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Wizards vs. Grizzlies preview: Time to win against the West

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The Wizards take on the Grizzlies on national TV as the Grizzlies rest most of their starting lineup.

Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

#Winning #Winning #Winning is all the Wizards need to be focused on going into Thursday's home game against the (sneakily good and underrated) Memphis Grizzlies.

The last time Washington - who has won three of their last five games, by the way - won back to back games was early February.

Tonight could be that night, especially as the team is about to head into a 7-games-in-12-days-stretch.

When and where? 7 pm. EST from the Verizon Center. Catch it on TNT. The #radioparty on 99.1 FM is always available, too.

Who's out? Kris Humphries and Garrett Temple are out and Paul Pierce is day to day. Mike Conley (ankle) is day to day for the Grizzles.

UPDATE

Tonight just got a bit easier for the Wizards.

Gritty Grizzlies? The Grizzlies have been pretty meh since the All Star break (remind you of some team?) and coming off of a tough loss last night against Boston. In their last 12 games, they've only won six of those - averaging 92.5 points after averaging 100.8 per game in their first 52 (h/t ESPN). To me, they're about average in most categories - 17th in points per game (99.2), 20th in rebounds (42.7) and 11th in assists (21.9) - but it's their defense, which ranks first in allowing just 95.5 points per game that makes them stand out. They're also well balanced around the floor - their starting lineup is original and talented. Big men Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol nicely compliment Mike Conley, who I think is a very underrated PG. Jeff Green and Courtney Lee also do a little bit of everything; their lineup is built to be efficient - and gritty.

At 45-19, the (second place in the Western Conference) Grizzlies are 21-13 against teams with a .500 record or better. Against the Eastern conference? They're 17-6 this season - Will Washington become a casualty tonight in their first game of two?

Wizards back? Not, not really. But also, not YET. Sure, they've dropped seven of their last 10, but in their past few games, they've looked like the team we were admiring in the beginning of the season. Memphis has had their way with Washingotn in the past, but Wall does have his career-high again them: 47 points in March 2013, the only win the Wizards have against the Grizzlies in six games Wall has played in against them. Against West teams, the Wizards are a sad 11-10. If they can play their fast ball tonight, it could very well become 12-10.