starters, to beat the Lakers. It is certainly possible, but the slight advantage goes to LeBron and the Lakers for now.

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Memphis Grizzlies Daily Fantasy Picks

LeBron James has been on fire recently, scoring 30+ points in four of his past five games. In the one game that LeBron was unable to eclipse 30 points, he still put up 11 rebounds, six assists, and two steals. He will forever stuff stat sheets by just his presence on the basketball floor, and this year is no different. Now, to make the playoffs, LeBron understands that he will need to step up a little bit more on both ends of the floor. We are seeing just that over the past several games since he returned from an injury that had sidelined him for a few weeks. LeBron will be an expensive player in DFS, so you need to make sure that you ride his hot streaks and choose favorable matchups. The Grizzlies have played well recently, even without Ja Morant, but there is no chance that they will be able to slow down LeBron on the defensive end. They rank 24th in opponent points per game and defensive efficiency as well as 26th in opponent eFG% (effective field goal percentage) and 28th in opponent 3P% (three-point percentage). In short, Memphis will allow a lot of points, many of which will be at the hands of LeBron James.

In three of his past four games, Desmond Bane has had 20 or more points. Bane will be relied upon heavily while Ja Morant is out with an injury and thus, get more minutes. An important stat related to Bane is that when he plays at least 30 minutes, dating back to mid-November, he has scored 20 or more points. If Bane continues to get a lot of tick with Morant out, then there is no reason why he can’t put up 25-30 points on a Lakers team that has struggled substantially against opposing guards this entire year. What makes this even more sweet is the fact that Bane’s value is higher than what his salary is, which creates an opportunity for you to gain an advantage in your lineup. Contrarian plays can make or break your DFS lineup, and Bane should keep flying under the radar a bit.

Drew is a lead NBA writer at Lineups.com where he has been covering in-season basketball coverage to the NBA Draft. He is a former collegiate player who now spends time diving into NBA prospects and evaluating the analytics of the NBA.

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