Coming off of arguably the most impressive tanking performance in modern history, the Memphis Grizzlies will host the Los Angeles Lakers for the fourth and final time this season. Two of the Grizzlies’ 19 wins this season came against the Lakers.
We’ll get into tonight’s game shortly, but first, let’s recap what happened Thursday night:
So the Lakers play the Grizzlies on Saturday. pic.twitter.com/oh8bIKtbyj— Silver Screen & Roll (@LakersSBN) March 23, 2018
Yes, you’re reading that right: the Grizzlies, an alleged NBA team, lost to the Hornets, the No. 10 seed in the Eastern Conference, by 61 points.
Fun fact: Kobe Bryant dropped 60 points on the Grizzlies 11 years ago on Thursday, his third straight 50-point game that season. I miss him every day.
Now the Grizzlies can respond in one of two ways:
- They can come out and play their best game of the season led by Marc Gasol, who had to watch Thursday’s massacre from the bench OR
- They can show up, lay on the floor, and increase their chances of landing a top prospect in the upcoming draft.
For the Lakers’ sake, let’s hope it’s the latter, especially because the Lakers will once again head into this game a little shorthanded.
Not only will Los Angeles be without Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart, who have missed the last few games for the Lakers, but they will also be without Isaiah Thomas for at least the final two games of the road trip. Of course, the bulk of the Lakers’ injuries are at their two thinnest positions on the roster.
Thomas’ injury just further complicates the problems the Lakers have had at the point guard position recently. While Thomas has been pretty bad on offense, Lonzo Ball hasn’t been much better, shooting 31.2 percent from the field and a lowly 27.2 percent from behind the arc in March. Ball will need to step up in a big way offensively if the Lakers want to steal a win on the road.
Other candidates for a big night include Julius Randle, who has been relentless against lumbering bigs, of which the Grizzlies have many, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who is coming off of a career shooting performance against the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday.
The Lakers no doubt have the talent to get a win tonight, but no one can afford to take the night off, even if the Grizzlies are one of the worst teams in the league on paper.
Enjoy the game!
Time: 5 p.m PT
TV: Spectrum SportsNet