The Los Angeles Lakers are back in the NBA Playoffs for the first time since 2021. Much like the 2020-21 season, Los Angeles emerged victoriously in the NBA Play-In Tournament and will take on the second seed in the West as a result.
This year, that opponent is the Memphis Grizzlies and much like in 2021, Lakers fans are confident that the team can pull off a seven vs two upset. LA likely would have done so in 2021 against the Phoenix Suns if Anthony Davis did not get hurt.
Stealing one game in Memphis in the first two is the main goal for the Lake Show and it would be huge if the team could do it in Game 1 on Sunday. Here is who LA is deploying for this highly-anticipated playoff matchup.
Confirmed Lakers starting lineup vs Grizzlies:
- D’Angelo Russell (17 starts for LA)
- Austin Reaves (22 starts for LA)
- Jarred Vanderbilt (24 starts for LA)
- LeBron James (54 starts for LA)
- Anthony Davis (54 starts for LA)
This is the same starting lineup that Los Angeles threw at the Minnesota Timberwolves and for the most part, this unit has had a lot of success. Albeit in a small sample size, this five had a net rating of +28.2 in 68 minutes played together in the regular season. That is incredible.
One player to keep an eye on as this series goes along is D’Angelo Russell. Russell was kept on the bench in key moments of the play-in in favor of Dennis Schroder, who delivered what would have been the game-winning three if it was not for Anthony Davis’ brain fart.
Confirmed Grizzlies starting lineup vs Lakers:
- Ja Morant (59 starts for Memphis)
- Desmond Bane (58 starts for Memphis)
- Dillon Brooks (73 starts for Memphis)
- Jaren Jackson Jr. (63 starts for Memphis)
- Xavier Tillman Sr. (29 starts for Memphis)
This has been the starting five that the Grizzlies have thrown out there with Steven Adams missing most of the 2022-23 season. He will continue to miss time as he will not suit up against the Lakers.
That is a huge advantage for LA as without Adams, the Grizzlies might struggle to handle the size that the Lake Show can throw at them. Jaren Jackson Jr. is an elite defender but he is also a bit foul-happy, which we could see the Lakers attack in this series.