After a convincing win over the Charlotte Hornets, the Memphis Grizzlies will face the LA Lakers in the first game of a two-game clash within the Western Conference of the NBA. The second game in the miniseries will be in Memphis on January 5.
Even without Ja Morant, the Grizzlies have been competitive. Given how well the team is playing right now, this could turn into a close game that fans won't want to miss.
Fixture: LA Lakers vs Memphis Grizzlies - NBA Season 2020-21
Date & Time: Sunday, January 3, 2021 - 6 PM ET (Monday, January 4, 2021 - 4:30 AM IST)
Venue: FedExForum, Memphis, Tennessee
LA Lakers Preview
The LA Lakers may have had a slightly slow start to the season, but the team has since picked up important wins and currently us tied with the second-best record in the West at 4-2.
The superstar duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis seemed to have finally hit their stride and looks as dominant as ever.
To add to that, the franchise's bench has also performed far better than many people expected. Overall, this Lakers lineup is one of the most balanced and dominant in the NBA.
The Lakers do have injury concerns, though. Alex Caruso will reportedly miss the next few games due to COVID-19 protocols, while Kentavious Caldwell-Pope could miss the game against the Memphis Grizzlies due to an ankle injury.
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Key Player - LeBron James
LeBron James is still the best player in the NBA for a reason. The 36-year-old is having arguably the most complete year in the league. He is an incredible scorer from both the outside and inside, while his court-general abilities rival those of some of the best point guards of all time.
The only weakness LeBron might have right now is his ankle, which has been an injury concern since the start of the season.
If the Memphis Grizzlies wish to win, they will be hoping that LeBron James has one of his rare off nights for the LA Lakers.
LA Lakers Predicted Lineup
G LeBron James, G Dennis Schroder, F Kyle Kuzma, F Anthony Davis, C Marc Gasol
Memphis Grizzlies Preview
The Memphis Grizzlies (2-3) come into this game in a fragile position. While they did win convincingly against the Hornets, the number of injuries the team has accumulated is bound to catch up to them against the best franchises.
The Grizzlies have eight players out with serious injuries. Among these are Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr., Justise Winslow, and Grayson Allen, who is doubtful for this game.
With so many key players out, this is likely to be a tough game for the Memphis Grizzlies.
Key Player - Dillon Brooks
With Ja Morant gone, the Memphis Grizzlies will need Dillon Brooks to pick up the slack.
The 24-year-old is an excellent scorer who has averaged 19.2 points while shooting 41.8% from the field and 35.1% from beyond the arc. Additionally, while Brooks isn't an elite distributor of the ball, he has shown the potential to be a very good one and will need to dish plenty of assists against the LA Lakers.
Overall, given what he can do, Dillon Brooks will be the Memphis Grizzlies' most important player during this clash.
Memphis Grizzlies Predicted Lineup
G Dillon Brooks, G Desmond Bane, F Kyle Anderson, F Brandon Clarke, C Jonas Valanciunas
LA Lakers vs Memphis Grizzlies Match Prediction
Truth be told, the odds are heavily stacked against the Memphis Grizzlies. While the LA Lakers come into this game riding high on momentum, their opposition will be simply drained of personnel and trying their best to make do with what they have.
The difference in terms of talent and quality is just far too high. It is more than likely that the LA Lakers will come away victorious from the game against the Memphis Grizzlies, and a blowout is absolutely in the cards here.
Where to watch LA Lakers vs Memphis Grizzlies
Published 03 Jan 2021, 01:18 IST