When: Friday, January 5 at 9:30 p.m. ET
Where: FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tennessee
TV: ESPN and NBC Sports Washington
Win probability: Washington has a 56 percent chance of winning, according to FiveThirtyEight.
Wizards: Sheldon Mac (Out, Achilles)
Grizzlies: Mike Conley (Out, Achilles), Chandler Parsons (Out, Knee)
What to Watch for
Can Washington push the tempo?
The Grizzlies come into Friday’s game playing at the slowest pace in the NBA this season, and for good reason: Their transition defense has not been good. Even though they play at the slowest rate in the NBA, only six teams give up more fast break points per game. Per 100 possessions, only two teams give up more points on fast breaks.
Washington hasn’t been quite as good at capitalizing on fast break chances as they have been in years past. They’re around the league average in fast break points per 100 possessions this season after being a top-ten team in that category in each of the past four years.
Part of that’s simply because of all the time John Wall has missed this season, but even with Wall in the lineup, the numbers are still down. Last season they averaged 18.1 fast break points per 100 possessions with Wall on the floor, this season they’re only scoring 11.7 points per 100 possessions.
The good news is the Wizards are still putting up comparable numbers on the offensive end, a testament to how the team’s half-court offense has improved. But, if there was a game to be a lot more aggressive pursuing those fast break chances, this would be the one.
A random moment in Wizards - Grizzlies history: John Wall shutting down Chandler Parsons
Okay so this was only a few weeks ago, but it’s worth another watch: