Why the Los Angeles Lakers should fear the Memphis Grizzlies

Photo by Brandon Dill/Getty Images
Photo by Brandon Dill/Getty Images /
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(Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images) – Los Angeles Lakers
(Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images) – Los Angeles Lakers /

Analyzing the Dennis Schroder vs. Ja Morant matchup:

Lakers Coach Vogel has realized by now that Dennis Schroder is at his best when he is challenged with individual matchups. Vogel must urge Schroder to focus completely on stopping Morant.

Schroder has to quickly grow accustomed to Morant’s herky-jerky style because he has to stay disciplined when guarding Morant individually. He will not be bailed out by Anthony Davis blocking every shot in sight, nor will LeBron James have the luxury to protect the paint with Kyle Anderson having a breakout season from behind the arc.

Dennis Schroder is on his own here. Memphis has three players (Kyle Anderson, Grayson Allen, and the aforementioned Bane) who shoot over 37% from three-point range this season. The margin of error is even slimmer for Schroder because Memphis will run a five-out offense throughout the game, which gives Morant even more room to attack the basket.

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If I am Lakers coach Frank Vogel, I would instruct Schroder to face guard Morant once he crosses half-court. Face guarding Morant would bump him away from the spot he needs the ball in order to attack the basket.

The other four Memphis players will have to take matters into their own hands – and no one else on Memphis has the playmaking or finishing chops to threaten the Lakers’ interior defense, except maybe for Kyle Anderson.

But the biggest threat for the Lakers is themselves. The Lakers are snatching victory away from the jaws of defeat thanks to LeBron James’ heroics.

What exactly is the jaws of defeat for the Lakers?