• Los Angeles Lakers vs. Memphis Grizzlies
• Friday, January 5 at 10:00 PM ET
• Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, California
While a lot of the focus for sports fans is on college football and the National Football League, you can’t forget that the NBA is in the heart of its season and there are some exceptional games on the way. This includes a showdown between Los Angeles and Memphis, with plenty of star power ready to make a ton of noise. Leading up to that showdown, the Lakers are big favorites to take down the Grizzlies on Friday night.
It has been a year to forget for the Grizzlies, as they’re currently 10-22 on the year. Ja Morant is back on the hardwood with this team following his suspension, but it hasn’t helped the team to play well both on offense and defense. From our chair, the Grizzlies are going to need a miracle to come away with a win, as LeBron James and Co. are going to be ready to make a ton of noise, especially with this game coming in Los Angeles.
The Lakers are in a bit of a rough stretch themselves, as they’re 17-17 on the year. Entering the season, the hope was that James and Co. would be able to push for a trip to the NBA Finals, but things aren’t looking great in that department. However, the talent is there for them to get hot at the right time and heat up as we get closer to the spring. Will James and his teammates rise to the occasion?
According to the best-rated sportsbooks, which includes the reliable Bovada review, the Lakers hold -110 NBA betting odds to post a win over the Grizzlies, while Memphis has been set at +125. With this game being played in LA too, something tells us the Lakers will have no issues at all taking care of business. With all of that said, we’re no question going with the Lakers as our pick to post a win.
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) January 2, 2024
Lakers postseason odds continue to drop
In a bit of a shocker, the Lakers postseason odds continue to drop, which no one was expecting at this time of the year. Before Game 1 of the new campaign, the team had decent NBA Finals betting odds, especially with the team looking healthy overall for once. However, the fact of the matter is. that this team has been far too inconsistent and James needs more help on both ends of the floor.
With their high payroll, there’s simply no reason for the Lakers to be around .500 right now. James is an incredible talent, but he’s getting close to 40 and his best basketball is behind him. With no one knowing how many more years he has left in the tank, there’s no reason the Lakers shouldn’t be pushing for a title this year – especially with James still getting the job done. The Lakers need to wake up and fast. James’ quote after the loss to Minnesota was quite telling too.
Michael Jordan at age 39 vs. LeBron James at age 39 🐐 pic.twitter.com/0SlgHfvRoJ
— HoopsHype (@hoopshype) December 30, 2023
“It’s obviously a three. My foot is behind the line,” James said after the controversial loss to Minnesota last week. “You can see the space between the front of my foot and the three-point line. The wood on the floor, there’s a space in between the front of my foot and the three-point line. Stevie Wonder could see that, champ.”
James is clearly frustrated with the way the Lakers have been playing, which is rough to see. There’s still plenty of time for the Lakers to turn things around, but fans are starting to lose patience. In order for the panic to drop a bit, the Lakers are going to have to take care of business against the Grizzlies. If they suffer a loss on Friday night, then some serious questions are going to have to be asked about the Western Conference powerhouse.
Celtics hold the top NBA Finals odds
In news that surely stings for Lakers fans, the Celtics hold the top NBA Finals odds right now, as they’ve been sensational this season. Thus far this campaign, Boston is 26-6 on the year and in first place of the Eastern Conference Standings. They’re 2.5 games ahead of the Bucks. The expectation is that those two teams will keep pushing for the No. 1 seed the rest of the way and that one of those two will reach the Finals.
Milwaukee of course has a ton of talent, including Giannis Antetokounmpo, one of the best players in the game. The Greek Freak was not happy with the way last season ended for him and the Bucks, but they’re motivated to bounce back in a big way in 2024. Will that happen? We’ll find out soon enough.
While both the Bucks and Celtics are looking strong, the same can’t be said for the Lakers. Los Angeles was able to win the in-season tournament, which was cool to see, but none of that is going to matter if James and Co. don’t make some noise in the postseason. They’re currently on the outside looking in, but the hope is they’ll be able to fix things sooner rather than later.