Memphis Grizzlies at Washington Wizards (-1, 185 o/u)
After losing six in a row, John Wall and the Washington Wizards (36-28, 22-10 home) look to be turning a corner. The team has won three of its last five and scored an impressive 95-69 win over Charlotte on Monday, the fewest points allowed by the Wizards this season.
Indeed, defense has been key to the modest turnaround, with Washington surrendering 89.8 PPG over the last five, versus 100.2 PPG during a 13-game stretch in which the team lost 11 games.
“We just want to get back to winning,” said Wall. “We’ve had so many games lately, and haven’t been ourselves. We just wanted to come out and play the right way. We only have 18 games left. We want to try to get back to playing the way we played early in the season.”
17 turnovers. The Washington defense not only shut-down Charlotte’s O on Monday, but it also led to a number of transition buckets for the Wizards, who scored 20 fast-break points.
“John [Wall]got us off to a great start in the first quarter with his pace, but that was all attributed to getting stops,” said Wizards head coach Randy Wittman. “John can’t get out and run if we don’t get stops and rebounds. We just needed a win. We needed to play like this and win.”
Tonight, the Wizards host the Memphis Grizzlies (45-19, 21-12 away), who have been in an offensive slump of late, scoring only 92.5 PPG (after averaging 100.8 PPG on the season). Take for instance the Grizzlies’ 95-92 loss last night at Boston. Not only did Memphis shoot 47.4 percent but it turned the ball over 21 times.
“We came out and we walked around,” said Grizzlies head coach Dave Joerger. “We were casual and it happens over and over and over, and we haven’t learned our lesson.”
Memphis’ scoring woes have led to five losses in the last nine and allowed the Houston Rockets to climb within two games of the Southwest Division lead.
The Grizzlies are one-point road dogs for tonight’s game and the o/u is at a low 185.
Considering the Wizards are 1-9 ATS in their last ten games, the play here is Memphis (+1).
(Photo credit: Keith Allison (originally posted to Flickr as John Wall) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo has been cropped.)