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Lakers vs. Grizzlies preview: Fight the bear

Pau might be gone, but the Lakers will still have a Gasol brother over for the holidays.

Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers are home for the holidays, but a game against the Memphis Grizzlies will be anything but comforting Wednesday night. The Grizzlies are one of the top teams in the NBA -- arguably the best -- and finally have an offense that can match their top-notch defense. Courtney Lee has suddenly become a factor in Memphis, and now they're not only grinding teams down, they're blowing them out.

The Lakers' defense might end up turning into a turkey feast for the hungry Grizzlies, who's consistency over the years has made it harder to appreciate how good they've been this season. Memphis has dropped just two game; one to the Milwaukee Bucks, and another to the surging Toronto Raptors while half of their roster dealt with the flu. The Lakers put up a competitive game the last time they faced the Grizzlies, losing by just five points.

A win on "Thanksgiving Eve" would be a warm gift for Lakers fans, but ultimately an unexpected outcome. The Lakers are 14 games into their season, inching closer and closer to the 20-game mark -- the point many analysts feel there's enough to start pegging teams with overarching projections. Can the Lakers shake being one of the worst teams in the NBA by then? "Sources" tell me it's unlikely.

Marc Gasol has been one of the best players in the NBA, and his frontcourt partner Zach Randolph gives Memphis one of the best duos in the league. Jordan Hill, Carlos Boozer and Ed Davis will have plenty of work to do trying to slow those bigs down while keeping them off the boards, and if they manage to, the Grizzlies still have Mike Conley up their sleeve.

It won't be an easy outing for the Lakers, but we know that already. All we can hope for is a good game and any signs of improvement on either end of the floor. Enjoy the game.

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Station: TWCSN, NBA TV

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