The Memphis Grizzlies tried to copy the San Antonio Spurs by sitting their three best players last night against the Washington Wizards. Mike Conley, Zach Randolph, and Marc Gasol each sat out of this game to “rest” up. This is the exact same occurrence that has happened a number of times with the Spurs. Head coach Gregg Popovich just randomly decides to sit his starters all the time.
Why coaches do this can be answered in many ways. The most likely answer is that they want to prove how good of a team they are by beating a team with just their reserves. A team could also rest their starters because they actually do need some time off; but these are NBA players and they have plenty of stamina and fatigue.
Last night on national television in the Nation’s Capital, David Joerger rested four of his starters against the Wizards. He looked like a genius in the beginning, as Memphis got off to a seven-point lead in the first quarter. However, a second quarter in which Washington outscored the Grizzlies by 20 paved the way for the rest of the game.
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The Wizards would hold onto their lead in the second half to beat the Grizzlies by a score of 107-87. Although it came against the reserves, this was still a big time win for Washington. They are finally getting back on track as they have now won four out of six following a six-game losing streak.
John Wall had 18 points, five rebounds, and four assists at halftime, and finished with 21, seven, and six, while only playing 30 minutes in the game due to the Wizards large lead in the second half. Marcin Gortat lead all scorers, totaling 22 points and nine rebounds.
It was nice to see the Wizards play great team basketball for the second game in a row after going through such a rough stretch in February. Regardless of who participated in the game or not, they played an awesome game, and hopefully this is a sign of things to come.
Four of the five Wizards starters scored 13 points or more. The only one that didn’t was Bradley Beal who scored nine points and only played 27 minutes in the game. He is slowly progressing from his injury, but has struggled to get back to full strength. Hopefully he will be fully healthy by the time playoffs come around.
The Wizards are getting back on track and they are doing so at a good time as we reach the final 20 games of the 2015 NBA regular season.