Who: Memphis Grizzlies vs Los Angeles Lakers
When: 9:30 pm CST
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
Records: Memphis Grizzlies (25-21), L A Lakers (30-18)
Expected Starting Lineups:
Memphis Grizzlies – Mike Conley, Tony Allen, Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol
Los Angeles Lakers – Steve Blake, Kobe Bryant, Metta World Peace, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum
Memphis was practically tied with the LA Lakers just 12 days ago. They are now four games behind and in a free fall after yesterday’s pathetic effort against the Clippers. Since the Lakers arrived in Memphis the Grizzlies have lost 5 of 6 games and have not exhibited the effort or confidence that they had heading into the Lakers game.
Maybe it was the manner in which Andrew Bynum destroyed Marc Gasol in the paint. Maybe it was the return of Zach Randolph, Maybe it was the signing of Gilbert Arenas. Maybe it was the conditioning of Mike Conley. Probably it is a combination of these things and more but something has thrown the Grizzlies off their game and there isn’t a lot of time left to get the mojo back.
Los Angeles has been running in the opposite direction. Winners in 7 of their last 9 games, the Lakers are rolling heading into April. What’s worse is Los Angeles has lost at home only twice in 2012, the best home record in the league. The Lakers domination at home has been in stark contrast to their road record.
The Lakers also made some minor moves to improve their roster when they acquired Ramon Sessions. Sessions replaced Derek Fisher who was traded to Houston (subsequently waived and resigned by OKC) who was considered to old and slow to contribute as a starter and unwilling to come off the bench.
Prediction: Lakers blow out the Grizzlies.