The Los Angeles Lakers are on the road in Tennessee for a date with the Memphis Grizzlies tonight. The Lakers embark on a short two-game road trip following a 117-102 win over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night.
It’s been a struggle to see a complete performance from the Lakers this season, but that was a good look at the Staples Center. After a close first-half, the Lakers pulled ahead and away for an easy win in the 4th quarter.
Russell Westbrook last 8 games:
He is +39 in that span, the highest +/- by a Lakers starter. pic.twitter.com/vz38lnGb30
— StatMuse (@statmuse) December 8, 2021
Lebron James paced the Lakers with 30 points, while Russell Westbrook came up big with 24 points and 11 assists. Westbrook looked interested in that one, and when he’s motivated, good luck slowing him down.
He put down a statement dunk later in the 3rd quarter to put the Lakers ahead 89-70. That’s the type of play to get a team going. It certainly got the crowd up out of their seats, and Lakers’ fans haven’t had much to get up about in 2021.
The Lakers moved out of .500 and to 13-12 with the win. They are eight games behind the Golden State Warriors for the lead in the West. We’ve seen the Lakers look good in spots, and then go flat in their next attempt, though.
we gone be alright. bounce back tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/BYun8vR7Rx
— Memphis Grizzlies (@memgrizz) December 9, 2021
The Grizzlies were on a five-game winning streak before that came to a halt in their last outing against the Dallas Mavericks. They ran out of juice and suffered a 104-96 loss last night. Memphis gets no time for rest, as they’re turning around on a back-to-back with the Lakers in town.
They have been surviving so far without Ja Morant in the lineup. Having said that, it’s a small sample size and I can’t see the Grizzlies consistently winning without him in the lineup. He was dealing with a knee injury, and now he’s in Covid protocol.
Head below for our free Lakers vs. Grizzlies pick on December 9, 2021.
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Memphis Grizzlies Betting Odds and Team Statistics:
The following odds are courtesy of BetOnline:
|LA Lakers||-4 (-110)||-164||Over 224 (-110)|
|Memphis Grizzlies||+3.5 (-105)||+144||Under 224 (-110)|
|Team Data||LA Lakers||Memphis Grizzlies|
|Points Per Game||111.9||110.4|
|Points Against Per Game||113.0||110.6|
|Field Goal %||46.5||45.0|
|Three Point %||34.7||34.3|
Lakers vs. Grizzlies Prediction:
The Grizzlies have won five of their last six games. Morant hasn’t played in any of those games. He most recently appeared in a 132-100 loss to the Atlanta Hawks on November 26.
The Grizzlies don’t need Ja Morant? Not so fast. They might be playing fine at the moment, but the Grizzlies are going to find a time where Morant is needed.
Morant probably would have given the Grizzlies the extra push required last night versus the Mavericks. Jaren Jackson Jr. played well with 26 points and 7 rebounds, but there wasn’t much help.
Memphis actually looked improved defensively last night. That’s been their problem throughout the year. The Grizzlies are 24th in the NBA with 110.6 points allowed per game.
Opponents are shooting 46.15% versus the Grizzlies this season, and they’ve been particularly bad on the perimeter. They are 28th against the three with teams shooting 37.9% from deep.
LA Lakers vs. Memphis Grizzlies Betting Trends:
- 7-19-1 ATS in their previous 27 games as a favorite
- 5-16 ATS in their previous 21 games after covering the spread
- 9-19 ATS in their previous 28 games
- 7-1 overall in their previous eight games versus the Grizzlies
- 6-3 ATS in their previous nine games in December
- 1-7 overall in their previous eight games
- 4-1 ATS in their previous five games as an underdog
- 5-2 ATS in their previous seven games on a Thursday
- 2-7 ATS in their previous nine games at home versus a team with a losing road record
- OVER is 6-1 in their previous seven games in Memphis
Defense has been a problem for the Lakers, but there have been signs of improvement recently. In three of their last four outings, the Lakers have held their opponents to 106 points or less.
That’s considerably better than their season average of 113 points allowed per game. The Celtics were finding room to score in the first-half on Tuesday, though Frank Vogel adjusted well and Boston couldn’t do much out of halftime.
There’s nothing been wrong with the offense, they’re fourth with 111.9 points per game and shooting 46.5%. They should be able to score on the Grizzlies’ defense.
The absence of Morant didn’t matter much earlier on, but I don’t see it lasting. With the Lakers playing better defensively, this should be tough on the Grizzlies on a back-to-back.
The Grizzlies should put up a valiant effort, though fade away in the 4th quarter. I’m going with the Lakers by 7 or 8 points to win and cover.