Wizards' guards should flourish vs. weakened Grizzlies

Wizards' guards should flourish vs. weakened Grizzlies
February 10, 2014, 7:30 pm
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Just as the Memphis Grizzlies got center Marc Gasol back from a right knee sprain after almost two months, they're now managing without their starting backcourt of Mike Conley and Tony Allen going into Tuesday's game vs. the Wizards (CSN, 8 p.m. ET). 

Conley has a been dealing with a right ankle sprain. If he's able to play but not 100%, however, he could have a tough time keeping pace with John Wall.

Allen has a ligament injury to his left (non-shooting) hand and hasn't played since Jan. 3, but his value is on the defensive side of the ball. Allen has been named to three-consecutive All-Defensive Teams and has the size, strength and length to give problems to Bradley Beal. He would appear less likely to play than Conley.

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"Mike is making good progress, so we'll see how he feels," Memphis coach Dave Joerger told reporters after losing 91-83 to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday. "They're both getting closer. I'd say they're both day-to-day." 

Instead, the Wizards (25-25) could be faced with Nick Calathes at point guard and Courtney Lee at shooting guard. In that loss to Cleveland, Calathes had six turnovers. But he can make shots. He knocked down his first six and finished 7-for-9 for a team-high 17 points.  

Because the Grizzlies (27-23) are thin at guard on their bench, Calathes and Lee are playing close to 40 minutes per game. Darius Morris, who is playing on a 10-day contract, is the relief. 

With the way Garrett Temple played in Sunday's 93-84 win vs. the Sacramento Kings, harassing Jimmer Fredette into mistakes, the Wizards have to like their chances.