The 2023 NBA Playoffs are officially off and running. While some series are already over, others are far from being decided. That is the case for the first-round matchup between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Memphis Grizzlies. With Los Angeles set to host Memphis on Monday, it means it is time for some Lakers Game 4 bold predictions.
Los Angeles went 43-39 in the regular season, finishing as the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference. The Lakers ended up defeating the Minnesota Timberwolves 108-102 in overtime in the play-in tournament to officially secure a spot in the playoffs.
On the other side of the matchup, Memphis had a 51-31 record and secured the No. 2 in the West. This marked the second year in a row that the Grizzlies finished second in the West, but this time with five fewer wins.
In Game 1, thanks to a 15-0 run to close out, the Lakers claimed a 128-112 victory on the road. The Grizzlies bounced back in Game 2 despite being without Ja Morant, picking up a 103-93 win. In Saturday’s Game 3, the Lakers had a 35-9 lead in the first quarter and held to it to finish with a 111-101 result.
Once again at the Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles will try to open a 3-1 lead, which would make Memphis’ road much more complicated. Here are some bold predictions for the Los Angeles Lakers for their Game 4 of their first-round series with the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday.
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3. Los Angeles Lakers hold Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant to at most 25 points
There is no secret that Memphis’ success heavily relies on Ja Morant. The guard was having a big season until he missed multiple games due to an off-court incident that required him to step away from the organization.
When available, Morant averaged 26.2 points, 8.1 assists and 5.9 rebounds plus over 1 steal per game. He made 46.6% of his field goals, 30.7% of his 3-pointers and 74.8% of his free throws.
In Game 1 of the series, he went down with a hand injury. This ended up making him miss Game 2, which was the Grizzlies’ lone victory so far.
Morant returned in Game 3 with 45 points, 13 assists and 9 rebounds. He went 13-for-26 from the field, including hitting six 3-pointers. Most notably, he scored 22 consecutive points in the fourth quarter to nearly complete a comeback.
Based on what Morant showed in Game 3, the injury did not seem to affect him. Because of that, containing him could be key to opening a 3-1 lead. The bold prediction is that the Lakers will hold him to at most 25 points, which could be very helpful down the line.
2. LeBron James and Anthony Davis combine for 50+ points and 15+ rebounds
As for the Lakers, they will need everything they can get from their two main stars, LeBron James and Anthony Davis. As the two players with the most experience on both teams, the duo will need to dictate the rhythm for Los Angeles.
In the playoffs, James is averaging 24.7 points, 10.7 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game in addition to 1.7 blocks and 1.3 steals per game. He is shooting 50.8 percent from the field but just 20% from beyond the arc and 66.7% from the free-throw line.
Davis is putting up 22 points, 12.7 boards and 2.7 assists per game as well as 1.7 steals and a series-best 5.0 blocks on defense. He is making 45.5% of his field goals, which is down from his 56.3% efficiency in the regular season.
In Game 3, James and Davis had perhaps their best game as a duo in the series. James had 25 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists, while Davis recorded a double-double with 31 points and 17 boards plus 3 blocks.
The bold prediction is that the duo will combine for 50-plus points and 15-plus rebounds on Monday. Should that happen, the Lakers will be in a good position to win this game.
1. Game 4 is decided in the final minutes
Even though the first quarter of Game 3 showed how big the Lakers can be, the second half showed the Grizzlies won’t go down without a fight.
The Lakers are the favorites to win this contest, according to Fan Duel. The spread is currently -5, which is similar to most games in this series. The exception was in Game 2 when Morant was out, and the spread ended up being larger in favor of Los Angeles.
Just like in Game 3, the home-court advantage could play a role in this one. The Lakers went 23-18 at home in the regular season, with two of those wins coming against the Grizzlies. On the other hand, Memphis was just 16-25 on the road this season.
The bold prediction is that Monday’s matchup will be considerably closer than Game 3. Expect many back-and-forth moments with no teams opening a comfortable lead early on. At the end of the day, this could be one of the best games of the first round.
The post Los Angeles Lakers: 3 bold predictions for Game 4 vs. Grizzlies appeared first on ClutchPoints.