NBA Western Conference Betting: L.A. Lakers at Memphis Grizzlies

Pau-Gasol-lakers-16LA Lakers at Memphis
Time: 8:05 PM ET, Dec 17, 2013
Spread: MEM -3
Total: 193

Betting Odds Courtesy of Bovada

The L.A. Lakers we able to tread water without NBA legend Kobe Bryant for the first month-plus of the season, but now at 11-13 with its superstar back in the fold, the Lakers can focus on moving up the standings.

Kobe has been slow to round back into form, and is averaging just 12.4 points per game through his first five contests. He’s not looking to dominate the ball as much yet, while trying to play his way back into shape and get his timing back, but it may be several weeks before we see No. 24 and the Lakers hit full-stride.

This Lakers team is a lot more talented than most realized, it seems, and the chance to bring some talent back for the discontent Pau Gasol still exists, as well. It’s unclear how Gasol is valued around the league by GMs, but he’s an expiring contract and a number of teams would seek to use Gasol’s deal to shrink payroll.

The Lakers future exists in a strange amalgam of young talents: Nick Young, Jodie Meeks, Xavier Henry and Jordan Hill. The team will look to add a major free agent, but the contract of Kobe Bryant is going to seriously hinder flexibility for Mitch Kupchak to do much with the roster.

Memphis has regressed majorly as a club this season and are currently three games below .500 at 10-13. The Grizzlies have had a lot of trouble scoring the ball, ranking 26th in the NBA in points per game with just 93.7 per contest. The Grizz aren’t rebounding well either, and a lot of this can all of course be attributed to Marc Gasol’s absence.

Kosta Koufos for all he is as a center, is not of the caliber of reigning defensive player of the year Gasol, and the Grizzlies’ best asset had always been a strong and capable frontcourt. After jettisoning Rudy Gay, that line became offensively weaker, as Tayshaun Prince offers only a fraction of the playmaking ability Gay does.

One Grizzly who has shown up has been Mike Conley. The former Ohio State point guard is averaging 18.2 points and 6.3 assists per game, and the assists would be higher if teammates were hitting the shots Conley’s been setting them up for. Zach Randolph has been consistent and good, but its clear the Grizzlies need Gasol back to bring the unit anywhere near a playoff competitive-level.

Lakers Trends: OVER 6-0 in Tuesday games; 0-4 ATS in last 4 when opponent allows 100 points or more in previous game; 1-4 ATS in last 5 overall.

Grizzlies Trends: 7-0 ATS in last 7 on Tuesday; 0-4 ATS in last 4 when opponent allows 100 points or more in previous game; OVER 4-0 in last 4 Tuesday games.

Head-to-head: Lakers 0-3-2 ATS in last 5 meetings; Lakers 2-5 ATS in last 7 in Memphis.

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Posted by on Dec 17 2013. Filed under Headlines, NBA. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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