Lakers prepare for home game against Grizzlies

Dec 3, 2016; Memphis, TN, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Julius Randle (30) and guard Jose Calderon (5) react during the first half against the Memphis Grizzlies  at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

With the new year off to a bad start, the Lakers could use a win against the Grizzlies.

Beating Memphis would mean that the Lakers were at least able to muster a win in 2017 against a good team. The Grizzlies are likely going to make it into the post-season again, and have proven to be one of the effective and efficient teams in the league.

They present a different challenge to the Lakers, though. Instead of shooters, youth, or even coaching, their area of focus is strength.

Playing against teams like this, the Lakers will have their ability to play hard basketball tested.

This is easily a game where the focus could be Julius Randle or Brandon Ingram.

Ingram, the second overall pick from the previous draft, still needs to work on his aggressiveness. Randle is in a similar boat, but the difference there is that he already has the size and less excuses.

In order to be as effective as possible, Ingram still probably needs to gain some weight.

Strength is just one of the factors in this match up, as tempo is the other one. Watching how the Lakers move their offense, especially with their second unit in, will determine much of the game.

The Grizzlies do a good job of controlling the flow of the game. This tends to mess with their opponent on a level that could derail the Lakers’ game plan.

Memphis currently holds the sixth spot in the Western Conference playoff standings, right behind the Clippers. As for the Lakers, they’re still several games out of a post-season berth.

Win or lose, this game will be more of a learning experience than anything.

If the young core can’t play tough together yet, they need to get tough and figure it out.

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