It's been a crazy month of December for the Wizards, who came into Monday night's game with just nine available players ... but they are pushing through adversity.
The last time these two met in Tennessee - December 14 - the Grizzlies picked apart the Wizards, shooting 56 percent from the field and 67 percent from beyond the arc. They also made more free throws and had more rebounds, assists, and steals than the Wizards.
Hopefully, the Wizards can continue this mini hot-streak they have going, and get their first three-game winning streak together since the beginning of the season.
When and Where: Wednesday, Dec. 23 at 7:00 p.m. in the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.
Watch on: Folks in the DMV can catch this one on CSN Mid-Atlantic, those in the Memphis area can watch on Fox Sports Southeast.
Listen on: Radio party on WNEW 99.1 FM.
Wizards: Gary Neal, Nene and Otto Porter are questionable, while Drew Gooden, Alan Anderson and Bradley Beal are all out. John Wall has been battling a hurt ankle, and hurt his ribs on Monday's game, so he is listed as day-to-day.
Grizzlies: Tony Allen Jordan Adams, Jarell Martin, and Brandan Wright are all out for Memphis.
What to watch for
The three R's: Rebounding, rebounding, rebounding
The Wizards played pretty good defense Monday night against the Kings - holding them to 40.7 percent shooting from the floor and 31.8 percent from beyond the arc - they were out-rebounded 46-38. Let me correct myself ... The Wizards had 34 defensive rebounds to the Kings' 33, but were got beat to the glass offensively, 4 to 13. The Kings had a whopping 44 paints in the paint, even with big man DeMarcus Cousins shooting just 8-22.
In the last matchup with Memphis, the Wizards had 10 offensive rebounds and 26 defensive rebounds to the Grizzlies 6 offensive boards and 33 defensive boards. Yay, progress. However, they were still outscored in the paint by 10 points (36-46) and ended up losing the game by 17. Memphis led by double digits the entire second half of that game. The battle both for rebounds and for points in the paint is key for the Wizards to not get blown out again.
More threes: Ya know, that shot from behind the arc
The last game between the two was a weird one. The Grizzlies had just collapsed against the Miami Heat the night before and questions were swirling around about their coaching situation. They were also and still are one of the worst-three point shooting teams in the league. The Wizards were also and still are one of the worst three-point defending teams.
Long story short, the Memphis made 10 of their 15 threes and the Wizards made 9 of 24. In last night's game against the Kings, the Wizards made 14- of 24 trey balls (58.3 percent) while holding Sacramento to just 7 of 22 (31.8 percent). We know where the Grizzlies players will be lining up in this game, and we hopefully know how the Wizards will be responding.
In the last matchup, Mike Conley got the better of the point guard matchup, with 24 points on 7 of 14 shooting (he was also 2-4 from three) in 37 minutes. Wall had a bad night, shooting 2 of 11 and 2 of 7 from three in 28 minutes of play. Conley was +16, while Wall was a team high -17. We all know Wall pushes through all sorts of injuries - and we love him for it - but it will be interesting to see how he fares in this one.
Likely Wizards Killer: Mario Chalmers
To be honest, I'm only picking him because as a Miami native and also Heat fan, I miss him on the team. And it's Rio. And he makes me LOL. Oh, and because he had 12 points on 5 of 6 shooting in the last matchup ... All at times when the Wizards were just almost about to get back into the game.