Memphis Grizzlies at Los Angeles Lakers Preview
The Memphis Grizzlies will be riding high as they come into tonight’s game on the road against the Los Angeles Lakers. They got their first win of the season in an overtime win over the Brooklyn Nets 134-133. The Lakers are 2-1 after their win over the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday.
It’ll be the first trip to Los Angeles for Grizzlies rookie Ja Morant, who has had a great start to his rookie campaign. Look for the Lakers to put the clamps on him tonight with one of their perimeter defenders as they look to stay undefeated at home.
Time: 10:30 PM ET
Arena: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
Channel: NBA TV
Grizzlies: Ja Morant (P), Kyle Anderson (Q), Andre Iguodala (O)
Lakers: Rajon Rondo (Q), Kyle Kuzma (O), DeMarcus Cousins (O)
Memphis Grizzlies Starting Lineup
In order to get by the Brooklyn Nets for their first win, 134-133 on Sunday, the Memphis needed hel from more than Ja Morant and Dillon Brooks, who have been the offensive leaders so far this season. The Grizzlies got just that with seven players scoring in double figures for a balanced team effort, something new Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins noted after the game.
“What a game, huh? As the players said, I’m wearing it well right now,” Jenkins said. “Heck of a game. Super proud of our group. Obviously, to get our first win of the season, it took a complete team effort. I’m just super proud of our guys.”
Memphis was led by Morant’s 30 points and nine assists. Brooks is also off to a great start, and he chipped in 21 points on Sunday.
Having three second unit players getting into double digits is something Memphis would love to sustain, and with Kyle Anderson, rookie Brandon Clarke, and veteran Solomon Hill coming off the bench, that’s certainly a possibility.
Los Angeles Lakers Starting Lineup
On Sunday, it looked like the Lakers were going to allow the Charlotte Hornets to stay in the game and keep it close, as it was for three quarters, but the fourth quarter was a different story as they scored 33 points and limited Charlotte to 21 for the 120-101 win.
LeBron James took over in the fourth and was dominant on drives into the paint regardless of who was defending him. He finished with 20 points and 12 assists in the game.
One key piece of the Lakers run, which was a bit of a surprise, was backup center Dwight Howard. Howard had 16 points, 10 rebounds and four blocked shots in the game.
“Dwight’s shown bursts like that all throughout camp,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. “But tonight in particular, he was off the charts.”
Howard has seemed to embrace his new role as a backup and role player on a talented Lakers squad. He has been bouncing around the NBA the past few years, but may have found a home as he is a few years older and likely more mature in his second stint with the Lakers.
Key Player Matchups
LeBron James vs. Jae Crowder
Former Jazz forward Crowder hit the game-winning three in the Grizzlies’ first win, showing he can knock down shots in addition to his calling card of blue-collar defense. Crowder will be tasked with defending James, who has become less tentative and was aggressive and took over in the Lakers’ last game.
Avery Bradley vs. Ja Morant
Morant has had an impressive start to his rookie season. He’s been the unquestioned floor leader of the Grizzlies and is getting it done on offense with his drives and assists. The Lakers will look to limit him with defensive ace Avery Bradley.
Anthony Davis vs. Jaren Jackson Jr.
With Davis starting at power forward, he has an advantage over many of the smaller lineups in the league with a lot of stretch fours starting across the league. Jackson is a talented player and was one of the top rookies in last year’s class, but he’s got his hands full with Davis, who has been a beast in the early season so far.
The Lakers have two stud picks to pick from, whereas the Grizzlies don’t have a clear star, but some nice young talent. Of James and Davis, I’d go with Davis for tonight’s matchup. Davis is available for $10.3k and FanDuel has him projected for a big night with 53.5 points.
Your value plays tonight are Grizzles rookie Ja Morant, with a salary of $7.1 k and projection of 21.74 fantasy points. My Lakers pick may seem a bit odd, but Dwight Howard is coming off a solid game and it’ll be interesting to see if he can build off that tonight. Howard is available for $5k and is slated for a 27.37-point night.
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