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Memphis Grizzlies vs. Washington Wizards Game Preview

“Doubtful” is a big word for today’s game with the Memphis Grizzlies

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Washington Wizards v Memphis Grizzlies Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images

WHO: Memphis Grizzlies (9-4, 4-3 away) vs. Washington Wizards (7-6, 4-3 home)

WHEN: 5:00 PM CT

WHERE: Capital One Arena; Washington, D.C.

HOW TO WATCH/LISTEN: ESPN/Bally Sports Southeast/92.9 FM ESPN Memphis


MEMPHIS: Desmond Bane (Doubtful, toe), Ja Morant (Doubtful, ankle), Jaren Jackson Jr. (Doubtful, knee), Danny Green (Out, knee), Kenneth Lofton Jr. (Out, Two-Way Transfer), Ziaire Williams (Out, Patellar Tendinitis)

WASHINGTON: Bradley Beal (Questionable, Return to Competition Protocol), Johnny Davis and Isaiah Todd (Out, G League Assignment), Taj Gibson (Out, neck), Delon Wright (Out, hamstring), Jordan Schakel (Out, Two-Way transfer)


MEMPHIS: Tyus Jones, John Konchar, Dillon Brooks, Santi Aldama, Steven Adams

WASHINGTON: Monte Morris, Bradley Beal, Deni Avdija, Kyle Kuzma, Kristaps Porzingis

Boston Celtics v Memphis Grizzlies Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

Have you ever been so hopeful about the word, “doubtful?”

Sure, Ja Morant and Desmond Bane — the team’s two best players — are doubtful for soreness injuries. Followers of the Grizzlies over the past several seasons know this is more about rest than any concerning ailments. The hope in Saturday night’s injury report was to see Jaren Jackson Jr. listed as “doubtful.”

Prior to the season’s start, people were concerned about how long Jackson would be out after receiving surgery for a stress fracture in his foot over the offseason. This uncertainty made analysts and fans alike dock the Grizzlies down the Western Conference’s pecking order while predicting a regression.

Instead of a timeline closer to Christmas or 2023, Jaren Jackson Jr. is slated to return roughly a week before Thanksgiving. Meanwhile, the Memphis Grizzlies are 9-4 and 3rd in the Western Conference.

Given the circumstances — Jackson’s injury, no Ziaire Williams, and several games without 1 of Morant, Bane or Dillon Brooks — it’s been the best-case scenario thus far for the Memphis Grizzlies.

Anyways, the Memphis Grizzlies are wrapping up their season series against the Washington Wizards today, after a walk down Beale Street a week ago. It’ll be different for the Grizzlies for the reasons above, and the same should be said for the Wizards, who should have Bradley Beal back in the lineup.

What should we expect in today’s game?

Memphis Grizzlies v Washington Wizards Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Brooks and Beal

Dillon Brooks has always relished the big matchup, and Bradley Beal is one he’s definitely looking forward to.

Brooks never had the Beal matchup this past season due to injury, but he experienced success against him in the 2020-21 season. Per the NBA matchup data, Beal shot 4-15 (26.7%) from the field in 13:25 matchup time and in 81.5 partial possessions with Brooks as the primary defender. His defensive performance garnered praise from the All-NBA guard.

The defensive expectations should remain the same for Brooks, and he’ll bring the intensity from the jump. With Morant and Bane likely out, there should be more fireworks with this matchup, as Brooks will be tasked with more offensive responsibilities.

At that point, what Dillon Brooks will we see? Even with more shot attempts, will they be as controlled as we’ve seen for most of the season? Or will he deviate towards chunking?

Washington Wizards v Memphis Grizzlies Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

Time for the other guys

With Desmond Bane and Ja Morant out for this game, the other guys will have the chance to shine with extra minutes.

Tyus Jones has played even more freely this year, primary as a shot creator. In his lone game as the starting point guard this season, he notched 23 points (10-15 from the field, 3-5 from 3) and 10 assists. He should be a focal point of the offense if Bane and Morant are both out for this game.

There will be more shot attempts to go around, and it could be a good opportunity for players to find their offensive rhythm. Jake LaRavia shot 0-4 from 3 last game; despite the misses the other night, it was nice to see him maintain the “let it fly” mindset. Santi Aldama hasn’t shot all that well from 3, and his outside shot will be pivotal in his minutes off the bench upon Jackson’s return. The extra shots this afternoon could be a nice confidence boost for the supporting cast.

In addition, more players out mean there will be open rotation spots for the 11-15 men on the roster. Xavier Tillman will likely see minutes. However, with Bane and Morant out, do we see Kennedy Chandler in extended minutes?

Regardless, if Bane and Morant are out in this one, it’ll be interesting to see how the Grizzlies make up for the losses offensively.


I’m so torn.

On one hand, the Grizzlies may not have their 3 best players. On the other hand, the Wizards are coming off a back-to-back.

Who knows?

I’m going to roll with feistiness and chaos.

Final score prediction: Grizzlies - 110, Wizards - 108

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