The Lakers come in off two impressive wins against the Kings in Sacramento and a Mavericks team desperately trying to qualify for the playoffs. Particularly noteworthy is their defense over the last 7 quarters during which they haven’t conceded more than 23 points. Could the Lakers finally be playing with the urgency befitting a team fighting for their playoff lives? They just may be.

The Grizzlies will pose quite the challenge for the Lakers on the defensive end with stalwarts Tony Allen and Tayshaun Prince both looking to hound Kobe into tough shots all night.   Steve Blake was somewhat loose with the ball last game so look for Mike Conley to exert some extra pressure as well. Expect the Lakers to struggle executing all night with the brunt of the play making falling on Kobe and Steve Blake, both of whom will be severely challenged. Offensively, the Grizzlies prefer to attack in the half court with their fearsome duo of Gasol and Randolph instead of running in transition.   While they are effective, the Lakers are capable of playing good half court defense against teams that don’t challenge them to get back on defense or to make multiple rotations and Memphis fits the bill.

After a series of overs, the Lakers renewed commitment on the defensive end has led to 2 consecutive games going under the total. However, that previous stretch of overs has given the under some value because the odds makers can’t adjust the total too quickly. Add it all up and it seems like we’re in for a defensive struggle where both teams will have problems execute their offense all night.

Play: Under 190

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