The Los Angeles Lakers (3-1) will attempt to complete the series upset over the Memphis Grizzlies (1-3) on Wednesday night. Everyone is available for the Lakers, while Steven Adams, Brandon Clarke, and Jake LaRavia remain out for Memphis. Can the Grizzlies keep their playoff hopes alive?
Check out below for Lakers vs. Grizzlies predictions, odds, trends, and starting lineups.
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Memphis Grizzlies Prediction
Prediction: Grizzlies -4
Although the Lakers lead 3-1, the series has been far from a bloodbath. It could easily be 3-1 Grizzlies since Game 1 was a one-point game with three minutes left while Game 4 entered overtime after a last second LeBron James layup.
The main reason for Memphis’ series deficit? Three-point shooting. The Grizzlies are 17/56 (30.3%) on open 3PA, 25/83 (30.1%) on wide open 3PA, and 13/43 (30.2%) on corner 3PA. Dillon Brooks definitely drags those numbers down, but others are not shooting to their normal standards. Desmond Bane – a career 42.5 3PT% shooter – has produced a terrible 28.6 3PT% and 18.8% on wide open 3PA. Bane, Jackson Jr, Roddy, and Jones are a combined 20/79 (25.3%) from deep.
On a side note, can the Grizzlies hand trade deadline acquisition Luke Kennard more minutes? The fact that he only saw 13 minutes in Game 4 with Memphis shooting a 21.4 3PT% is absurd.
I expect Memphis to see a drastic three-point efficiency increase in Game 5 for two reasons. First, teams tend to shoot more efficiently at home, and it’s especially true of non-stars. Second, it’s increasingly likely that the Grizzlies experience regression to the mean as the series goes on. I also expect Memphis’ open 3PA to remain consistent since Morant’s on-ball gravity on drives is immense. The Lakers have a poor three-point defense too as they rank 18th defending catch and shoot threes and 24th defending off the dribble threes in terms of opponent shot quality (per ShotQuality).
On the other end, Los Angeles is a drive-heavy squad that thrives attacking the basket. DPOY Jaren Jackson Jr has answered the call by chipping in 2.5 BPG, and he’s deterring plenty of possessions from ending in a restricted area shot. In addition, Xavier Tillman is holding up against LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
Overall, Memphis has held Los Angeles to a 110.6 Offensive Rating, which would have ranked 26th in the regular season. Their defense hasn’t been the problem in the slightest, and they have the tools to continue limiting the Lakers. Memphis’ 104.7 Offensive Rating is atrocious; however, shot-creation hasn’t been the issue. If the Grizzlies can simply be average from deep, then their Offensive Rating will skyrocket above Los Angeles’. With home-court advantage and regression to the mean likely coming their way, look for the Grizzlies to secure Game 5 and extend the series.
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Memphis Grizzlies Betting Odds
The Grizzlies are a four-point favorite and own a -170 moneyline. For Los Angeles’ +152 moneyline to hold a positive expected value, they must win here at least 40% of the time. In other words, if the game was simulated 100 times, the Lakers would need to win 40 of them for their moneyline to be a profitable play. Finally, the 222 over under is in the middle of the pack for Wednesday games.
- Grizzlies are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall
- Lakers are 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings
- Under is 16-5-1 in the last 22 meetings
- Under is 10-1-1 in the last 12 meetings in Memphis
Which teams will win the game-determining matchups?
Ja Morant’s Health
Morant is valiantly playing through a hand injury and producing at a high rate. That can change in an instant though, especially with the constant falls that Morant experiences on acrobatic drives. If he re-injures his hand to the point where he either cannot play or suffers serious limitations, then the Grizzlies are in dire straits. It’s imperative that Morant protects his hand throughout the game.
Lakers 3PT Shooting
LeBron James and Anthony Davis place tremendous stress around the basket, so quality three-point shooting completely stretches out the defense to their breaking point. Hachimura and Reaves are a combined 17/33 (51.5%) from three, and the Lakers will benefit immensely if they can hover anywhere near that mark. Los Angeles doesn’t have a single player at 34% or above besides them, so their continued three-point success is essential here.
Los Angeles Lakers Starting Lineup
Memphis Grizzlies Starting Lineups
Los Angeles Lakers Injuries: LeBron James (P), Anthony Davis (P), Dennis Schroder (P)
Memphis Grizzlies Injuries: Steven Adams (O), Brandon Clarke (O), Jake LaRavia (O)