The Los Angeles Lakers have finally returned from the 2020 NBA All-Star break and will take on the Memphis Grizzlies in what could potentially be a preview of the first round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs.
The Grizzlies currently sit 3.5 games ahead of the Portland Trail Blazers for the Western Conference’s No. 8 seed. However, the Grizzlies have the toughest strength of schedule in the NBA for their last 27 games and will need wins against teams like the Lakers in order to keep that playoff spot.
The Lakers, on the other hand, will be hoping to hold off the Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Clippers, and Utah Jazz for the No. 1 seed. The Lakers are four games ahead of the Nuggets, thanks to a huge win against them in the team’s final game prior to the All-Star Break.
The Lakers have already matched up with the Grizzlies twice this season, beating them both times in very different games. The Lakers won by 29 in their first meeting in Los Angeles, but only survived by one point in Memphis.
To remain No. 1, they’ll have to stop one of the youngest and most exciting rosters in the NBA. This is featured by the duo of Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. The two young players have put the Grizzlies ahead of schedule on their rebuild, even if they end up failing to make the playoffs.
The Grizzlies also recently acquired Justise Winslow from the Miami Heat as a part of the deal that sent Andre Iguodala to South Beach. He will be out against the Lakers, but he adds another infusion of youth to an already exciting team.
The Lakers will be a full team for this game with Anthony Davis being the only name on the injury report. He’s listed as probable, meaning he’ll most likely suit up. The Nuggets are on the road against the Oklahoma City Thunder, so this could really be a chance to extend the lead in the conference with the Lakers having 28 games left.
Obviously beating the Grizzlies is no simple task but with Davis matched up on Jackson Jr. and Avery Bradley matched up on Morant, the Lakers should be well equipped to win.
Los Angeles Lakers (41-12) vs. Memphis Grizzlies (28-27)
7:30 P.M. PT, Feb. 21, 2020
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
TV: Spectrum SportsNet
Radio: 710 AM (ESPN), 1330 KWKW (Spanish)
Projected Lakers Starting Lineup:
PG: LeBron James
SG: Avery Bradley
SF: Danny Green
PF: Anthony Davis
C: JaVale McGee
Key Reserves: Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Dwight Howard, Alex Caruso, Rajon Rondo