NBA Picks – Los Angeles Lakers vs. Memphis Grizzlies

By Betmaker Team

The Memphis Grizzlies are not just riding high with their recent play, they are soaring into the stratosphere. Memphis has the longest winning streak in the NBA with 11 straight victories, and the Grizzlies are now just a half-game behind the Denver Nuggets for the top spot in the Western Conference after Steven Adams tipped in a shot with 16 seconds left to lead the Grizz past the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night. The Grizzlies tied a franchise record with that win over the Cavs, and they will look to break it with a victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night. It’s looking like the Lakers will miss out on the NBA Playoffs for the second straight season, but they have won six of their last 10 games to remain within striking distance in the crowded Western Conference race.


This will be the first of three meetings between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Memphis Grizzlies this season. That’s not good news for the Lakers, as they already have an uphill battle when it comes to making the postseason. These teams will meet on Friday, January 20, 2023, at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN from Arena in Los Angeles, California.


Los Angeles Lakers vs. Memphis Grizzlies Betting Odds at BetRivers Sportsbook

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Los Angeles Lakers vs. Memphis Grizzlies Preview


We haven’t seen the Memphis Grizzlies lose a game since December 27 when they fell to the Phoenix Suns. Since that defeat, Ja Morant has been indefatigable on the court, playing extremely well as the Grizzlies have thrived in the winter months. Morant ranks 10th in the NBA in scoring (27.4 PPG) and 6th in the league in assists (7.9 APG). He has been the Grizzlies’ best offensive weapon this season, and the only real flaw in his game is that he is a subpar three-point shooter.


That’s where Desmond Bane comes in. Memphis took a downturn when Bane missed six weeks with an injury from mid-November to late December, but they took off shortly after his return to the lineup. He is making 21.8 PPG as the second leading scorer on Memphis, and he is a lights out 43.3% perimeter shooter despite taking 7.5 threes a game from beyond the arc. As with Morant, he isn’t afraid to do the dirty work and get boards down low either, embodying the Grit, Grizzle, Grind ethos of this franchise.



There’s a lot to like with the frontcourt too. Jaren Jackson Jr. is averaging 16.5 PPG and 6.8 RPG, and he is an excellent defender with 3.3 blocks per game. Dillon Brooks is an undersized forward that has proved the doubters wrong his whole career, and Steven Adams has been superb on the glass in this system. Adams is averaging 9.6 PPG and 11.3 RPG in under 27 MPG, and he is pulling down five offensive rebounds a game.


It looked like the Los Angeles Lakers might have another burgeoning dynasty on their hands after they won the 2020 NBA Finals in the Orlando bubble. However, they were bounced in the first round of the next year’s playoffs, and they didn’t even make it to the postseason last season. They are on the outside looking in once again this year as Anthony Davis continues to be sidelined due to injury. Davis hasn’t played in over a month due to a foot injury, and he is expected to be out until at least February.


Once again, that has put too much of a burden on the now 38-year-old LeBron James. When the Lakers put together this team, James was expected to not be as much of a focal point as he was in his younger days. Davis was supposed to be the leader of this team on most nights with his younger and fresher legs, but instead James is averaging 36.3 MPG. He is stuffing the stat sheets by averaging 29.8 PPG, 8.4 RPG, and 7.0 APG, but he isn’t as strong as he once was on the defensive end and he is averaging just 29% from beyond the arc.


Perimeter shooting is a major problem for the Lakers as James, Davis, and Russell Westbrook are all making less than 30% of their threes, so defenses are free to crowd the paint.


Los Angeles Lakers vs. Memphis Grizzlies Prediction


Memphis is just 11-10 SU and 8-13 ATS on the road per the NBA betting odds, but the Grizzlies will get the job done against a Lakers team that does not match up well with them.