LeBron James’ immediate reaction to upcoming playoff matchup with Memphis Grizzlies

Zach Stevens
3 Min Read

The Los Angeles Lakers earned the seventh seed in the Western Conference playoffs with a 108-102 overtime win over the Minnesota Timberwolves in Tuesday’s play-in tournament contest.

It sets up a matchup between the Lakers and the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round of the playoffs, and LeBron James knows he and his team will have their hands full, as he spoke highly of their key players, as well as their coaching staff.

Los Angeles’ win over the Timberwolves was ugly, and it had to overcome a large deficit in the third quarter, as well as lots of sloppy turnovers in order to peek its head above water in the end.

James powered his team with 30 points on 12-of-21 shooting, 10 rebounds and six assists, and he played an exhausting, high-energy 45 minutes in order to ensure victory.

Anthony Davis helped out with 24 points, 15 rebounds and lots of good defense. Reserve guard Dennis Schroder shrugged off pain in his neck and Achilles, as well as a twisted ankle he sustained, to be the X-factor with 21 points. He hit a cold-blooded 3-pointer near the end of regulation to put the Lakers up by three, but Mike Conley was fouled by Davis afterward while attempting a trey and forced overtime by hitting all three foul shots.

The Grizzlies are a very good team and feature Ja Morant, one of the game’s best and most explosive players. But they’re eminently beatable, and after going on a long winning streak at midseason, they weren’t as good the rest of the regular season.

They finished the regular season third in defensive rating, and they’re also a very chippy (and some would say dirty) team.

But they’re still a relatively young team that lacks any experienced, wily veterans. Meanwhile, the Lakers have James and Davis, who won a championship together just three years ago, as well as newcomer Tristan Thompson, who won a ring with James in 2016.

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Zach has always had a profound love and respect for the Lakers that has inspired him to write about the franchise. He has a great deal of admiration for LeBron James, and his overall knowledge about the NBA has made him a solid addition to the Lakers Daily staff.