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Wiz and Grizz get a late start in Memphis
The Wizards head to Memphis and get a late start game against the Grizzlies.
FedEx Forum | 9:30 p.m. | NBCSW/ESPN | 1500 AM
Wizards (22-16): G - Wall, G - Beal, F - Porter Jr., F - Morris, C - Gortat
Grizzlies (12-26): G - Evans, G - Brooks, F - Ennis III, F - Green, C - Gasol
Wizards: Sheldon Mac (Achilles - Out)
Grizzlies: Mike Conley (Heel - Out), Chandler Parsons (Knee - Out), Andrew Harrison (Shoulder - Doubtful)
Chance at Four Straight
With a win tonight, the Wizards have a chance to tie their longest win streak of the season (four) and it would be their sixth win in their last seven games. It was this time last season when the team played their best basketball and it seems as if that could be the case again, despite some of their unforeseen losses to sub .500 teams. They have now beaten their last two sub .500 teams (Bulls, Knicks) and they'll get another chance at one of the league's lowest ranked teams when they face the Grizz tonight in Memphis.
This was a team they beat 93-87 last month in D.C. in a game neither team could really get any kind of offensive flow going. That was the night John Wall returned from his knee injury, and he finished with 13 points in 28 minutes. Bradley Beal led the team with 18 points in a game where all five starters finished in double figures.
Grizzlies Return from West Playing Better
The Grizz, who enter 29th in the NBA in offense, have played better over the past couple of weeks and return to Memphis after a five-game West Coast trip in which they went 2-3. Over their last three games, they are averaging 115.7 ppg and shooting 51% from the field. Over their last six games, they are averaging about 111 points per game, after averaging about 92 points per game in their previous 18 games. Tyreke Evans, who missed the game the last time these two teams met in D.C., has averaged over 25 points per game over this six game stretch and continues to be the Grizzlies' top offensive option with Mike Conley sidelined.
With tonight's game also on ESPN besides the local NBCSW telecast, the game won't start until 8:30 p.m. local time (9:30 p.m. ET) which will have the feel of a playoff start time. While the late start shouldn't affect this game too much, besides the players routines being pushed back a little later, the real difficult part about this could be seen on Saturday. The team likely won't get back to D.C. until early Saturday morning and then will have to turn around and play the Bucks later that night. The Wiz are 4-1 on the second night of back-to-backs this season and already beat the Bucks on the road on the second night of a back-to-back earlier this year. The Bucks also play on Friday night and will be on the second night of a back-to-back as well. Saturday's game will start at 8:00 p.m. in D.C., an hour later than the normal start time.
Up next, the Wizards host the Bucks on Saturday night in D.C. (8:00 p.m.)