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Wizards continue homestand against Grizzlies
Following a loss Friday to the Hornets, the Wizards will look to bounce back against the Grizzlies on Saturday night on the second night of a back-to-back. The Wizards have won four straight against the Grizzlies at home and are 15-6 all-time against them in the nation’s capital. Washington will play its 13th back-to-back of the season, looking to improve to 9-4 on the second night. The Wizards will celebrate mascot G-Wiz’s birthday on Saturday night.
Capital One Arena | 7:00 P.M. | NBC Sports Washington PLUS | 1500 AM
Wizards: G – Tomas Satoransky, G – Bradley Beal, F – Trevor Ariza, F – Jeff Green, C – Bobby Portis
Grizzlies: G – Mike Conley Jr., G – Avery Bradley, F – Justin Holiday, F – Ivan Rabb, C –Jonas Valanciunas
Wizards: Dwight Howard (aggravated gluteal soreness – out), John Wall (left Achilles tendon tear – out), Tomas Satoransky (head – questionable)
Grizzlies: Kyle Anderson (right shoulder soreness – out), Dillon Brooks (right toe injury – out), Jaren Jackson Jr. (right deep thigh bruise – out)
Tomas Satoransky left Friday’s game after a collision in the second quarter and did not return. His status is uncertain heading into the Grizzlies game, and the Wizards would certainly be short-handed without him. If Satoransky does not play, Chasson Randle would likely start in his place with Bradley Beal, Jabari Parker, and Troy Brown Jr. sharing ball-handling duties. The key to Satoransky’s absence on offense would be turnovers, though the Wizards only had three in the second half without him. Defensively, the Wizards would really need to get a strong collective effort against Mike Conley Jr., who we dive into next.
Scouting the Grizzlies
Stopping the Grizzlies starts with Mike Conley Jr., one of the top point guards in the West. During the Grizzlies’ 5-4 stretch since the All-Star break, Conley is averaging 24.4 points and 6.1 assists per game on 47.3% shooting and 38.5% from beyond the arc. In their four losses, however, Conley is only shooting 38.5% from the field and 24.0% from 3-point. The offense, which ranks last in the NBA in points per game and points per 100 possessions, really goes whichever way Conley goes. Defensively, however, Memphis is sixth in the league in defensive efficiency, with strong perimeter defenders in Conley, Avery Bradley, Justin Holiday, and Jevon Carter.
Changes in Memphis
Similar to the Wizards, the Grizzlies have a very different roster since these two teams met in October. Jonas Valanciunas, Avery Bradley, C.J. Miles, and Justin Holiday have all come over in trades, while Jaren Jackson Jr., Kyle Anderson, and Dillon Brooks have been lost to injuries. Since joining the Grizzlies, Valanciunas is averaging 17.5 points and 8.0 rebounds per game on 58.1% shooting. A versatile pick-and-roll center, the Wizards are very familiar with Valanciunas from his six-plus seasons in Toronto. The other three key acquisitions have been solid shooters in Memphis: Bradley is making 39.1% of his triples, Miles is shooting 37.5% from deep, and Holiday is at a 35.4% clip.