Lakers vs. Grizzlies: 3 Things to Know (10/29/19)
Here is what you need to know before the Lakers host the Memphis Grizzlies.
1) Double Stars = Double-Doubles
The season is only in its infancy, but through three games the Anthony Davis-LeBron James pairing has looked as good as advertised.
Both players have averaged double-doubles through their first week on the job, with AD putting up 25.0 points and 10.3 rebounds per night, while LeBron has posted 23.3 points and 10.0 assists.
The numbers will fluctuate early on, but there is much reason for excitement, with both of L.A.’s stars making some early noise thanks to their shared propensity for versatile playmaking and overall physicality.
2) Defense is in lockdown
The Lakers have won back-to-back games thanks to some stifling defense (that also got their fans Jack in the Box tacos along the way).
Again, it’s extremely early, but the initial results have been impressive. The Lakers have allowed just 99.7 points per game — third-best in the NBA — and have done a nice job of forcing turnovers and limiting 3-pointers. Plus, the rim protection has been excellent, with L.A. averaging a league-high 8.0 blocks.
As expected, Davis has been at the core of this, putting up 3.3 swats by himself. Dwight Howard has also captured the spotlight, with 2.3 rejections per game and many more unheralded plays on both sides of the court. So far, the perimeter defense has been led by the likes of Danny Green and Alex Caruso.
3) The young Grizz look dangerous
Memphis may have only one player over the age of 30, but youth didn’t stop it from upsetting Brooklyn in an overtime thriller on Sunday.
In fact, it was a rookie who made that victory possible, as second-overall pick Ja Morant went off for 30 points and nine assists — plus an OT-forcing layup. Morant’s uber-athletic, high-flying game is no secret for fans of college hoops, as the one-man offense ranked seventh in the NCAA in scoring last season (24.5) and led the whole nation in assists (10.0).
The Grizzlies will also rely on the services of explosive 19-year-old Jaren Jackson Jr. and low-post brute Jonas Valanciunas.
Lakers: Rajon Rondo (sore right calf) is questionable. Kyle Kuzma (stress reaction, left ankle), Talen Horton-Tucker (stress reaction, right foot) and DeMarcus Cousins (rehabilitation, right knee) are out.
Grizzlies: Ja Morant (right ankle soreness) is probable. Kyle Anderson (left calf soreness) is questionable.
Tip-Off: 7:30 p.m. PT
TV: Spectrum SportsNet locally, NBA TV nationally
Radio: 710 ESPN and 1330 Tu Liga
Unis: Gold Icon
Location: STAPLES Center — Los Angeles, California
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