The Washington Wizards play their second game of the 2016-17 regular season on Sunday night in Memphis with a matchup against the Grizzlies. Here is all you need to know: TV and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch…
WASHINGTON WIZARDS at MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES
Where: FedEx Forum in Memphis, TN
Tip-off: 8 p.m.
TV: CSN (coverage begins at 7:30 p.m.)
Live stream: CSNmidatlantic.com
Radio: 1500 AM
Three things to watch...
How will Wall bounce back?
The season opener last Thursday saw Wizards star John Wall make an impact in several areas of the game with 10 assists and four steals. But he had a rough outing from the field, hitting just three of his 15 shots. Wall, in fact, went 0-for-8 to begin his night against the Hawks.
Wall got to the line plenty with six makes on seven attempts, but looked rusty in other areas on offense. That was perhaps to be expected after he missed some time in training camp and preseason following his knee surgeries in May. Wall has a chance to bounce back on Sunday night in Memphis, but will have to do so against Mike Conley, one of the better defenders at the point guard position in basketball.
One of the big takeaways from the Wizards' loss to the Hawks was the rebounding margin where Washington was beat 52-40 in the category. Dwight Howard, who had 19, certainly tipped the scale himself. But bottom-line, the Wizards can't get beat on the boards by double-digits. They need others besides Marcin Gortat, who pulled in 11 vs. Atlanta, to carry their weight.
In Memphis, they encounter a team that has also struggled rebounding the ball as of late. The Wizards and Grizzlies both ranked in the bottom-five in rebounds per game and in the bottom-third of the league in rebound differential last season. Memphis has been outrebounded by a slight margin this year through two games and should give the Wizards a chance for an improved performance.
Conley and Gasol limited, Allen and Parsons hurt
Three of the Grizzlies best players are currently hampered by injuries to different degrees. Star center Marc Gasol has been playing with a minutes restriction due to a stretch of four games in five nights for Memphis and the broken foot he suffered in February. Conley played just six minutes in the first half of the Grizzlies' loss to the Knicks on Saturday night in New York, in part due to ankle and Achilles soreness. Tony Allen, their five-time All NBA Defense guard, is out with a sore right knee. And Chandler Parsons, their biggest free agent signing, is also out with a right knee injury.
Gasol and Conley will still play a factor against the Wizards, but the Grizzlies are clearly not at full strength. That should help Washington, which is already 3-1 against Memphis in the last two seasons. Wall and Bradley Beal, in particular, could take advantage of the Grizzlies' banged up backcourt.