NBA

Wed, Jan 23, 2013 - 8:00 PM ET
Game Preview
 

Lakers-Grizzlies Preview

Share This Story

   
 

Kobe Bryant called for changes after the Los Angeles Lakers' most recent loss, the latest twist in a season that gets seemingly more hopeless by the day.

The Memphis Grizzlies have already made a minor move - though perhaps one that will keep them from doing something more drastic down the road.

The Lakers look to avoid a seventh straight road loss for the first time since their only non-playoff season of the last 20 years Wednesday night against a Grizzlies team that's struggling to score.

Los Angeles (17-24) is in 12th place in the Western Conference exactly halfway through its season, hardly the path it expected to be on after adding Dwight Howard and Steve Nash.

Things have only gotten worse in January. The Lakers lost for the ninth time in 11 games this month Monday in Chicago, getting outscored 26-14 in the fourth quarter of a 95-83 defeat that left Bryant wondering what's next.

"We're going to have to look at some things," he said. "We're going to have to change something. Probably going to have to post the ball a lot more, slow the game down a lot more. That's just my intuition, but that's my gut right now."

Bryant's suggestion would mean more touches for Pau Gasol, who came off the bench Monday for the second time in three games. He had 15 points and 12 rebounds against the Bulls, but has admitted to being "not excited" about his reserve role.

"I can't really worry about something that is out of my hands so I am just going to stay positive and do my best, but it is not something I am too thrilled about," Gasol said. "I wasn't expecting it. But right now we have bigger things to worry about as a group. As a team player that's what I'm most concerned about."

The Lakers are four games behind Houston for the West's eighth spot, but they've shown little to suggest they're capable of a turnaround. Los Angeles is 1-10 away from home against above-.500 teams, and a loss Wednesday would give the franchise its first seven-game road skid since 2004-05 - its lone season out of the playoffs since 1993-94.

The Lakers have already lost once at Memphis (26-14), falling 106-98 on Nov. 23 as Rudy Gay scored 21 points and Zach Randolph's 12 boards helped the Grizzlies hold a 39-28 rebounding edge. Howard and Gasol were held to a combined 13 points.

Gay and Randolph have been the subject of trade rumors with Memphis over the luxury tax threshold this season, though it still owes those two and Marc Gasol more than $100 million over the next two years. But the Grizzlies made a deal Tuesday to shed more than $6 million, trading Marreese Speights, Wayne Ellington, Josh Selby and a future draft pick to Cleveland for Jon Leuer.

That will get Memphis under the threshold and should keep it from shopping Gay or Randolph until at least this summer, but the Grizzlies are having enough offensive troubles as it is. They were held to 85 points or fewer for the sixth straight game Monday, falling 82-81 to visiting Indiana.

"I think we just get too complacent," guard Mike Conley said. "I think we start the game one way, up-tempo and in the flow, and as soon as that happens we try to get the ball inside and try to slow it down.

"We're playing two ways. We just have to find one easy flow and keep the momentum."

Ellington led Memphis with 17 points Monday, and without his 42.3 percent 3-point shooting, one of the league's worst teams from long distance is in more trouble. The Grizzlies are shooting 25.0 percent (22 of 88) from beyond the arc in their last eight games.

Tagged: Lakers, Grizzlies, Kobe Bryant, Zach Randolph, Pau Gasol, Rudy Gay, Marc Gasol

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by


NBA Videos

NBA considering mid-season Vegas tournament? Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Adam Silver confirms the NBA has engaged in early conversations about the possib...

LeBron and Blatt 'will work together beautifully' Posted: Jul 14, 2014
Cavaliers head coach David Blatt on LeBron James' decision to return to Clevelan...

LeBron's back and so are the Cavs Posted: Jul 11, 2014
FOX Sports 1's Gary Payton weighs-in on LeBron's decision to return to Cleveland...

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    adidas Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers Revolution 30 Performance Jersey - Red http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Clippers/browse/featuredproduct/491845/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_491000/ff_491845_xl.jpg&w=100 59.95 adidas Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers Revolution 30 Performance Jersey - Red
    adidas LeBron James Miami Heat Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey-Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Heat/browse/featuredproduct/498609/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_498000/ff_498609_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas LeBron James Miami Heat Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey-Black
    adidas Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Knicks/browse/featuredproduct/620470/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_620000/ff_620470_xl.jpg&w=100 49.99 adidas Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey..
    Mitchell & Ness San Antonio Spurs Black Solid Script Snapback Adjustable Hat http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Antonio_Spurs/browse/featuredproduct/692239/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_692000/ff_692239_xl.jpg&w=100 25.95 Mitchell & Ness San Antonio Spurs Black Solid Script Snapback Adjustable Hat
    Majestic Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Logo Man T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Lakers/browse/featuredproduct/851828/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_851000/ff_851828_xl.jpg&w=100 23.95 Majestic Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Logo Man T-Shirt - Black
    Majestic Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder Logo Man T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_City_Thunder/browse/featuredproduct/851842/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_851000/ff_851842_xl.jpg&w=100 23.95 Majestic Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder Logo Man T-Shirt - White
    adidas Miami Heat 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Heat/browse/featuredproduct/890174/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_890000/ff_890174_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 adidas Miami Heat 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Wh..
    adidas Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Western Conference Champions Locker Room Flex Hat - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_City_Thunder/browse/featuredproduct/890384/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_890000/ff_890384_xl.jpg&w=100 19.99 adidas Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Western Conference Champions Locker Room F..