Wizards vs. Grizzlies Preview & Prediction

The fight for playoff positioning heats up on Saturday night, as the Memphis Grizzlies look to reclaim a share of the West’s No. 2 seed with a win over the visiting Washington Wizards, who are trying to move up from the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference.

Projected Starting Lineups

Washington Wizards (43-33)

G John Wall – 17.5 ppg, 10.0 apg

G Bradley Beal – 14.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg

F Paul Pierce – 12.2 ppg, 4.0 rpg

F Nene – 11.0 ppg, 5.1 rpg

C Marcin Gortat – 12.0 ppg, 8.7 rpg

Memphis Grizzlies (52-24)

G Mike Conley - 15.9 ppg, 5.3 apg

G Courtney Lee – 10.1 ppg, 2.3 rpg

F Jeff Green - 13.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg

F Zach Randolph - 16.3 ppg, 10.6 rpg

C Marc Gasol – 17.6 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 3.8 apg

What to watch for:

Can Washington's backcourt penetrate Memphis' defense?

Memphis draws their success from the defense, ranking second in the league in points allowed per game (95.4). Their strength is their interior defense, but Washington's guards have the quickness to get past the Grizzlies on the perimeter. If John Wall and Bradley Beal can get into the paint and consistently make plays for themselves or their teammates, the Wizards could pull out the win.

Prediction: Wizards win 99-93

Both teams are trying to get some momentum going heading into the postseason, but Washington is able to get the win because of their backcourt's ability to control the game.

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