Memphis Grizzlies vs Washington Wizards

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The Washington Wizards (13-19), fresh off a one-point loss to the Celtics, have opened as a one-point dog to the visiting Memphis Grizzlies (15-15). Memphis demolished Houston on Monday night 133-84, and figure to have a little momentum heading into tonight’s game.

In their win over the Rockets, the Grizzlies held Houston to just 4-of-45 three-point shooting. The Rockets shot a franchise-low 27.6%, and the 49 point margin of victory was the largest in Memphis franchise history. Justise Winslow, in just his fourth game back from injury, led the way with 20 points. Brandon Clarke added 16 points as the Grizzlies raced out to a 63-37 halftime lead and never looked back.

Washington let one slip through their fingers. With :47 left in the game, the Wizards were up 110-105. The Celtics finished the game on a 6-0 run, including two Jayson Tatum layups in the last :15. Bradley Beal scored 46 points in the loss, while Russell Westbrook added 24 points and 11 rebounds. Davis Bertans scored 20 points off the bench.

On the injury front, Memphis will be without Grayson Allen, who is currently in concussion protocol after taking an elbow to the head last Friday night. The Wizards will be without Thomas Bryant, who is lost for the season, and Ish Smith (Quad).

Grizzlies Look to Climb Above .500 With Win

Early season injuries really did a number on Memphis, but slowly and surely the Grizzlies have gotten their pieces back. Now, with the exception of Grayson Allen, Memphis is as deep as they have been all season. The addition of Justise Winslow makes the Grizzlies a little more formidable as well.

Ja Morant leads a balanced Grizzlies offense with 18.4 ppg, 3.1 rpg, and 7.2 apg. Jonas Valanciunas has averaged 15.8 ppg and 11.1 rpg, and has hit 37.0% of his three-point attempts. Dillon Brooks has averaged 15.5 ppg and 3.1 rpg, and Kyle Anderson has added 13.6 ppg, 6.2 rpg, and 3.6 apg. As a team, the Grizzlies have an effective field goal percentage of 52.5%, 20th in the league. Memphis is ninth in the league in turnover percent (12.2%), seventh in offensive rebounding percent (24.1%) and 29th in free throws per field goal attempts (.169).

Defensively, the Grizzlies are 25th in the NBA in opponent’s effective field goal percent (54.9%), first in opponent turnover percentage (14.9), ninth in defensive rebound percent (78.7%), and 15th in opponent free throws per field goal attempts (.199).

Wizards Look to Bounce Back From Loss

Like Memphis, the Wizards were adversely affected by injuries and COVID early this season. Despite losing Thomas Bryant and Ish Smith, the Wizards have righted the ship recently and have started to win some games they were not supposed to win. The confidence is high and should stay that way even with the tough loss to Boston last game.

Bradley Beal is the main reason for Washington’s recent swagger. Beal has put the team on his back and taken command of the scoring, almost single-handedly keeping his team in games. He has averaged 32.8 ppg, 5.3 rpg, and 4.9 apg. Russell Westbrook has averaged 19.7 ppg, 9.9 rpg, and 9.8 apg. Robin Lopez, who has taken on additional minutes with the loss of Thomas Bryant to injury, has averaged 8.0 ppg and 4.3 rpg. Davis Bertans has been deadly from beyond the arc, hitting 37.6% of his attempts while averaging 11.3 ppg and 6.1 rpg.

As a team, the Wizards have an effective field goal percentage of 52.2%, 23rd in the league. Washington is tenth in the league in turnover percent (12.2%), 19th in offensive rebounding percentage (21.2%), and third in free throws per field goal attempts (.204). Defensively, the Wizards are 25th in the NBA in opponent’s effective field goal percent (54.8%), 15th in opponent’s turnover percentage (12.8), 19th in defensive rebounding percentage (77.5%), and 28th in opponent’s free throws per field goal attempts (.223).

The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet
Rating:

The Wizards have been extremely hot against the spread recently, so betting against them is foolish. While Memphis has displayed tremendous balance on offense, the Wizards have put their fortunes in the very capable hands of Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook. The role players have started to play better, which makes this a dangerous team. So dangerous that I am picking them to cover in this one.

Prediction:
Washington +1

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Full-Game Total Pick
Rating:

Both defenses in this game are toward the bottom of the league in defensive efficiency. In other words, neither is really well equipped to stop either Ja Morant and Jonas Valuncianos or the combination of Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook. Expect a scorefest, which is why I am taking the OVER.

Prediction:
OVER 237.5