The NBA season continues on Tuesday night, with the recent surge of COVID-19 cases still hitting some teams pretty hard. Nevertheless, some exciting matchups are on the ledger for tonight. Here’s some insight into the upcoming games in the league’s first full week of play in 2022.
Memphis Looks to Extend Win Streak against the Cavs
The Memphis Grizzlies continue their outstanding play and will face the Cleveland Cavaliers on the road on Tuesday. The Grizzlies have a 4.5 game lead over the Mavericks in the Southwest Division standings and are looking for their sixth straight win.
Both teams will be missing several players to health and safety protocols. Ja Morant has been carrying the Grizzlies all season, averaging 25.1 points and 6.7 assists per game, and Steven Adams leads the team in rebounding with 9.2 per matchup.
The Cavaliers are very thin at the point guard position since PG Ricky Rubio tore his ACL in last Tuesday’s game against New Orleans. As a result, they have acquired PG Rajon Rondo from the Los Angeles Lakers in a three-team trade.
This was a much-needed pickup for the Cavs, who are five games behind the Chicago Bulls in the Central Division and fifth overall in the Eastern Conference NFL standings. They will need his services if they want to make a run at the playoffs for the first time in many years.
Phoenix Tries to Keep Pace with Warriors in Pacific Division
On Tuesday, the Phoenix Suns will travel to New Orleans to face the Pelicans. In their last five games, they are 2-3 and trying to keep pace with the league-leading Golden State Warriors, who have a one-game lead in the Pacific Division standings.
The Pelicans currently have the second-worst record in the Western Conference at 13-24 but are 5-3 in their last eight games overall. They have lost two straight to the Bucks and the Jazz and are looking to make up some ground on the Memphis Grizzlies, who have a 10.5 game lead over them in the division.
The Suns look forward to the return of head coach Monty Williams for tonight’s game. He has missed the last four games due to health and safety protocols. That’s good news for this team, as Larry Shamet was added to protocols on Tuesday.
However, they will also be without Deandre Ayton, JaVale McGee, Jae Crowder, and Abdel Nader, who were placed on health and safety protocols earlier in the week. Additionally, the team signed F Justin Jackson to a 10-day contract early Tuesday to help fill some of the holes on their roster.
Kings and Lakers to Battle in Pacific Division Matchup
In a Pacific Division clash, the Sacramento Kings will tip-off on Tuesday night against the Los Angeles Lakers. The Kings are at the bottom of the division with a 16-22 record and are 14 games behind the Golden State Warriors.
Both teams have been playing winning basketball recently as the Kings are 3-1 in their last four games overall but are looking to snap a streak of four straight road losses. The Lakers have won three of their previous four games since ending a five-game losing streak against the Houston Rockets.
Sacramento has been led this season by PG De’Aaron Fox, who leads the team with 20.3 points per game. C Richaun Holmes is their leading rebounder, pulling down 8.7 per contest. In a dramatic last-minute win, the Kings are coming off a 115-113 victory against the Heat at home.
Buddy Hield led the Kings with 26 points. The Lakers beat Minnesota for the first time this season on Sunday night, 108-103, as LeBron James scored 26 points for LA in their second straight win.