Wizards: Ian Mahinmi, Out (knee), Danuel House, Questionable (wrist).
Memphis: Brandan Wright, Out (ankle), Deyonta Davis, Questionable (foot)
What to watch for
Can the Wizards keep the home vibes going?
The Wizards have won 12 straight games at home and are looking for their 12th, but Memphis is their best challenger since they played the Clippers last month. The Grizzlies are 11-10 on the road and have one of the best, well-rounded teams in the league. They’re the second best defensive team in the league allowing just 101.8 points per 100 possessions.
Great defensive teams normally perform well on the road. The Wizards are 10-5 in their last 15 games and have top 10 rankings in both offensive and defensive efficiency in that span, but they’re still going up against a brick wall that they haven’t seen since earlier in the season. The Wizards will need to be especially good on defense against a team that isn’t that great at scoring the ball.
Can the Wizards stop Marc Gasol
Marc Gasol is one of the best two-way players in the league and, despite having a down year last season, has returned to his previous Defensive Player of the Year form. The Wizards held him in check for a majority of the last game they played earlier in the season, but allowed him to cut loose from deep and hit three from deep in the last two minutes of the 4th quarter and overtime. They’ll be more prepared this time around, but they have to be disciplined on both ends to beat this team.
Wizards Killer of the Night: Troy Daniels
I wanted to go with Vince Carter here because he somehow always seems to play well against Washington. He’s a great three point shooter and probably has a hot tub time machine that he uses to jump back into his old skin,
But Vince Carter was great in the past, so he doesn’t qualify to be a #WizardsKiller. So I’m going with Troy Daniels. He’s the perfect player to overlook with the rest of the depth on Memphis’ squad. And he’s become a bigger part of their rotation now with their increase in three point shooting overall.
Daniels will probably hit five threes in a row and put the Grizzlies ahead 103-102 with 1.2 seconds left in the game. And then he’ll probably lock down one of the Wizards guards just because of dumb luck on the other end. That’s how these things work.