Consider this: the Lakers have played half of their games on the road, have not had Kobe Bryant at all, have had Steve Nash just six five and a half games, and played six playoff teams from last year. With that information, the sub-.500 record is more reasonable at a glance, but if you take a closer look, it gets weird. With six losses and six opponents who were in last year’s playoffs, it seems like easy math to see which games the Lakers have lost.
But as the great Lee Corso says, “NOT SO FAST MY FRIEND.”
The Lakers have beaten both the Clippers and the Rockets, but have had embarrassing losses to the Mavericks, Pelicans, and most recently the Denver Nuggets. It’s a weird and wacky start for a Lakers squad that we had no expectations for coming into the year. What we’ve found out is this team is unpredictable. Bi-polar doesn’t even begin to describe their play style. Just when it looks like the roster and Mike D’Antoni have found a groove, they’ll go to New Orleans and put up a pathetic display, or lay an egg in Dallas.
Which brings us to tonight. The Lakers are hosting an underachieving Grizzlies squad. Despite sporting a powerful duo in the post, the Grizz are going to have their hands full with a Lakers unit that is third in the league in rebounding. The Gasols will battle down low tonight, while Jordan Hill and Zach Randolph will certainly battle.
X-FACTOR OF THE NIGHT
Jordan Farmar. We know that, since Nash has went down, Farmar’s contributions were expected to go up. However, over the last three games, Farmar is shooting just 5 for 20 and has 9 assists to 6 turnovers. As the leader of the second unit, Farmar’s looked upon to lead the #BenchMob, and in the last three games, he’s been subpar at best. His play tonight could be a big dictator of tonight’s outcome.
NUMBER OF THE NIGHT
19.5 and 13. Those are the averages in points and rebounds for Jordan Hill after MDA inserted him into the starting lineup. It’s the most minutes he’s seen this year, and the fifth and sixth times with the Lakers that Hill’s topped the 26-minute mark. His inclusion has sparked the starters and his energy and hustle has been a big positive.
The Grizzlies are an odd team in their own right. They feature a pair dominant big men in Marc Gasol and Randolph, as well as an All-Star caliber point guard in Mike Conley. Even then, they sit at 3-5 and are beginning a California road trip, facing all four Cali teams over the next six days. Tonight, they’ll begin to right the ship and start the trip on the right foot, winning 103-90.