home 2013-14, Blogs, Game Coverage Gameday: Wizards vs. Grizzlies – Seven

Gameday: Wizards vs. Grizzlies – Seven


Grizzlies (33-25) at Wizards (31-28)

March 3, 2014 at 7:00 PM
Verizon Center, Washington, DC
TV: CSN Washington
Radio: 106.7FM The Fan


Projected starting lineups:


C- Marcin Gortat
PF- Trevor Booker
SF- Trevor Ariza
SG- Bradley Beal
PG- John Wall


C- Marc Gasol
PF- Zach Randolph
SF- Tayshaun Prince
SG- Courtney Lee
PG- Mike Conley


Who’s hurt?

Nene – Out (MCL)
Kevin Seraphin – Out (knee)

Quincy Pondexter – Out (foot)


First meeting since…

February 11, 2014 @ FedEx Forum: Bradley Beal drops a career high 37 points but sputtered late, missing a long two (go figure) with 12.9 seconds left. The Grizzlies were led by Nick Calathes (Google him), and four other players in double figures. They won 92-89, dropping the Wizards below .500 for probably the 38th time this season.


Ser Trevor Ariza

Lord of Three.


Blanketed by a casual demeanor and a monotonous approach that lacks even the grainiest spec of swagger, Trevor Ariza’s stroke has become pure toxin. Usually stowed away in his lair (corner/wing) where he lingers in anticipation for a spot up three, Lord Athreeza has probably been the greatest underlying factor in the success of the Wizards this season. His defense has been a story of it’s own, but the emergence of Ariza’s offensive prowess has seemingly developed him into a scorer needing to be dealt with.

Over the past six games – conveniently all wins – Ariza has shot a blistering 62% from downtown, 23-of-37 to be exact and officially admitted himself into the 40 Club against the Sixers after going 8-12 from downtown en route to his career high point total.

Here’s a pretty sick stat discovered by the homies over at @Truth_About_It: Of Trevor Ariza’s 136 made 3-pointers this season, 130 of them were assisted. It’s safe to assume a good portion of those dishes came by way of you know who which leads me to believe that while many like to credit Ariza’s astounding improvements to a contract season, it’s more duly credited to the furnishings of one John Wall and the offensive system that has allowed Ariza to prosper. If there is any one constant in the Wizards’ offense this year, it’s been Trevor Ariza’s long range spot-ups. He’s destroyed his previous career high in 3PT percentage (.422), and his 136 makes from downtown have already tied another career high.

The Wizards’ game plan for Ariza is pretty much cut and dry like Ariza himself. Hang him out on the perimeter, let John’s speed lure and collapse defenses toward him, dish out and, well…

Boom goes the dynamite



The last year of seven.


Yep. The last time the Wizards were on a 7-game tear, Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale had just debuted as the framework for the new Batman series, Joe Gibbs was your favorite team’s head coach and Gwen Stafani was NOT a Hollaback Girl.

While it’s Trevor Ariza and John Wall who’ve catapulted this year’s streaking Wiz, it was Larry Hughes and Gilbert who spearheaded the ’05 squad. The two averaged just over 25 a game over that stretch and the Wizards had a 22-13 record before the streak was eventually snapped.

This year’s streaking Wiz have been just as admirable. In four of their six straight wins, they’ve averaged 121.5 points per game, although you may consider that number inflated thanks to the 134 point triple-OT exhibit in Toronto. The Wizards, who are third best in the league in assist-to-turnover differential, have doubled their number of assists over turnovers during this win streak.

And to further justify the dominance the Wizards have shown over the past week and a half – John Wall earned Eastern Conference Player of the Week honors for the second time this season. But usually 24.0 points, 10.3 assists and 1.8 steals per game while your team goes 4-0 will help one garner such an accolade.

Keys for tonight:

The Grizzlies have a strong frontcourt compiled mainly of Z-Bo and Marc Gasol so I expect some attempted grittiness by the Wizards (not so) bigs. Gortat, who vowed to step up in the wake of Nene’s loss, has done exactly that. In the three games Nene has been out, Gortat has shot 60% from the field and averaged 22 points and 12 rebounds. Trevor Booker, whose production usually doesn’t reflect on stat sheets, has also stepped up and reemerged as a contingent in the Wizards’ recent success.

The spacing for the Wizards has looked superb the past few games. This has allowed a much better flow of ball movement and just about everyone has been relishing in it. Over the past six games the Wizards have not had less than four players score in double figures, which happened twice and in one of those games, all four players scored at least 20. Against the Hawks, the Wizards had seven players score in double figures. Against the Raptors, Wall and Gortat each scored 31. Against the Sixers, Ariza scored 40. Catch my drift? As depicted in the stats I relayed above, ball movement has rarely been an issue for the Wizards this season, but over this past week, the floor has drastically opened up for them. Keep it up.

we are Hoop District

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