It’s a battle of the bros tonight as the Lakers continue their three game road trip in Memphis to take on the Grizzlies. The Grizzlies are a very good team at 8-2 with recent wins against the Heat and the Thunder, both of whom are strong championship contenders this season.
A key to tonight’s game will be Howard stepping up and hitting his free throws. Howard’s horrible free-throw shooting has become a liability for the Lakers moving forward in the same way it was with Shaquille O’Neal in Los Angeles. Although Howard put up, in the first 12 games of the regular season, 19.2 points, 11.5 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game, the Lakers center is only shooting 49.2 percent from the line.
Absent tonight will be Steve Nash, or as Kobe now calls him, Gatsby. The Los Angeles Lakers are still waiting for Nash to return from injury, but it may be a long time before he hits the courts again. The Lakers point guard cannot jog due to a fracture in his fibula which he injured in an Oct. 31 game against the Portland Trail Blazers. His return date to the court keeps getting pushed farther and farther back; Nash has been ruled out for the Lakers’ next two games and there is a good chance he will miss more games.
Nash’s direct back-up, Steve Blake, is also out due to injury. Blake left a Nov. 11 game with an abdomen strain, which was expected to not be that serious. However, his injury has seemed a bit more severe than initially thought and Blake has sat out the past five games. The backup PG should be back Tuesday. The Lakers are currently relying on Chris Duhon and Darius Morris to anchor the team at that position.
Los Angeles Lakers (6-6) at Memphis Grizzlies (8-2)
5:00 PM PST, November 23, 2012
FedExForum, Memphis, Tennessee
TV: TWC Sports Network
Radio: 710 ESPN (English) / 1330 ESPN (Spanish)
Grizzlies Projected Starting Line-up
PG: Mike Conley
SG: Tony Allen
SF: Rudy Gay
PF: Zach Randolph
C: Marc Gasol
Key Reserves: GF: Quincy Pondexter FC: Marreese Speights PG: Jerryd Bayless
Contributing writer Carmen Vitali ruffled some feathers today on her post concerning Nash, D’Antoni, and Kobe. She analyzes how the Lakers will acquire a championship, and it may not be the way fans expected. Find out what’s getting people so hot, here.
Remember, if you have an article idea and want to be a contributing writer, Lakers Nation can give you that chance! Click here to learn how – Lakers Nation Contributing Writer Program.
Thanksgiving may be over, but I bet you are sitting on your bed/couch/sofa chair reading this devouring a plate of leftovers. So just in case you missed it yesterday, be sure to check out LN’s list of Top 10 Things Lakers Fans Are Thankful For. Unfortunately, Dwight Howard’s arms didn’t make the list; I was really gunning for that to be number one.
Have a great rest of your holiday weekend and Happy Belated Thanksgiving!
Lakers Nation News
Mike Brown, Phil Jackson, and Mike D’Antoni Ride a Surprising Carousel [Silver Screen and Roll]
Beast or Burden: Giving Thanks [Silver Screen and Roll]
Steve Nash Still Not Able to Jog, Work on Court [Silver Screen and Roll]
Game Preview: Lakers at Grizzlies, A Family Affair [Silver Screen and Roll]
All About Bernie [LA Times]
Kobe Bryant and Mike D’Antoni [Lakers Index]
Lakers Have Varying Explanations For Poor Inside Presence Against Sacramento [Inside the Lakers]
D’Antoni: Lakers Will be Different Team When Nash Returns [OC Register]
Kobe Bryant Wonders if Pau Gasol Might Be ‘Coasting a Little Bit’ Because of His Conditioning [Ball Don’t Lie]
Lakers Show Interest in Raja Bell [Yahoo Sports]
Memphis Grizzlies Notes [Basketblog]
D’Antoni Creating Circle of Lakers Trust [OC Register]
Mike D’Antoni: “Possible” Steve Blake Will Return Tuesday [Inside the Lakers]
‘Showtime’? More Like ‘Slowtime’ [Lakers Index]
Lakers Haven’t Taken Advantage of Their Schedule [LA Times]
Lakers at Grizzlies: What to Watch [ESPN]
Kings vs. Lakers Highlights: Tyreke Evans Steals the Show [SB Nation]
L.A. Spends Holiday Healing From Aches, Pains [Daily Bulletin]
Kobe Bryant Playing At An Efficient Rate [Inside the Lakers]
It’s a Young Man’s Game for Lakers Star Kobe Bryant [LA Times]
World Peace Finding His Place in D’Antoni’s System [OC Register]
Lakers/Kings: Lack Of Energy, Mental Mistakes Undo The Lakers [Forum Blue and Gold]
A Year Later, NBA Lockout Looks Even More Like a Charade [SB Nation]
Coach Eduardo Najera Knows Defense Key for Texas Legends [Dallas News]
Not Good: Brandon Rush Tore MCL as Well as ACL [ProBasketballTalk]
The Painstakingly Slow Evolution of the Pacers [SB Nation]
Don’t Expect to See Bynum Anytime Soon [Courier Post]
Dirk Nowitzki of Dallas Mavericks Wants to Play Beyond Current Contract [ESPN Dallas]
Carmelo Anthony’s Improved Defense Makes Him Legit MVP Candidate [Yahoo Sports]
Darko Milicic: Boston Celtics Waive Center [The Point Forward]
NBA Standings 2012: Clippers Just Behind NBA Leaders [SB Nation]
NBA — Thanksgiving Day Smorgasbord [ESPN]
Brandon Roy Admits He Has Level III Arthritis in Knee. That’s Not Good [ProBasketballTalk]
Kevin Love Returns After 5 Weeks From Broken Hand [SB Nation]
Wade Should Follow Kobe, Jordan [Yahoo Sports]
Reggie Evans of Brooklyn Nets Fined $5K, First Player Penalized for Flopping [ESPN New York]
Washington Wizards’ Offense Collapses Without John Wall [The Point Forward]