[D.C. Council: setting the scene, rating the starters, assessing the subs, providing the analysis, and catching anything that you may have missed. Unlike the real DC Council, everything here is on the table. Game No. 70, Washington Wizards vs Memphis Grizzlies; contributors: Adam McGinnis and Kyle Weidie from the Verizon Center and Conor Dirks via television broadcast.]
John Wall. Even after Wall dropped 10 points on five jumpers in the first quarter, no one expected a career-high 47. Not against the defensive-minded Grizzlies. Not with Tony Allen on the case. But the points continued, 17 coming in the fourth quarter as the Wiz outscored the Griz by 11 to take the win. Also impressive: Wall’s eight assists and seven rebounds to just two turnovers.
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).
[D.C. Council: setting the scene, rating the starters, assessing the subs, providing the analysis, and catching anything that you may have missed. Unlike the real DC Council, everything here is on the table. Game No. 45, Washington Wizards at Memphis Grizzlies; contributors: Rashad Mobley, Adam Rubin and Kyle Weidie from the comfort of their own homes.]
With 1:37 left and the Wizards down 80-72, Memphis having just gotten an offensive rebound, Comcast went black. Only poor audio was available. What we heard: John Wall missing a close layup and Tayshaun Prince making a subsequent jumper to put the Grizzlies up 10, the first time the margin reached double-digits all game. But no, Buckhantz didn’t say “backbreaker”—he knew it was already over. The broadcast returned as Martell Webster hit a layup with a minute left to bring the Wizards within eight, and then the Wizards cut it to six with 34 seconds left. But that’s all they had.
For the second consecutive game, the Wizards offense looked completed neutered. After scoring 30 points on 61.9-percent shooting in the first quarter, the Wizards shot 21-percent in the second quarter and scored just 10 points. There wasn’t one player Washington could rely on for a basket. John Wall, even before he sprained his left shoulder, could neither run the offense effectively, nor break down Mike Conley off the dribble and cause havoc in the lane. Either Bradley Beal is the true MVP of the Wiz, or Randy Wittman is losing his team.
The Wizards are in Tennessee tonight to take on the Memphis Grizzlies, their fifth consecutive game on the road. While Zach Randolph is back in action for the Grizzlies after suffering an MCL injury earlier this year, the Wizards are still without the services of their most recent acquisition, forward/center Nene, who is scheduled to make his official debut in New Jersey this coming Wednesday. Both Washington and Memphis have lost three of their last four games, but with the Memphis still fighting for a playoff spot, expect a focused Grizzlies team to make things difficult for the Wizards at FedEx Forum.For tonight’s 3-on-3 we have Josh Coleman (@3SOB) and Chip Crain (@chipc3) from the TrueHoop Grizzlies blog, 3 Shades of Blue, along with TAI’s John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend). Let’s get into it… Three questions, three answers starts now:
#1) The Sunday night Wizards-Grizzlies showdown features an intriguing match-up between John Wall, the second year guard averaging 17 points, just under eight assists and about four turnovers per game, and Mike Conley, the league leader in steals at 2.55 per game. Which guard do you like and why?
This theme would also rear it’s inconsistent head in the fourth quarter, as my Truth About It colleague, John Townsend beautifully broke down. Even though Kirk Hinrich and Gilbert Arenas were having excellent shooting nights, McGee tried to take the ball to the hoop (via the dribble), was picked by Zach Randolph (not exactly a quick handed, nimble fellow), and Mike Conley picked up the ball and dashed full speed toward his basket. Luckily for the Wizards, McGee was able to zoom from one end of the court to the other and block Conley’s shot, immediately exonerating himself from his earlier sin. Substance and style in less than 30 seconds.
The Wiz-Grizz ‘Play of the Game’
comes courtesy of JaVale McGee.
The Washington Wizards found themselves ahead of the Memphis Grizzlies 82-79 with just over three minutes left in the fourth quarter.
The Wizards were on the offensive, but on this particular occasion, they faced a defense playing with a little more attitude. As the shot clock winded wound down — the Wiz just couldn’t find a good look at the basket — the ball found its way into the hands of JaVale McGee. About 20 feet from the basket. Passing the ball back to PG Kirk Hinrich (1) would have been too easy … so with about six seconds left on the shot clock, McGee decided it was “go time.”
McGee (5) tried to lose Zach Randolph (x4) with a hard crossover and a spin move. Z-Bo wouldn’t stand for this and punched the ball out. Mike “Million Dollar Man” Conley (x1) collected the loose ball and took off on the break.
I’ve recently taken to shooting some pictures of early pre-game warm-ups for both the Wizards and their opponent. As I arrived to the court last night, I saw the Wizards’ new guys going through various drills with assistant coach Wes Unseld, Jr. A couple shots of newcomer Mike Harris were a priority, so I did so. But then I glanced to the big man drills on the other end … them dudes were big. And Baby Head Zach Randolph wasn’t even present.
Marc Gasol, Hamaed Haddadi and Hasheem Thabeet out-weight the trio of JaVale McGee, Andray Blatche and James Singleton by 67 points.
Note:I’m got player weight info from each team’s official NBA.com rosters, but I’m skeptical that McGee weighs 252, a listed four more pounds than Blatche and the “heaviest” guy on the Wizards.