Memphis will meet Washington on the second night of a back to back, after a 100-97 loss to the Miami Heat on Sunday.
The Grizzlies had a bit of a rough start to their season, but they seem to be slowly figuring it out. They switched up their starting lineup against the Heat, benching Zach Randolph for Matt Barnes to increase the spacing around All-Star Marc Gasol. It seems likely that they will continue with that lineup vs. the Wizards on Monday, given how small Washington has played of late.
Memphis is one of the worst three-point shooting teams in the league, which could be very good for the Wizards, who have had trouble defending the three-point line this season. The Grizzlies are not particularly good at defending the three-point line themselves, which could be good for Washington if Jared Dudley and Gary Neal are feeling it. The Grizzlies are also struggling to defend in transition, which has been the Wizards bread and butter all season. Despite the disparity in their records, the Wizards should be able to keep this one competitive at the very least.
When and Where: Monday, December 14 @ 8:00 pm at the FedExForum in Memphis.
Broadcast: The game will be aired on CSN Mid-Atlantic in the DMV and Fox Sports Southeast near Memphis. You can listen on the radio at WNEW 99.1 FM. For those who are out of market, the game will be streamed on League Pass.
For the Wizards, Bradley Beal, Alan Anderson, Nene, and Drew Gooden are all out.
Jordan Adams, Jarell Martin and Brandan Wright are all out for Memphis. Tony Allen is currently listed as day to day.
What to watch for
The Battle in the Paint
Both Memphis and Washington have been very good at defending in the paint this season. If John Wall can break down Memphis’s defense (not easy, with Mike Conley, Tony Allen, and Marc Gasol on the floor) and get easy buckets for himself or his teammates at the rim, that will be huge for Washington.
On the other end of the floor, Marcin Gortat has to make life difficult for Marc Gasol, who is an excellent passer and will find the open man if Washington sends a double team at him. Gortat doesn’t need to stop Gasol, but he needs to slow him down without fouling.
Who will step up in Beal’s absence?
Saturday night Washington got a big performance from Otto Porter, who punished the Mavericks for trying to hide Dirk Nowitzki on him. Otto will likely have All-Defensive First Teamer Tony Allen or defensive pest Matt Barnes on him vs Memphis, a much tougher matchup than Dirk. With Gasol likely making Gortat’s life difficult, Washington will need one of Temple, Dudley, Neal or Sessions to step up and help John Wall.
Most Likely Wizard Killer
This was a tough one, but I’m going to give it to Jeff Green, who is considered by some to be one of the prototypical #WizKillers. Green is currently shooting 29 percent from three on just under two attempts per game, so naturally he’ll probably go 5-7 from beyond the arc against Washington. Also, watch out for Matt Barnes (30 percent on four attempts per game) and Mario Chalmers (20 percent on just over two attempts per game).