Lakers play Memphis Grizzlies in second game of back-to-back

The Grizzlies have made 43 total three-pointers in their two games against the Lakers this season.

MEMPHIS, TN — The Lakers are at their hottest and it couldn’t have come at a better time. They have a season-high four-game winning streak and they just came off one of the more improbable comebacks of the season. They defeated the Bucks in Milwaukee in a double-overtime marathon that saw them down 19 points in the fourth quarter beforehand. By the way, LeBron James didn’t play in that game.

It’s the National Basketball Association so the hoops don’t stop. Not even 24 hours after their huge win in Wisconsin, the Lakers will be playing the Grizzlies in Memphis, Tennessee.

So this is pretty much the perfect trap game for the Lakers. What they did in Milwaukee could come crashing down should they receive an L against the Grizz. And the Lakers are going to be fatigued after all they went through.

The Memphis Grizzlies (24-48) are not the same Grizz we have seen over the last few years. Ja Morant is out for the season (funny enough, his last game was against the Lakers). Their enforcer, Steven Adams, was traded away after he was deemed out for the season as well. Brandon Clarke is still out after tearing his Achilles (but he should be back soon!). Dillon Brooks left and made a bundle of money in Houston (who are probably the hottest team right now). And they have an extensive injury list at the moment. It has not been great for the Grizz and their fan base.

Still, the Grizzlies have managed to split the season series with the Lakers. L.A. drew first blood when they beat Memphis in an In-Season Tournament game. And then in early January, Memphis surprised the Lakers in Los Angeles with a double-digit victory.

And as I said before, shorthanded teams will be more desperate and throw everything out there. Memphis still has excellent talent in Desmond Bane and Jaren Jackson, Jr. Santi Aldama continues to improve. They have a hidden gem in second-rounded GG Jackson. And ex-Celtic Lamar Stevens and ex-Laker Scotty Pippen, Jr. have gotten opportunities because of the Grizz injuries.

The Grizzlies will try to take advantage of a tired Laker team. But LeBron James didn’t play against the Bucks on Tuesday so he’ll be well-rested. No matter who’s on the team, though, the Lakers will have to prevent the Grizzlies from shooting them threes. Memphis made 20 in their first match-up (the Lakers made 22 in a blowout win) and then 23 last January. We know L.A. is susceptible to giving up threes. Even when the Lakers had outstanding defense against Milwaukee in that fourth quarter and those two overtimes, they still ended up giving up three-pointers.

The Lakers got the biggest fish (or deer?) in that road trip out of the way. Now they have to take care of business the rest of this voyage. Just don’t underestimate these Grizzlies. They are professionals and they have pride. And they’ve beaten the Lakers before.