Los Angeles Lakers vs. Memphis Grizzlies (2/28 @ 7:30 PM EST)
Spread: Grizzlies -5.5
Money Line: Lakers +146 / Grizzlies -178
Overview and Betting Info
The Los Angeles Lakers (29-32) will be heading east to take on the Memphis Grizzlies (36-23) on Tuesday night. These teams have met once this season, with the Lakers winning a 122-121 thriller. The Lakers are currently twelfth in the West, just one game away from the last play-in spot. The Grizzlies are second in the West, 5.5 games behind the Nuggets.
The Lakers are 29-31-1 against the spread this season and have covered three of their last four games. They’ve gone over the total 31 times but have been under in four of their last five.
The Grizzlies are 26-30-2 versus the spread but have covered just two of their last eight games. They’ve gone over the total 25 times but have been under in seven of their last ten.
Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers come into Tuesday’s game having won four of their last five games. They were impressive wins, beating Golden State (twice), New Orleans, and Dallas. While many were counting them out, an active trade deadline has helped awake this Los Angeles team to make a push for the playoffs. The Lakers’ offense has been good, ranking sixth in the NBA in scoring (117.0 PPG) and tenth in field goal percentage (48.1%), despite being twenty-sixth in three-point percentage (33.8%). The LA defense has been a different story, ranking twenty-fourth in opponent scoring (117.9 PPG), twenty-sixth in steals (6.5 SPG), and eighteenth in blocks (4.5 BPG). The Lakers have struggled on the road, going 14-18 this season.
The Lakers are led by their star duo of Lebron James (29.5 PPG, 8.4 RPG, 6.9 APG) and Anthony Davis (25.7 PPG, 12.4 RPG, 1.1 SPG). James is having another fantastic season, though his shooting numbers have been down (25.2 PPG, 47.5% FG, 28.6% 3PT) in February. He’s been excellent on the road where he is averaging 30.8 points while making over 50% of his shots. He did not shoot well when they played the Grizzlies earlier in the season but still finished with 23 points, nine rebounds, two steals, and two blocks. Davis returned from injury last month, but his offense has struggled to reach the levels before the injury. Still, his rebounding and defensive numbers have remained strong, averaging 14.6 rebounds and 2.6 blocks during that span. Davis did not play in their previous game with Memphis.
The Lakers stars are supported by two recent trade-deadline acquisitions in D’Angelo Russell (17.6 PPG, 6.1 APG, 1.1 SPG) and Malik Monk (13.4 PPG, 35.9% 3PT). Russell missed sprained his ankle on Thursday and is considered questionable to play on Tuesday. He has been a crucial addition to this Laker team, especially as he is one of their best shooters from deep. Russel has faced Memphis three times this season, with his last game being his most impressive, with 19 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists. Utah acquired Monk to help relieve the Laker’s three-point shooting woes. The guard shoots nine threes a game, but his consistency has been streaky. Monk has scored over 20 points twice in his last four games and under 10 points twice. If Russell can’t go, look for Austin Reaves (10.6 PPG), as the guard will likely again see an uptick in playing time.
After beginning the season 31-13 and appearing to be the favorites in the West, the Grizzlies have lost 10 of their last 15 games. After a disappointing loss to the Sixers after the All-Star break, they bounced back to dominate the West-leading Nuggets. The Grizzlies’ success has been primarily due to their elite defense, ranking sixth in opponent scoring (111.9 PPG), first in field goal percentage (44.8%), second in rebounds (47.8 RPG), fourth in steals (8.4 SPG), and second in blocks (6.0 BPG). The offense has been improving, ranking ninth in scoring (115.9 PPG), nineteenth in field goal percentage (46.9%), and twenty-fourth in three-point percentage (34.3%). The Grizzlies have been near unbeatable at home, going 25-5 this season.
The Grizzlies are led by Ja Morant (27.0 PPG, 8.1 APG, 5.9 RPG, 1.1 SPG), Desmond Bane (21.3 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 4.1 APG, 1.0 SPG), and Jaren Jackson Jr (16.7 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 1.1 SPG, 3.2 BPG). Ja is having another incredible season, despite his three-point shot still struggling. He had 22 points and eight assists against the Lakers in January, but he only made 31% of his shots and turned the ball over five times. Bane is one of the top three-point shooters in the league, completing 41.6% of his attempts this season. He is also averaging career highs in scoring, rebounding, and assists. Jackson is having the best season of his young career thanks to raising his field goal percentage by nine points. He’s been incredible on defense, leading the NBA with 3.2 blocks per game. Jackson had four blocks against the Lakers in January.
The Grizzlies stars are supported by Dillon Brooks (14.6 PPG) and Brandon Clarke (10.3 PPG, 5.6 RPG). Brooks has seen his scoring fall off in February, averaging 9.3 points despite scoring 11 or more in his last four games. This skid started in mid-January, with Brooks making less than 36% of his shots and 25% of his threes during that stretch. Clarke has also seen his scoring decline this month, but he’s still making 62.7% of his shots. He has seen more playing time with Steven Adams (8.6 PPG, 11.5 RPG, 1.1 BPG) still out. Clarke and Tyus Jones (9.8 PPG, 4.6 APG, 1.0 SPG) played prominent roles against the Lakers in January, scoring over 20 points off the bench.