Los Angeles will stay home as they continue their five-game homestand, playing the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday.
Start time and TV schedule
Who: Los Angeles Lakers vs. Memphis Grizzlies
When: 7:00 p.m. PT, Jan. 5
Where: Crypto.com Arena
Both teams are struggling, with the Lakers losing nine of their last 12 and Memphis losing four of their last five games after winning five straight upon Ja Morant’s return.
Morant is clearly their best player, but he’s not the only guard the Lakers have to be concerned about. Desmond Bane is averaging 24.5 points per night and is the type of sharp shooting physical guard the Lakers tend to have trouble stopping.
L.A. will have to communicate well on defense and not allow Bane or Morant to have big nights. A solid first quarter will also be a key in this matchup. The Lakers have tried many different starting lineups and head coach Darvin Ham has yet to find one that can consistently produce. Will he make another change or roll out the same lineup of LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Cam Reddish, Taurean Prince and Austin Reaves he used for the first time this season versus the Heat?
Regardless of who starts, the Lakers must finish the game with a win. Davis has called this slew of home games ‘must-win’ and losing the first two would create more drama in the City of Angels.
The good news is the Lakers have nowhere to go but up. Against the Heat, they shot 15% from deep and had 22 turnovers. Hard to imagine they have a showing that bad on Friday night on a national stage.
Notes and Updates
- The Lakers injury report didn’t change much from their most recent game. Davis (left ankle sprain/bone bruise) is probable, James (left peroneal tendinopathy) is questionable and D’Angelo Russell (tailbone contusion) is doubtful. Gabe Vincent (left knee surgery) and Hachimura (left calf strain) are out.
- For the Grizzlies, Vince Williams Jr. (left foot soreness) is questionable. Steven Adams (right knee PCL surgery), Brandon Clarke (left Achilles tendon repair) and Derrick Rose (left hamstring strain) are all out.
You can follow Edwin on Twitter at @ECreates88.