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Wizards at Grizzlies Pregame: Memphis Blues?


Washington (43-33) at Memphis (52-24)

FedEx Forum, Memphis, TN
April 4, 2015 at 8:00 PM
TV: CSNWashington
Radio: 99.1FM

Tale of the Tape

[ezcol_1third]WIZARDS[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third][/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third_end]GRIZZLIES[/ezcol_1third_end][ezcol_1third]43-33[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third]TEAM RECORD[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third_end]52-24[/ezcol_1third_end][ezcol_1third]98.4[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third]PPG (own)[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third_end]98.6[/ezcol_1third_end][ezcol_1third]97.6[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third]PPG (opp)[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third_end]95.4[/ezcol_1third_end][ezcol_1third]Won 2[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third]W/L STREAK[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third_end]Won 2[/ezcol_1third_end][ezcol_1third]Won vs. Knicks 101-87[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third]PREVIOUS GAME[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third_end]Won vs. Thunder 100-92[/ezcol_1third_end]

Last time they met was..

March 12, 2015 @ Verizon Center, Washington, DC – Wizards 107, Grizzlies 87
Tales from the Booth – Wizards vs. Grizzlies 3.13.2015

The Wizards won, and won big against a Grizzlies team resting four of five starters. Still, that wouldn’t take away from Otto Porter’s Shaqtin’-a-Fool moment.

From the Crystal Ball, by Irfan K.

What to Watch: I tried this once before. Then the Grizzlies benched all their star players for “rest.” They claim it was not disrespectful because “they’d had the plan to rest players in advance.” Isn’t that MORE disrespectful. It’s one thing to bench your starters to rest against a bad or struggling team, hoping you can still get the win, and knowing a loss doesn’t dramatically hurt you. But it’s another thing to look at the schedule in advance and say, “hmm…the Wizards…yea…that’s always a good team to rest against.” JERKS! (Also, I don’t blame them).

However, the starters should all be good to go in this game, which means at least one thing: Wittman will NOT have to adjust to small ball! This may be shocking revelation, but the Grizzlies are a big team that….wait for it….makes other teams adjust to them! What a concept! In fact, I would love to see the Wizards go small in the fourth quarter of this game; Run out Wall, Beal, Butler, Pierce, and Nene/Gortat. Then watch how Dave Joerger reacts. Something tells me he’d keep his star-studded starting line-up in the game.

Key matchup: Grizzlies vs. Rockets. See figure below:

west standings

Last time the Wizards and Grizzlies faced off, Memphis consciously took an L. This time, they’re locked in a virtually even battle with the Rockets for the 2-seed, otherwise known as “The Battle to Avoid the Spurs in Round One.” That should be a very powerful motivating factor for the Grizz, and very big problem for the Wiz.

X-factor: Courtney Lee. Courtney Lee stats…

In Wins: 11.2 ppg, 50% FG, 51% 3FG
In Losses: 7.7 ppg, 34% FG, 21% 3FG

I won’t go as far as to say “as Courtney Lee goes, so go the Grizzlies.” But I will say that if Courtney Lee is going, the Grizzlies are probably rolling to a win.

Fun factor(s): Watching Zach Randolph. Try to put your fandom aside and just watch Z-Bo play basketball. The guy is a career 17-10, a career 47% shooter, and regularly near the top of the league in offensive rebounds. His vertical at the draft combine was measured at 0’0″ and has been steadily falling ever since. (OK, his feet technically do leave the floor when he “jumps” but not much). By NBA standards, the guy is not athletic. But he is awesome. What will stand out most is his hands. The best way to describe Randolph’s hands is the exact opposite of #GortatHands. He combines these hands with excellent positioning to suck in rebounds on both ends. But how the F*%& does he score?! He’s not tall for an NBA power forward (6’9″) and he’s not “long” like those 6’7″ guys with 7’3″ wing spans. He’s just the round definition of savvy. He creates space and angles with his top heavy frame, and uses both hands effectively to maximize the use of that space. As an unbiased observer, watching Zach Randolph is a fun trip. As a Wizards fan…we’ll see how it goes.

Prediction: Grizzlies win easy.

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