The Los Angeles Lakers vs Memphis Grizzlies is now official as LA managed to win their play-in tournament game. This first-round matchup will be a battle between experience and hunger. Last year, we witnessed the Grizzlies push through for an amazing playoff run.
Unfortunately, their race came to an abrupt end in the second round of the playoffs. It’s obvious both teams are looking forward to winning the title, but only one will emerge victorious.
The Los Angeles Lakers had a very iffy start to their season. The issues began much before the 2022-23 Season as their roster almost fell apart. LeBron James and Anthony Davis sat together with Russell Westbrook convincing him to stay. LA hired Darvin Ham as their new head coach, which worked out for Russ but not for the team.
They traded away Westbrook and acquired key pieces like D’Angelo Russell, Rui Hachimura, Thomas Bryant, and Dennis Schröder. The Lakers made it through and are now in the playoffs.
CLUTCH SHOT BY DENNIS SCHRODER‼️
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 12, 2023
For the Memphis Grizzlies, the future was always bright. Ja Morant had a bit of a hiccup in between struggling to maintain his reputation with the law. However, it never really stopped the Grizzlies from achieving. Finishing as the second seed in the West, they had 51 wins and 31 losses this season. Desmond Bane and Dillon Brooks both took responsibility for the offensive side of things.
While Jaren Jackson Jr. made it his goal to prove his true potential at the defensive end. The Grizzlies are a scary matchup for the Lakers, but LeBron and his squad would still be up for the challenge.
The Los Angeles Lakers look forward to maintaining their lead against the Memphis Grizzlies
The Los Angeles Lakers surprisingly have a winning record against the Memphis Grizzlies this season. LA Lakers have won two out of the three games against Memphis. But Morant’s squad struggled while they were on the road as they only recorded 16 wins in 41 games.
The Lakers, on the other hand, were quite the opposite, taking advantage of every opportunity given to them. Historically, LA has always had a winning record against the Grizzlies with a total of 63 wins against 39.
It is obvious that LA will have to utilize LeBron James and Anthony Davis to the fullest. Bron averaged 28.9 points per game during the regular season, while AD averaged 25.9 points and 12.5 rebounds. But their key player is Austin Reaves, who had been overlooked by Memphis throughout the season.
Reaves has the best shooting percentages from the foul line (86.4%) and three-point (39.8%) arc. AD will be their biggest defensive piece coming into this matchup.
The Grizzlies have always maintained utilizing three key players throughout the season. Ja Morant averaged 26.2 points per game while leading the team in assists and steals as well. Jackson Jr. recorded an impeccable 3 blocks per game and he also leads the NBA in that category. Bane, as always, is a lethal scorer and three-point shooter who averaged 40.7% against LA. Statistically, the Grizzlies could dominate as they also are the favorites to win the series.