Dennis Schroder and Lakers steal — literally — a win from the Grizzlies

January 20, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) moves the ball against Los Angeles Lakers guard Dennis Schroder (17) during the second half at Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
January 20, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) moves the ball against Los Angeles Lakers guard Dennis Schroder (17) during the second half at Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

The Los Angeles Lakers have pretty much burned away all of the momentum that they built at the end of the season with a four-game slide in five games. To say the Lakers needed a strong performance against the Memphis Grizzlies would be an understatement. Are the Lakers underdogs? Yes, but the roster as a whole had to start back getting into a rhythm to somewhat support LeBron James, who is on one of his scoring zone streaks.

While LeBron did not have the best of shooting nights, the essence of Darvin Ham’s coaching message of playing hard became the story as the Lakers stayed close throughout the game.

The Los Angeles Lakers upset the Memphis Grizzlies 122-121 in one of the more competitive games of the year.

But wow!

Give Darvin Ham credit for TELLING the referees the players were going for the steal and give Dennis Schroder the glory for bailing the Lakers out.

Now we all get to see if this can turn the season around.

The good from the Los Angeles Lakers’ win:  

This was a very competitive and well-played game from both teams.

The last two matchups the Lakers had with the Houston Rockets and Sacramento Kings were so bad the post-game reports could have easily just read…”This game was awful,” with the final score and called it the day.

Besides the 48-point explosion against the Rockets, the games were unwatchable. Both teams competed in two-way basketball which was easy on the eyes and fun to analyze. Everyone that touched the floor either earned their paychecks or got exposed.

The LeBron James/Dillon Brooks matchup!

If there is one player in the NBA that plays like he’s not scared of LeBron James, it’s Dillon Brooks. Watching those two bang up against each other with bad intentions was just beautiful to watch. This writer is old school and wants to see two players that don’t like each other matched up. Many young players are intimidated by LeBron but Brooks is not…

Much more on this later!

Russell Westbrook had a good game!

A physical game like this one was tailor-made for Russell Westbrook and he took advantage of the style of play. He attacked the Grizzlies and did what he could to keep the Lakers close.

Russ finished with 29 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists. In the past, this was enough for his teams to win games and it was enough in this one. Dennis Schroder’s heroics don’t matter without what Russ did in this game.

Both starting guards scored in double figures!

Aside from the obvious, Dennis Schroder finished with 19 points and 8 assists. Patrick Beverley finished with 10 and was on the floor surrounding Desmond Bane when the steal occurred.

The bad from the Los Angeles Lakers’ win: 


I’ll bet Skip Bayless loves this. Now they’ll be more than three people besides friends and family to watch Undisputed on Monday. Shannon Sharpe, Steven Adams and Papa Tee Morant reportedly got into it just before halftime and had to be separated.

This is embarrassing. Shannon Sharpe is a part of the media and represents Fox Sports and Tee Morant is there to support his son. Stop. They both hugged it out a few minutes later.

Ja Morant…is…just…good man!

Morant was off his game in the first half, but in the second half, this dude put on some athletic feats that just needs to be admired. The guy at that stature exploding into big men looking for contact and finishing is just amazing folks. Ja’ is must-see TV and could be the face of the NBA when LeBron retires…

Ja finished with 22 points, 8 assists and 3 rebounds. If you don’t like watching this dude play, you don’t like NBA basketball.

Offensive rebounding… 

24-10 Grizzlies. NBA teams don’t win a lot of games this way folks. The last line of defense is rebounding, Memphis got second chances and the Lakers did not. Simple.

The story from the Los Angeles Lakers’ loss: 

The story of this game? Let’s try this!

Something has to give. There is going to be a civil war within the franchise around the trade deadline. Here’s the problem. The Lakers do need to make a trade just to shake things up and try anything, to be honest. Darvin Ham has shown that his systems work and the players trust him.


As long as the Los Angeles Lakers can beat a Memphis Grizzlies team with the best defense in the NBA with LeBron having a off night (23 points, 8-21 shooting!) and no AD, Austin Reaves or Lonnie Walker IV, the front office will use this game to justify that the roster is good enough.

Saddle up Laker fans, this is going to be a bumpy ride for a few weeks.