This is pretty clearly the toughest game of the Lakers' season so far. I suppose you can argue about whether the Grizzlies are "for real," but you can't argue with their early-season track record. They've compiled an 8-2 mark against the most difficult schedule anybody's faced. They've got wins over the Heat, Knicks, Thunder and Bucks and they've lost only once in the month of November. If the playoffs were seeded today they'd be the top seed in the Western Conference.
So the Lakers better hope Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol have a bit more energy and hunger than they showed Wednesday night. Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol (no relation to Pau) will demand their best effort. Another interesting matchup will be at point guard, where Darius Morris, who's been improving by the day, will need to harass and stay in front of the zippy Mike Conley. Then there's our old friend Tony Allen, who'll attempt to slow down a sizzling-hot Kobe Bryant.
We should be for an intriguing night. Settle in and enjoy the hoopage.