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Lakers vs. Grizzlies Preview: Second in-season tournament game

The Lakers’ perimeter defense will be tested against the Grizzlies in their second In-Season Tournament game as well as their ability to score in the paint.

Los Angeles Lakers v Memphis Grizzlies - Game Two Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images

The Lakers look to make it three wins in a row as they take on the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday. This match will count as their second in-season tournament game for the group play round, where Los Angeles sits in second place in West Group A with a 1-0 record.

Start time and TV schedule

Who: Los Angeles Lakers vs. Memphis Grizzlies

When: 7:30 p.m. PT, Tuesday, Nov. 14

Where: Arena

Watch: Spectrum Sportsnet

Thanks to their superb fourth-quarter comeback win against the Suns last Friday, the Lakers’ chances of advancing to the next stage of the in-season tournament just got easier. Among their group mates — which include the Jazz, Grizzlies, Suns and Trail Blazers — the Lakers, Utah and Portland are the ones that remain undefeated (1-0) in the tournament.

But since the Lakers only beat the Suns by three while the Jazz defeated the Grizzlies by six, it’s Utah who currently leads West Group A followed by the purple and gold. So, if the Lakers want to dethrone Utah for that first spot in the standings, beating the Grizzlies by as many points as possible should be a goal.

Good thing they have a history of lopsided wins against Memphis.

The Grizzlies, who currently have the slimmest chance of advancing to the knockout rounds, started the season losing eight of their first 10 games. They’ve been heavily depleted and statistically are one of the worst teams in the league but, make no mistake, there’s still very much capable of putting up a fight against the Lakers on Tuesday.

After all, it’s fair to admit that, even this early, the In-Season Tournament has indeed made these regular season games more entertaining and competitive. It’ll be interesting to see if the Grizzlies perform like they’re still in it, considering that they’ve already lost their first two games.

Memphis won their second game of the season against the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday where they looked really good in the fourth quarter. So far this season, their defense has been pretty much league-average — they’re ranked 15th — but their offense is in the bottom tier of the league, ranked 28th. Desmond Bane, who is averaging 26.5 points so far in this young season, has been the most impressive Grizzlies player thus far.

This is why it’s important to mention that the Lakers’ guard rotation will have their hands full not just with Bane but also Marcus Smart and Luke Kennard on Tuesday. Whether it’s D’Angelo Russell, Austin Reaves, Taurean Prince or Cam Reddish, whoever matches up across Bane needs to prevent him from getting into a rhythm and taking over the game.

The Lakers will also not win this game if they once again shoot 21.1% (4-19) from the three-point line on Tuesday. That’s a huge reason why they didn’t commandingly defeat a depleted Blazers team when they should’ve.

The purple and gold won their previous game by scoring 68 of their 118 points in the paint — which is something that most likely won’t happen against a better defensive team like the Grizzlies. Memphis currently gives up the least points in the paint (42.2) and they have enough rim protectors to bother the Lakers.

So, it’ll be ideal if the Lakers find ways to create the best possible shot attempts and convert most of them, especially if LeBron James won’t be ready to go on Tuesday. The best way they can win their second in-season tournament game is also if they control the glass better, and give up fewer second-chance opportunities and fast break points.

If the Lakers can do all of that as well as be the better defensive team on Tuesday night, then they will extend their winning streak and improve their odds of advancing in the In-Season Tournament.

Notes and Updates:

  • Without Ja Morant and Dillon Brooks in the Grizzlies’ lineup, it’s hard to imagine this as a playoff rematch. Still, the battle between Anthony Davis and reigning Defensive Player of the Year Jaren Jackson Jr., should be a fun one. JJJ is currently averaging 20.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game.
  • Tuesday’s game will also be the first time the Lakers will wear their city edition jerseys this year as well as play on their own version of the In-Season Tournament court. In case you missed it, this is how the hardwood will look:

You can follow Nicole on Twitter at @nicoleganglani

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