So Who Will Play for the Wizards Tonight?
The main pregame, whiteboard key for the Wizards against the Grizzlies on Monday night? Pace. According to NBA.com, Memphis is the third slowest team in the NBA (91.31 possessions per 48 minutes). The Wizards play at the NBA’s 14th fastest pace (94.37); with John Wall on the court, that pace number jumps to 96.75.
So, the Wizards want to run and take Memphis out of their comfort zone. But to run, you need horses. The Wizards only have nine healthy horses tonight. Who you gonna be without, coach?
To recap: No Nene (weak knee), A.J. Price (groin), Martell Webster (abdomen strain, which is better than the previously reported sports hernia), Bradley Beal (ankle), and Trevor Ariza (flu).
Who do the Wizards even have? Well, about three guards—John Wall, Garrett Temple and A.J. Price. And then you have the Wizards’ plethora of young “4s”—Chris Singleton, Trevor Booker, Kevin Seraphin, and Jan Vesely. Finally, two veteran centers—Emeka Okafor and Jason Collins.
Singleton, who was drafted mostly to be a 3—but has only played one percent of the team’s minutes at 3 this season, 19 percent of Washington’s minutes at 4—will start at small forward, alongside Wall, Temple, Booker and Okafor. The Grizzlies will be without All-Star Marc Gasol, and the Wizards are five-point dogs.
Memphis coach Lionel Hollins on the Wizards:
Randy Wittman on the “thing” between
John Wall and Klay Thompson in Golden State:
John Wall hit five jumpers in the first quarter—from 17, 16, 19, 11, and 13 feet; Wizards up 26-24 after one.
To be continued…