This will be the first time that these two teams play one another this season in what will be a two game series, the Wizards are looking good with a healthy Gortat back in the lineup and point guard John Wall cutting through defenses like a knife. The Grizzlies have recently acquired Tayshaun Prince who they hope will bring a scoring spark to this struggling team. Memphis cannot survive at this level with only Gasol, they need more contributors on a night to night basis if they want to get back to their power house days atop the western conference.
The Wizards are at .500 in their win/loss column on the road, witch for this team is actually a confidence booster, they have the chance over these next few days to go into the all-star break with a winning record, something that has not happened in the last 8 years. Ariza and Gortat are the key players in this one, the perimeter shooting has to fall while the post up defense and rebounding will be very necessary if this Washington teams wants to go into their break on a high note. Clock management and movement will really make the difference between having to catch up or maintaining a lead.
Memphis over the last two season have gotten really old, their key players from their runs in 08 and 09 are slower and cannot take the amount of full time offensive pressure their bodies are being submitted too but on the other hand their bench is not stepping up and they acquire players who are in their last few seasons, not something that is going to help them now. For this game I see the Grizzlies moving the ball to the post looking for the cutting guard or an off the glass shot as they look for the rebound and play it more by feel, either way they have to score the ball in order to win this game.
Washington has played very well against big time teams with good inside defense and I don’t expect this one to differ, the Wizards win this game on the road by 8+ points and the total will surpass the 196 mark.