Wed, Mar 10, 2021
By Jim Vassallo (Veri.bet Writer)
The Washington Wizards are on the outside looking in at the Eastern Conference playoff picture right now but have gone 7-3 in their last 10 games played to put themselves in a position to strike.
The Memphis Grizzlies are just 5-5 in their last 10 contests but are just one game out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference as the second half of the NBA season begins tonight.
The Wizards (14-20, 7-10 on the road) and the Grizzlies (16-16, 7-11 at home) are slated to tip things off on Wednesday, March 10, at 8 pm ET. Memphis is the -3.5 favorite to take home a victory at the FedExForum.
Washington sits just three games out of first in the Southeast Division, with a division title as their best chance at getting to the playoffs. The Wizards would have to jump three teams to move into first place in the Southeast, but there’s still plenty of time left in the season for that to happen.
In their final game before the All-Star break, the Wizards narrowly escaped with a win against the Los Angeles Clippers, 119-117. Bradley Beal led the way with 33 points in the victory. Beal leads the team in scoring, averaging 32.9 points per game. Russell Westbrook has been dishing out 9.8 assists per game.
The win over the Clippers snapped a brief, two-game slide after winning seven of their previous eight games.
The Grizzlies might also require a division title to reach the playoffs this year and it’s not far-fetched in such a tight Southwest race. The Grizzlies are in third place, just two games out of first and one game out of second.
Memphis suffered a heartbreaking 112-111 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks in their final game before the break. The Bucks Jrue Holiday hit a jumper from the baseline with just two seconds left on the clock in regulation to give Milwaukee the thrilling victory over Memphis.
The Grizzlies are paced by Ja Morant’s 19.8 points per game and 7.7 assists per game this season. He has started to come into his own of late, which Memphis will need down the stretch playing for a playoff spot.
Memphis won the first of two meetings with Washington 125-111. Morant poured in a game-high 35 points to lead the Grizzlies to victory. Dillon Brooks and De’Anthony Melton each contributed 20 points in the winning effort.
Westbrook poured in 23 to lead the Wizards but committed eight of the team’s 22 turnovers in the loss. Beal also tallied 23 points and Robin Lopez dropped 14. In order for Washington to be victorious tonight, the Wizards will need to limit the turnovers and prevent Morant from having another easy outing.
If you plan on placing a bet tonight, the Wizards and Grizzlies should provide an exciting matchup even for the novice fan. Take Memphis at home with the -150 money line as the Grizzlies take the second and final meeting between the teams in the regular season.