TLN’s Pregame Report: Lakers @ Grizzlies

Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images

The (35-16) Los Angeles Lakers road show stops in Memphis tonight as the two-time defending champions face the (27-25) Grizzlies.

The duo of Kobe and Pau dropped a 30-30 combo on New Orleans and led the Lakers to a much-needed bounce back win against the Hornets to start the road trip off the right way.

The 30-30 performance Kobe and Pau put on was the first time both scored 30+ points in the same game since March 1, 2009, and for the sixth time since becoming teammates in February of 2008. The Purple and Gold are now 5-1 when this happens.

The most surprising thing about Saturday’s game was that the Lakers committed just four turnovers in the process of limiting their opponent to a franchise-low four free throw attempts.

Tonight’s game is the fourth and final meeting of the four game series. Memphis holds a 2-1 advantage over Los Angeles. Pau Gasol’s tremendous effort (season-high 34 points and 10 rebounds) was great to see. However, i’s this writers belief that the Lakers Nation will see several repeat performances… starting tonight.

As great as it is to see Kobe and Pau combine for 66 points in a win, the Lakers need more balanced scoring. They need to continue to establish Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol in the post and provide them enough touches to go to work.  The Lakers bigs need to catch the ball in the painted area and aggressively attack the basket.

The Lakers have to control the tempo of the game, be consistent in their play, own the painted area, win the rebounding battle, increase their activity level, and out-work the Grizzlies. They have to sustain their focus, energy and effort for the entire game.

Three Grizzlies Mike Conley, Rudy Gay and Zach Randolph have had success and the Lakers have to limit their impact. The Grizzlies are hot at home, winners of eight of nine, including four straight while averaging 108.5 points. The Lakers have been getting the job done defensively, on the road, limiting their opponents to an average of 95.3 points over heir last 15 road games.

The last three games between the Lakers and Grizzlies have been close. To even the season series, the Lakers have to stop the dribble penetration of Mike Conley, do a solid job defending the screen and roll plays, quickly rotate out to open shooters and challenge every shot.

The Lakers have to communicate on defense and fight through screens and stay in front of their opponent.

Starters
Lakers: D. Fisher, K. Bryant, R. Artest, L. Odom and P. Gasol
Grizzlies
: M. Conley, S. Young, R. Gay, Z. Randolph, M. Gasol

Tip-off: 5:00 PM PST

Television -

  • Los Angeles: FS West (Joel Myers & Stu Lantz)
  • Memphis:  Fox Sports TN (Pete Pranica & Sean Tuohy)

Radio -

  • Los Angeles: 710 ESPN (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
  • Memphis: 103.5 FM (Eric Hasseltine & Hank McDowell)

Injuries -

Lakers:

  • Matt Barnes (Torn Lateral Meniscus, Right Knee) Out
  • Theo Ratliff (Left Knee Surgery) Out
  • Andrew Bynum (Bone Bruise Knee) Probable

Grizzlies:

  • SG O.J. Mayo (League Suspension) Out
Jeff Little is the pre-game writer for LakerNation.com. Follow him on Twitter.
  • kobefinalmvp2011

    lakers better not let this game go play hard champ go lakers

  • Nick

    Very fitting photo u chose with Tony Allen shutting down the garden snake. I witnessed T.A do it all last season. The guy is the best 1 on 1 defender in the NBA. Gay, Gasol, Mayo, Conley. Lotta matchup problems in this game.. I can see Fisher having LOTS of trouble with Conley same for Artest vs Rudy Gay. Randolph will get his 20 easily with Gasoft’s weak defense. I see an easy Victory for Memphis. This is a bad matchup for the Fakers, they own no clear advantage at any position except SG and even Mayo can get some points. GO GRIZZ!

    • juanv

      Hey faggot ass Nick I seen your pussy ass Celtics get pinked at home by the Mavs so don’t come on the laker nation talking your shit u haven’t won shit since 08 so shut the hell up u sorry piece of shit. By the way when Durant said there was fake tough guys in the NBA he was talking about faggot ass Garnett fake ass bitch

    • juanv

      Where u at bitch ass Nick watching your. Bitch ass celtics get there asses handed to them by the bobcats

    • Nick

      I’m Nick and I suck. It’s been a week since I last gave head.

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  • JUICE

    Even a garden snake will bite when provoked enough. The Mamba will have an outstanding game again and put your tits and ass to his proper place… the D league. As far as gay, he’s got a tendency to disappear when his team needs him most, I’m sure that will be the case again tonight. Randolph will grab a lot of rebounds like he usually does and he will be the guy that will be hurting the Lakers tonight, no one else. And remeber you guys have a “gasoft” too! Hahaha, don’t just throw out a name without specification! We may have a “Gasoft” on our team, but you guys have the wonder twins in Gay and Gasoft which turns in “GAYSOFT!”

    • Adrian Guergio

      nick got owned again!

  • lakerfan

    bynum not starting?

  • i love the celtic

    hahahaha! celtics lost and garrrrnettt sucks got owned!

  • http://deleted i love the celtics

    celtics KG fake boy, pierce the wheelchair boy, allen the alienboy, rivers the fixated boy…bunch of psychological stressed boys..

  • http://deleted i love the celtics

    hey nick, why dont you try to give your boys a head? you both suck..hahaha!

  • http://deleted i love the celtics

    next stop? the boys…boy looosers! celtics boys! boys! boys bayot!