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- The Grizzlies will again be without point guard Mike Conley (sprained right ankle) and guard Tony Allen (sprained left wrist).
- Grizzlies center Marc Gasol has scored just eight points in each of the last two games. In those games, he has made just 7 of 15 shots (.280). Coach Dave Joerger said his center still isn’t fully recovered from his MCL strain he suffered earlier in the season that forced him to miss 23 games. Fortunately, the NBA All-Star break will give him a few days of rest. “I don’t know that it’s going to heal over five or six days,” Joerger said. “I don’t think he’s ever worn a knee brace. It’s very restricting. I think it’s been difficult for him to find the mobility that he’s looking for.”
- The Wizards come to FedExForum having won three of their last five games. Two of those wins were against Oklahoma City and Portland. The Grizzlies will have their hands full defensively as all five starters for Washington are averaging in double figures, led by first-time NBA All Star John Wall (20.1 ppg, 8.5 apg). While Washington coach Randy Wittman wants to make sure his team gets out and plays uptempo, he also is concerned about his team stopping the Grizzlies’ front line of Gasol and Zach Randolph. “We’re going to have to defend the post,” Wittman said. ‘That’s going to be very important, establishing ourselves and trying to get them off their spots. You don’t let them catch the ball in their comfort zones.”
– Marlon W. Morgan