The Memphis Grizzlies are playing in their second game of a back-to-back tonight against the Washington Wizards at FedExForum. Memphis will be looking bounce back after last night’s thrilling loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.
A handful of questions surround both the Grizzlies and the Wizards. For the Wizards it will be another opportunity to get back on track as Washington is losers of three straight. For the Grizzlies it will be a chance to build on a solid effort put forth last night against the Bucks while Memphis was short handed. What questions need answers heading into tonight’s matchup against the Wizards?
1.) Ja Morant and Brandon Clarke were both out with injury rehabilitation precaution Friday night. Will Clarke and Morant be available tonight against the Wizards?
Ja Morant and Brandon Clarke will both be available tonight against the Wizards. Morant is coming off a lower back injury, and the team is taking steps to insure that the injury doesn’t return. Morant will be available tonight per Grizzlies PR. With Clarke it is the same situation, but a different injury. Clarke had an oblique injury that the Grizzlies do not want returning, and just like Morant are taking special precaution in their returns to the floor. Clarke will be available for the Grizzlies tonight.
Ja Morant and Brandon Clarke will not play Friday vs @Bucks but will be available Saturday vs @WashWizards. In conjunction with their recent respective injuries, Morant tomorrow will be listed as “OUT–Injury Maintenance–Back" and Clarke as “OUT–Injury Maintenance–LT Oblique."— Grizzlies PR (@GrizzliesPR) December 12, 2019
2.) Following a great battle against one of the best teams in the NBA on Friday night. Given Memphis will have a full roster against a team that is in a similar situation to their own tonight in the Washington Wizards, what should we expect out of the Grizzlies?
Each Grizzly that touched the floor last night in their loss to the Bucks needs to treat tonight’s matchup with the Wizards no different. This is a great opportunity for both teams to capitalize on the future. Memphis needs a solid showing against Washington to solidify their loss to the Bucks Friday.
The Grizzlies can’t come out against the Bucks and look Gritty, but come out tonight and look lack luster. Look for Head Coach Taylor Jenkins to take advantage of a full rotation tonight.
3.) Can we expect a repeat performance from Jaren Jackson Jr., tonight?
43 points is tough to top. 26 points in once quarter is tough to top. Eight three pointers made in one quarter is just ridiculous. For Jaren it will be continuing to put consistent performances together. Last night the Grizzlies were short handed and needed that offensive outburst. No one expected it from Jaren, but it was needed.
With a full rotation, I will be looking for Jaren to stay hungry, but play a team game like he always has. Just like it is a big building game for the Grizzlies as a team, the same can be said for Jackson tonight.
4.) With Morant back in the lineup, where will De’Anthony Melton fit in the Grizzlies rotation?
De’Anthony Melton has been playing really solid basketball, and he’s been versatile too. Not only can Melton play both ends of the floor really well, but he can play point guard and two guard well. With Greyson Allen’s status for Saturday’s game (Ankle soreness) in question, look for Melton to be the first guard off the bench.
It is simple, Melton makes an impact each second that he sees game action. Same can’t be said for a Marko Guduric, who has played himself out of a healthy Grizzlies guard rotation. In Memphis’ win Wednesday night in Phoenix Melton finished with a +22 in the +/- category along with nine points, and six rebounds in nearly 20 minutes. Melton is the guy for Memphis off the bench.
5.) Final Score Predictions?
I think that Memphis takes this game, and by double-digits. Listen, both teams are fun to watch. The Wizards rank fourth in the NBA in points per game, and Memphis, when healthy is a decent defensive team. For the Wizards, a three game losing streak, and coming off a double-digit loss is lingering. Memphis played a very hard three and a half quarters against a Milwaukee Bucks team that is one of the best in the NBA.... while Memphis wasn’t full strength.
Memphis Grizzlies: 118
Washington Wizards: 107
The Memphis Grizzlies and Washington Wizards tip off at FedExForum tonight at 7:00 P.M. Follow (@SBNGrizzlies) for all of your Grizzlies coverage leading up to tonight’s tip!