The Grizzlies are not dead yet. After having their backs against the wall in a 1-3 series deficit, Memphis churned out a pivotal win in game five on their home court off the backs of Desmond Bane and Ja Morant. They are now a +4.5 underdog in game six, having to win out should they want to advance to the second round. With LeBron and Anthony Davis looking worn out, the Grizzlies are in a prime position to keep this game tight and preserve their series hopes for the time being.
Memphis Grizzlies vs LA Lakers Prediction
After making comments about the wear and tear in games three and four, the miles were finally noticeable in what was a lackluster performance in game five for the Lakers. LeBron looked like he mailed it in, settling for jump shots and deferring the offense to run through others. Anthony Davis winces in pain in nearly every post up when the camera is pointing at him. Austin Reaves is no longer fooling anyone with his dribble drive to the free throw line with the Grizzlies wising up and cutting off his path and keeping their feet on the ground.
Simply put, the Grizzlies are in a prime position to ramp up the pressure on the Lakers by tying up this series. Ja Morant and Desmond Bane put on a vintage performance as the Grizzlies top two scorers. Ja looks comfortable with his damaged hand, routinely slashing the interior with his unmatched athleticism. Forcing Anthony Davis to step away from the rim to meet him before his load up, opening the interior for the Memphis bigs to take advantage up with higher quality looks at the rim.
Desmond Bane is also a benefactor of Ja rounding back into form, finding more freedom around the perimeter with a sagged off Lakers defense. A Lakers defense that ranks second in Opposing Three Point Completion Percentage per TeamRankings by holding opponents to a lowly 34.2%. That number has since crashed down to an impressive 29.8%, making it vital that Ja Morant can continue to command defensive attention to free up his shooters.
Memphis Grizzlies vs LA Lakers Betting Odds
After an impressive performance in game five, the Grizzlies now find themselves as a +4.5 underdog on the road for game six. Bettors have yet to take a firm stand on either side of the opening number, keeping the spread the same as of writing. This hovers right above the key number of four, making this a play at the current number with the Grizzlies having a massive advantage in a tired legs perspective.
As for the total, points are expected to be scored at a moderate pace as oddsmakers opened the total at 220. Bettors believe we will see an uptick in defensive production, taking the under down to as low as 218.5 in some shops. The Lakers may opt in to preserving their energy in the defensive end by sagging into the interior to cut off Ja’s drives, daring the Grizzlies to beat them over the top which would bring a heavier form of variance into the total.
- Grizzlies are 0-4 ATS in the last four meetings in Los Angeles
- Under is 17-5-1 in the last 23 matchups against each other
- Grizzlies are 1-4 ATS in the last five meetings overall
Can the Grizzlies slow down Anthony Davis?
Anthony Davis Vs. Grizzlies interior defense
With LeBron putting in some early PTO, that gave Anthony Davis a heavier usage on the offensive end as he dominated the Grizzlies interior in their last game out. He finished with 31 points on a 14/23 shooting performance.
While Anthony Davis is an unreal talent in his own right, the Grizzlies can not afford to let the Lakers get high quality looks in the interior. Especially since they are a weak perimeter unit, getting the benefit of backing off into the lane.
Xavier Tillman and Jaren Jackson Jr will need to anchor the blocks, seamlessly transitioning over for helpside defense and forcing Davis to either kick it out or settle for a low quality jumper over the top of them. One on one coverage will spell disaster against the big man, making it worth the sacrifice of doubling on the block.
Back the Grizzlies at no lower than +4.5 as their explosive offense will take advantage of the Lakers tired legs in an effort to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Memphis Grizzlies Starting Lineup
LA Lakers Starting Lineups
Memphis Grizzlies Injuries: Luke Kennard (Q), Brandon Clarke (O), Steven Adams (O), Jake LaRavia (O)
LA Lakers Injuries: LeBron James (P), Anthony Davis (P), Dennis Schroder (P)