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Wizards vs. Grizzlies preview: Washington hosts Memphis in battle of teams outside playoff picture

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NBA: Washington Wizards at Memphis Grizzlies Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Game Info

When: Saturday, March 16 at 7:00 pm Eastern Time
Where: Capital One Arena in Washington DC
TV: NBC Sports Washington Plus

Injury Report

Wizards: John Wall (Out, Heel), Dwight Howard (Out, Back)

Grizzlies: Kyle Anderson (Out, Shoulder), MarShon Brooks Dillon Brooks (Out, Toe), Jaren Jackson Jr. (Out, Quad)

What to Watch for

Can the Wizards get back on track at home?

The Wizards have enjoyed their homestand, building momentum and picking up a key win over Orlando, but Friday’s loss to the Hornets could be the final blow to the team’s playoff hopes. FiveThirtyEight now gives the Wizards just a 4 percent chance of making the playoffs. A loss to the Grizzlies will likely shrink those slim odds even more.

With only 13 games left, and a four-game trip out West looming, every game matters regardless of whether it’s saving their playoff hopes or position themselves better in the draft lottery. Washington is one game ahead of the depleted Grizzlies in the overall standings that determine lottery odds. A loss to Memphis, coupled with a Dallas win over Cleveland on Saturday, would put the Wizards within a half-game of having the sixth-best odds in the lottery. However, a Washington win coupled with a Pelicans loss to the Suns could push them down to the ninth-best odds by the end of the night.

Bradley Beal’s 45-minute performance in Friday’s loss to the Hornets makes it clear the Wizards don’t plan on packing it in as the season winds down, but as that game shows, trying hard hasn’t ensured success, even against middling teams at home.

A random moment in Wizards – Grizzlies history: Beal goes for 34 points in a Wizards win