WHERE: FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee
WHEN: 7:00 PM CT
HOW TO WATCH/LISTEN: Fox Sports Southeast/92.9 FM ESPN Memphis
MEMPHIS: Grayson Allen (Out, ankle)
Washington: John Wall (Out, achilles),Thomas Bryant (Out, stress reaction), Jordan McRae (Out, finger), CJ Miles (Out, wrist), Isaac Bonga (Day-to-Day, head), Isaiah Thomas (Questionable, calf)
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUPS:
MEMPHIS: Ja Morant, Dillon Brooks, Jae Crowder, Jaren Jackson Jr., Jonas Valanciunas
Washington: Ish Smith, Bradley Beal, Isaac Bonga, Rui Hachimura, Mo Wagner
The Memphis Grizzlies and Washington Wizards game isn’t one most people aren’t blocking time out of their Saturday nights for. However, the NBA diehards are going to love this game.
The Wizards have transformed into one of the most fun offenses in the league. Who would’ve thought? Not me!
I thought this team was going to be miserable to watch, given that it’s a hodgepodge of players then Bradley Beal. Beyond Beal, this team is showing competence, despite what the record shows. Beal is awesome, obviously. Davis Bertans has been a flamethrower from deep, as he’s putting up historic shooting numbers. Rui Hachimura has been one of the better rookies, flashing a similar game to a bucket-getter, clean-glasser like Jabari Parker. Then they have Thomas Bryant and Isaiah Thomas who have also thrived in this Wizards system.
It seems super fun, to be honest.
On the Grizzlies side, the League Pass appeal is there. The diehards of NBA Twitter love Brandon Clarke, De’Anthony Melton, and Kyle Anderson. Jaren Jackson Jr. is playing like a big guard that fires 6-7 three’s a game. Seeing a 7-footer do that is pretty rad. Then, Ja Morant is unbelievable. One minute, he’s confusing defenders with nifty dribble moves. The next, he’s finding a teammate for a mind-boggling dime. Then, next thing you know, he’s attacking the rim at a full head of steam ready to end someone’s career -- sometimes, even his own -- at the rim.
Tonight also has lottery implications. The Grizzlies are currently 7th in the reverse standings, which means they either convey the pick or land in the top 4. Washington is currently 6th, and the idea of adding a young player to this core and a returning John Wall has to be enticing.
So do what you need to do, Washington, for the betterment of both franchises.
After being two of the more unwatchable teams in the league, it’s going to be a lot of fun watching these reinvented teams go at it on this Saturday night in what I’d like to call “The Joe Mullinax Bowl.”