Hello Lakers Nation.
Trevor Lane here from lakers nation dot com.
Today, we're talking about the three keys for a Lakers victory over the Memphis Grizzlies.
We know they're taking on the Grizzlies on Tuesday night in search of their third straight win.
Yeah, Look, I know, I know Right now, fans, the Lakers are saying, Come on, why do we need three keys to victory? It's the Memphis Grizzlies.
This one should be a gimme.
But you know what? If this first week of the NBA's season has taught us anything, it's that no game is set in stone.
Look, the Phoenix Suns, without Ricky Rubio and DeAndre Aiden, beat the Clippers, who are supposed to steamroll everyone this season, right? Isn't that what's supposed to be happening? And yet the sons were able to take them out.
Anything is possible, so I want to get into three ways that the Lakers can pick up the win against the Grizzlies.
Beat a team that yes, they should beat, but they still got to make sure they get it done and there's some key areas that they're gonna need to really focus on in some key areas that I want you guys to watch for a while.
You're watching the game before we dive into it.
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Okay, so let's jump right into it.
Three areas that the Lakers need to focus on in order to pick up this wind.
You know, first and foremost, let me say this.
This is not the grit and grind grizzlies that we've known for years.
This is a very different team now.
The Grizzlies are now built around job Moran.
They also have an extremely talented young player in Jaren Jackson Jr.
This is not the same squad anymore that likes to slow it down.
So one of the things that's interesting about this game is that this is the first game, including preseason, that the Lakers will be playing against a team that actually matches up against them.
That isn't going small.
You look at the Brooklyn Nets.
They tossed shooters out on the floor at the four spot in order to try to stretch the Lakers out.
Same thing with the Golden State Warriors.
Same thing with the Clippers.
Same thing with the Jazz.
Same thing with Charlotte Hornets.
They tossed smaller players out there at power forward, not the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Grizzlies are going to run Jaren Jackson Jr at the four Jonas Valanciunas that the five they've got Jae Crowder matching up with LeBron James at the three.
You know he's gonna be defending him.
Yes, I know LeBron's playing point guard, mostly on the offensive end, but then on the then the rest of the lineup rounds out with Dillon Brooks at the shooting guard spot.
And then you've got John Moran at point guard and low.
John Moran is a dynamo, but like I said, this is the first time that the Lakers are playing a team that has the size to match up with them.
That isn't going small.
That isn't gonna try and stretch them out with shooting now.
Because of that, I think the Lakers have an advantage because, frankly, they have the better players.
The Lakers have better players than the Grizzlies doing.
If they're playing the same style well, it would stand to reason that the Lakers are going to walk away with the win here.
One thing to watch for, though, is pace.
Yes, we're used to this Grizzlies team slowing it down.
We're used to the grit and grind days, but those air gone this Grizzlies team.
As of right now, he's put, he's playing at the second fastest pace in the n B A while your Los Angeles Lakers are playing at the second slowest pace in the N B A.
Now why is that? Well, from the Grizzlies perspective, a young team, what they tend to do.
And we know this because the Lakers did it when they had all these young players is they tried to mitigate issues with efficiency by getting more possessions and easier possessions on the offensive end by trying to fast break more often.
So they're looking to get into in a favorable matchups by pressing the ball, getting into transition and then scoring that way rather than having to run 1/2 court offense.
So that's what the Grizzlies want to do.
They want to push the pace as much as possible.
The Lakers want to slow down and force them to be a more efficient team, so keep an eye on that battle.
Which team controls the flow of the game.
Which team controls the pace? Because that could ultimately make a big, big difference here if the Lakers were able to slow the boat, slow the game down, not give the Grizzlies easy scoring opportunities in transition than it could become a very ugly night for the Grizzlies.
On the other hand, if the Grizzlies can speed things up and push the Lakers into a track meet than this thing could be closer than the Lakers would feel comfortable with.
Another thing to keep an eye on as far as them getting on the fastbreak.
Brandon Clark rookie comes off the bench, can rebound, grab and go in transition for look, look for him to try to ignite their fastbreak Lakers.
You're gonna have to make sure they get a body in front of him whenever he rebounds the ball in order to prevent that from happening.
All right, next thing.
Second key to this game that the Lakers need a work on on the defensive end.
I want to see this Lakers team force a lot of turnovers.
They're about middle of the pack right now in terms of forcing turnovers.
But you know what Memphis does.
They don't have a lot of guys that can just take you off the dribble on their own.
Jaren Jackson Jr can score from the post.
Jonas Valanciunas certainly isn't going to do that.
John Durant does have blow by speed.
He could do that.
Dillon Brooks has the speed, but not quite enough to be a consistent guy to beat you off the dribble.
He's got to get you leaning the wrong way first.
So what Memphis does and they do it very, very well is they pass the ball.
They pass the ball a ton.
They keep it pinging around all over the place, probing, hoping to catch a defense, unaware, hoping to catch an advantageous moment where they catch someone leaning the wrong way.
And then they attack.
And from there, if they can get you to suck into the paint, they'll kick out to a shooter.
They'll find the open man.
They share the ball a ton.
So the way that you combat that as a Lakers team, particularly as the Lakers team with so many smart defenders, is you are ready to jump passing lanes.
Danny Green, Avery Bradley, they both have super long arms.
Same thing with Anthony Davis.
I predict that this is a game where the Lakers can get a lot of steals because Memphis passes the ball so much and sometimes they do it.
They overdo it with the passing.
So if the Lakers understand that, and they're ready to jump those passing lates now, not doing it recklessly but at the right moment if they jump those passing lanes, Lakers unforced turnovers get easy baskets going the other way again.
Something to watch for.
Like I said, 322 passes per game right now for the Memphis Grizzlies, which is fourth in the N B A and their fifth in the league and assists.
This is not a team that can create a lot of baskets one on one.
Instead, they rely on their passing.
And again, that's exactly what they should be doing.
And you like seeing that kind of teamwork from a young team.
But this is what something that the Lakers can take advantage of if they are aware of the over passing by the Grizzlies and they can jump in those passing lanes.
All right, last thing I want to get into.
And this is if there's anything that makes me think that the Lakers could wind up just turning this into a blowout.
It's this final area of the game that we need to get into, and that is the paint we know.
The Lakers are a good team in the paint.
We know Protecting the rim is something they are amazing at.
Between Anthony Davis and Dwight Howard and JaVale McGee and LeBron James.
And there, these guys are tough to scorn in the middle.
In fact, right now the Lakers are number one in the N B A in blocked shots, and Anthony Davis as an individual player is number one in the N B A in blocked shots.
So impressive stats.
They're from them right now.
Though the Memphis Grizzlies attacked the basket of town.
Most of their points come in the paint.
They're not a great three point shooting team.
In fact, they're one of the worst in the league, so they get most of their points at the rim.
In fact, they're second in the N B A in points in the paint right now.
So which side is gonna win out the Lakers stout defense in the paint? Or is it gonna be Memphis with their ability to score the ball in the paint? Here's why.
I think it's going to be the former.
It's going to be the Lakers that ultimately win the battle in the paint, because the Lakers are actually third in the league and giving up points in the paint to an opponent.
But Memphis gives up is 28th in points in the paint.
So Memphis is very good at scoring in the paint, but they also get scored on a ton there, whereas the Lakers are pretty good scoring in the paint, their seventh in scoring points in the paint.
But they hardly give up many points there, so the Lakers are both good scoring there and defending.
Make sense? Yeah, look again.
The Lakers should win the battle in the paint, which is Memphis's strength right now.
That's what they were lying on.
So if you can beat them at the one thing that they are good at and that scoring in the paint, if you could be better than them there, the chances are high that the Lakers should be able to walk away with the win again, just based on talent alone, the Lakers should be able to walk away. That with W.
The Memphis Grizzlies are not predicted to be a playoff team.
That one of the teams that I thought was very clearly not going to be in the mix in the Western Conference heading into the season.
So, yes, we are expecting them to walk away with the W.
But it's not gonna happen unless they focus on these key areas.
And personally, I would love to see the Lakers come out, blow the doors off the Memphis Grizzlies and let LeBron James and Anthony Davis rest in the fourth quarter.
Saved those minutes for another day.
Because you know what? It's a long, long season, and any time you have an opportunity to get them some rest, you want to take it.
So again, if they focus on those key areas that I went over just now, I think the Lakers can blow out the Grizzlies and walk away with a pretty easy victory.
But again, we've seen strange things happen in the MBA.
If the Lakers take this team lightly than this game could become a whole lot closer than anybody is comfortable with This grizzly team.
Actually, just beat the Brooklyn Nets won in overtime at the buzzer.
They're gonna be riding high.
They're not gonna back down from the challenge.
So it's important that the Lakers have that killer instinct.
Get out there and take care of business.
All right, guys.
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