The Wizards and Grizzlies meet for the first time this season on Tuesday night. Washington and Memphis will meet one more time on March 16. Both teams have surprised people with how they have started the season. The Grizzlies have put up a solid record, while the Wizards have struggled to get anything going.
Memphis finished last season with a record of 22-60. The Grizzlies finished in fourteenth place of the Western Conference. Memphis has started out this season with a 3-2 record. The Grizzlies are currently sitting in sixth place in the Western Conference. I believe that Memphis will begin to struggle as the season goes along.
The Wizards finished last season in the eighth and final playoff seed in the Eastern Conference with a 43-39 record. Washington lost to the Toronto Raptors in the first round in six games. This season the Wizards have started out 1-5. Washington has struggled to find a rhythm and is currently on a three-game losing streak. I believe they could turn it around on Tuesday night with a nice road win.
Washington needs to get back in the win column on Tuesday night. The Grizzlies could really afford to keep their streak going, but the Wizards are falling pretty far behind in the standings. I expect Washington to throw everything they have at Memphis on Tuesday night.
Last Season’s Matchups
Memphis and Washington met up twice last season. The Wizards hosted the first game of the series. The Grizzlies were led by Andrew Harrison as he dropped 20 points. Bradley Beal had 18 points for Washington, which was enough to help lead the Wizards to a low scoring victory. Washington ended up winning 93-87.
The second game of the season series was hosted by Memphis. The Grizzlies saw Tyreke Evans drop 26 points, but it was not enough. John Wall and Bradley Beal combined for 59 points in route to a Wizards win. Washington snuck out with a 102-100 win.
Washington was able to go 2-0 against the Grizzlies last season. The Wizards were the much better team last season, while this season Washington has struggled to get anything going. I believe that this game is very winnable for the Wizards on the road. This Wizards roster is better than they are performing, and I believe they can prove it on Tuesday night.
Wizards Poor Defense vs Grizzlies Strong Defense
The Wizards defense has been the worst in the NBA in terms of points allowed per game. Washington has allowed an average of 125 points per game throughout the early portion of this season. Luckily for the Wizards, Memphis’ offense has not been great. The Grizzlies have scored an average of 103 points per game.
Unlike Washington’s defense, the Grizzlies defense is near the top of the NBA in terms of points allowed. Memphis has allowed 101 points per game, which is second best in the NBA. Washington has one of the better offenses, averaging 115 points per game.
I believe that this game could be really close because of the matchups between each team. Memphis does not score a lot, while Washington’s defense is not great. On the other side, Washington’s strong offense meets up against the Grizzlies tough defense. Whichever matchup can be exploited should end up leading that team to victory.
Battle Between Starting Guards
The Wizards have one of the best duos of starting Guards in the NBA. Washington has John Wall starting at Point Guard and Bradley Beal starting at Shooting Guard. Beal has been leading the team with an average of 23.5 points per game. Wall is second on the team with almost 21 points per game. He leads the team in assists per game with 7.
Washington’s Guards will go against Mike Conley and Garrett Temple. Both players are solid starters, but I believe that these matchups could be exploited on Tuesday night. Conley has averaged 19 points per game, while Temple has averaged 13 points. Both players play a solid defensive role, which can help slow down Washington’s Guards, but I am not sure if it will be enough.
The Grizzlies could be without both JaMychal Green and Chandler Parsons on Tuesday night. Both players have started every game they have appeared in this season. Neither player has posted extremely solid numbers, but they both have their importance in the lineup.
Washington will likely be without Markieff Morris and Dwight Howard for their game against Memphis. Howard has yet to appear in a game. He was picked up to fill in at starting Center in the offseason. If he is out again, it will allow for a mismatch on the inside. Morris is another big man that has been missing from the lineup.
I believe that the Wizards have a good chance to get another win on Tuesday night. I am not convinced that Memphis is as good as they have seemed since the season started. Last season the Grizzlies started out 5-1, but were quickly exposed as a fluke. Washington needs to win games like this if they want to make it back up the standings.
BetOnline has Memphis listed as 2-point favorites. At home, I believe this is acceptable, especially the way Washington has started the season out. Like I said before though, I believe this is a winnable game for the Wizards. I am taking Washington with the points.