Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant
Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) drives against the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

LAKERS VS GRIZZLIES, DEC. 29

Kyle Barrette

I have no words for what happened in New Orleans last night. In the broadcast I was watching, the announcers kept repeating that the Cavs had not won there in like eight years, and now I believe curses are real. Now that the nightmare is over, let’s move on to today’s game. The Lakers were finally reminded of what winning feels like as they outlasted the Rockets and snapped a five-game losing streak. Can the Lake show keep it going with a trip to Memphis? Let’s break it down and find out.

Grizzlies
Ja, who? I’m kidding, but this team did play well in his absence and is now playing even better with him on the floor. Most recently, they picked up a last-second win on the road against the Suns. Memphis ranks in the top five in offense, and remember, they got the majority of that average without Morant. Their defense is right around average as they sit 18th in the league, allowing 108 points per game. This season’s series is tied 1-1. The first game was in LA and Davis and Bazemore combined for 33 points. Neither played in Game Two, which was a 13-point win for the Grizzlies, and neither of those two will play tonight. In fact, game two was a 13-point win over a similar lineup that’s coming out tonight for LA, and this time Memphis will have Morant on the floor. 

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Lakers
I’ll be blunt: this is a bad spot for the Lakers. This is the oldest team in the league playing at one of the fastest paces in the NBA and is on a back-to-back trip against one of the top young teams in the league. Last night, LeBron, Westbrook, and Monk all logged 35+ minutes. The Grizzlies were able to beat a similar Laker lineup last month by 13 points, but that was not off a back-to-back and Memphis did not have Morant for that game. Don’t get it confused by the final score either. The Rockets were in that game late and the Lakers had to dig down and pull out this win against one of the league’s worst teams. The Lakers’ defense has been non-existent these past few games, allowing 383 points over the last three games.

Memphis vs Lakers the Pick: Memphis
This one has the Grizzlies’ paw prints all over it. The Lakers on the second half of back-to-back travel will no doubt be a step behind the fast-paced scoring of the Grizzlies. We know LA has nothing to offer on the defensive end, and with their tired legs, they will not be able to keep up in this one. Take Memphis -4.

Same Game Parlay
Memphis Grizzlies -6, Jaren Jackson Jr. First Basket, Ja Morant Over 24.5 Pts, Ja Morant Over 6.5 Assists, Ja Morant to score 25+ Pts and Grizzlies to win by 1-10 Pts.

SGP Odds +12541

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