LeBron James returns to the starting lineup as the Los Angeles Lakers will be looking to win their eighth consecutive game during the 2019-20 NBA season.
However, they will have to do it without Danny Green as they take on the Memphis Grizzlies on the first night of a back-to-back situation.
The Lakers road trip got off to an excellent start when they dominated the Golden State Warriors without James. After a competitive first half, Los Angeles outscored the Warriors 62-34 in the second half en route to a 116-86 win. Anthony Davis got to do a bit of in-game load management, playing just 25 minutes.
The Grizzlies will likely be tougher to put away so easily as despite their recent struggles, they are still a Western Conference playoff team. They will be without Jaren Jackson Jr. and Brandon Clarke for this game but still have the electrifying Ja Morant.
While the Lakers have won seven consecutive games, the Grizzlies are 0-5 since the 2020 NBA All-Star break. In those five games, they’ve lost by an average of 14.8 points a game. They are trying desperately to hang on to the No. 8 seed but with only a two-game advantage and the NBA’s toughest strength of schedule, it might be difficult.
The Lakers, on the other hand, have some freedom to rest players like Green on the first night of the back-to-back situation. Los Angeles holds a full six-game advantage on the No. 2 seeded Denver Nuggets and the Lakers want to be as well-rested as possible when they take on the New Orleans Pelicans next.
The absence of Green will mean a lot of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, which is good as he has been out of rhythm recently and could use a game like this to get it back.
Los Angeles Lakers (45-12) vs. Memphis Grizzlies (28-31)
5:00 P.M. PT, Feb. 29, 2020
FedEx Forum, Memphis, Tennessee
TV: Spectrum SportsNet
Radio: 710 AM (ESPN), 1330 KWKW (Spanish)
Projected Lakers Starting Lineup:
PG: Alex Caruso
SG: Avery Bradley
SF: LeBron James
PF: Anthony Davis
C: JaVale McGee
Key Reserves: Kyle Kuzma, Dwight Howard, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Markieff Morris
Projected Grizzlies Starting Lineup:
PG: Ja Morant
SG: De’Anthony Melton
SF: Dillon Brooks
PF: Kyle Anderson
C: Jonas Valanciunas
Key Reserves: Josh Jackson, Tyus Jones, Gorgui Dieng