Washington Wizards Game Previews: October 24 - October 30

Washington Wizards game previews between October 24 and October 30, including games against: Atlanta Hawks, Memphis Grizzlies.

Washington Wizards game previews between October 24 and October 30, including games against: Atlanta Hawks, Memphis Grizzlies.

Atlanta Hawks

Thursday, 27 October 2016 at 07:30 PM ET Away

After being locked out of last season's playoffs, the Washington Wizards begin their quest for redemption against the Atlanta Hawks. Though Atlanta has a new-look roster, the competitive parity should remain between the heated Southeast Division rivals.

Amid a frenzied summer of moves, the Hawks organization replaced All-Stars Jeff Teague and Al Horford with incumbent PG Dennis Schroder and Atlanta-native Dwight Howard. Both Howard and Schroder present an entirely different look to the Hawks' starting five.

Meanwhile, the Wizards' starting core remains intact. However, Washington bolstered its bench firepower by signing Ian Mahinmi and Jason Smith while trading for backup PG Trey Burke. Even as the 41-41 Wizards improved, their most significant move was re-signing Bradley Beal. At 23, Beal was maxed out to the tune of $127 million over five years.

Each team marches into Thursday's opener minus a key frontline contributor. Washington will be without Center Ian Mahinmi, while Atlanta's Tiago Splitter is sidelined.

  • Atlanta Hawks Probable Starting Lineup
  • PG: Dennis Schroder
  • SG: Kyle Korver
  • SF: Kent Bazemore
  • PF: Paul Millsap
  • C:   Dwight Howard
  • Washington Wizards Probable Starting Lineup
  • PG: John Wall
  • SG: Bradley Beal
  • SF:  Otto Porter Jr.
  • PF:  Markieff Morris
  • C:    Marcin Gortat

Washington Wizards Keys To Victory:

  • Limit Millsap/Howard on the glass
  • Pressure Atlanta's inexperienced PG rotation
  • Make Korver put the ball on the floor

The Wizards split their competitive season series with Atlanta in 2015-16. Although, in a passionate season-ending encounter, Washington crushed Atlanta's bid for consecutive Southeast Division titles, 109-98. 

As Washington seeks atonement, the Hawks will have an eye on revenge. 

Memphis Grizzlies

Sunday, 30 October 2016 at 07:00 PM ET Away

Over the weekend, Washington faces another road challenge when visiting the tentatively rebuilt Memphis Grizzlies. Memphis spent significant money during the offseason: signing Mike Conley ($153 million, five years) to the richest contract in NBA history while maxing free-agent forward Chandler Parsons ($94 million, four years).

Unfortunately for the Grizzlies, injuries still define a roster that was decimated by malady last season. As of this writing, key Memphis contributors Brandon Wright, Tony Allen, and Chandler Parsons are questionable to appear in the Grizzlies' season opener vs. Minnesota. 

Last season, Washington and Memphis each boasted a home victory over the other. In a competitive point guard battle, John Wall and Mike Conley led their collective unit's victorious charge. This season, a deeper Wizards' grouping looks superior on paper. However, a 48-minute "grit-and-grind" affair will ultimately decide which unit is of higher ilk.

Probable Starting Lineups For Washington and Memphis

  • Memphis Grizzlies Probable Starting Lineup
  • PG: Mike Conley
  • SG: Tony Allen
  • SF:  Parsons/Vince Carter
  • PF:  JaMychal Green
  • C:    Marc Gasol
  • Washington Wizards Probable Starting Lineup
  • PG: John Wall
  • SG: Bradley Beal
  • SF: Otto Porter Jr.
  • PF: Markieff Morris
  • C:  Marcin Gortat

Washington Wizards Keys To Victory:

  • Ice Conley on the pick-and-roll
  • Play with tempo
  • Get Beal going

Though the back-end of season-opening road contests, Washington will enter the grindhouse with two days rest. Furthermore, the Wizards should have an added spring in their step knowing they'll play five of their next six contests at home. As earlier mentioned, the Wizards' depth and backcourt quality should prove too much for an aging, banged up Memphis iteration to handle.

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