After an exciting Game 1 that resulted in a Lakers road victory, the Memphis Grizzlies will try to bounce back and even the series in the first round of the 2023 NBA Playoffs.
Check out injury updates, particularly on Ja Morant, the projected starting lineups, and our betting picks and predictions for Game 2 below!
Los Angeles Lakers Vs. Memphis Grizzlies Betting Odds
Ahead of Game 2, the Los Angeles Lakers are narrow one-point road favorites against the Memphis Grizzlies, who will still be without Steven Adams, Brandon Clarke, and, possibly, Ja Morant. Los Angeles has a clean bill of health and should have everyone healthy for this first-round playoff matchup.
Los Angeles Lakers Vs. Memphis Grizzlies Prediction
After a back-and-forth game that saw many lead changes, the Los Angeles Lakers finally pulled away late in the fourth quarter of Game 1 against the Memphis Grizzlies. The Lakers’ late-game run came after Ja Morant fell hard on his wrist on a dunk attempt; he immediately ran back to the locker room after the injury and did not return.
From that point on, the momentum favored Los Angeles, which ended up winning Game 1 by double-digits. The Lakers got phenomenal outings from Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura, who combined for 52 points on 19-27 shooting from the field, despite Reaves having no playoff experience and Hachimura only playing in five career postseason games.
Will we see more of the same from the red-hot Lakers in this one, or can the Memphis Grizzlies secure a victory in a must-win Game 2? The sportsbooks seem to think this one will be close to a toss-up, as the line favors Los Angeles by merely one point and could wind up being a pick’em. We believe in Memphis to even the series.
This season, when the Grizzlies play at FedEx Forum without Ja Morant, they have gone 9-1 in ten games. Further, their net rating, in that fairly large sample size, is an impressive 9.1. While Morant is obviously a ridiculously talented player, and a huge key to the Grizzlies’ championship hopes, the Grizzlies have withstood his absence at home quite well.
There are two primary reasons for Memphis playing well at home this season without Morant: Tyus Jones and the Grizzlies’ defense.
Every avid NBA fan and expert knows that Jones could be a starting point guard in this league, but wanted to remain in Memphis, resigning a two-year deal last off-season. When Jones is starting for Memphis at home this season, he has averaged 17.3 points, 8.9 assists, and 3.7 rebounds, with just 0.4 fouls and 1.7 turnovers per game.
Additionally, Memphis steps up its defense at home with Morant out, as it has a defensive rating of 108.2. Further, teams are shooting just 43.4% from the field and 32.7% from deep during that span.
Memphis knows this is a must-win game. The Grizzlies will ramp up their defense and rebounding efforts. Game 2 should be tight for the first three quarters, but they should pull away without much resistance late in the game. Lastly, serious regression should be expected from Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura, especially considering they are going against one of the premier defenses in the league.
- Los Angeles is 1-0 ATS in the 2023 playoffs
- Los Angeles is 6-4 ATS as a favorite on the road for the entirety of the 2022-23 season and playoffs
- Memphis is 0-1 ATS in the 2023 playoffs
A key matchup for the highly anticipated Game 2 between the Los Angeles Lakers and Memphis Grizzlies belongs to Dillon Brooks and LeBron James. Check out if LeBron can bounce back with a big scoring game or if Brooks will contain James!
LeBron James vs. Dillon Brooks
Game 1 was highlighted by massive scoring outbursts from Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura, who make up arguably the fourth, fifth, or sixth-scoring options for the Lakers. Reaves and Hachimura combined for 52 points on 19-27 shooting from the floor. Even D’Angelo Russell chipped in 19 points.
Obviously, LeBron was not needed as much for scoring purposes, but he still finished with just 21 points, which is roughly eight points below his season average. From an eye test standpoint, Dillon Brooks was bothering James, at least a bit; he hesitated on several shots and passed up a few open looks that he usually would shoot.
Despite another inefficient shooting night, Brooks won Round 1 against LeBron. However, James will likely have to step up and score more in Game 2. Expect LeBron to score 30+ in this one. Advantage: LeBron.
Los Angeles Lakers Starting Lineup
Memphis Grizzlies Starting Lineups
Los Angeles Lakers Injuries: None
Memphis Grizzlies Injuries: Ja Morant (Q), Brandon Clarke (Out), Steven Adams (Out), Jake LaRavia (Out)