The big story here is John Wall's absence. He's out for game three with several non-displaced fractures in his wrist after a fall in game one (a Wizards win). He missed game two, won by the Hawks, and is out again today with no clear timetable for a possible return. The Wizards are in real trouble without Wall, to wit:
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Here's how the Wizards have done in the playoffs without John Wall: <a href="http://t.co/lTR0kljuCD">pic.twitter.com/lTR0kljuCD</a></p>— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) <a href="https://twitter.com/ESPNNBA/status/597122612452597760">May 9, 2015</a></blockquote>
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The just lack any kind of offensive nous without Wall on the floor, and it's going to be a struggle for them without him.
The Hawks have struggled to shoot the ball in this series, with their starters not named DeMarre Carroll (who has been lights out) combining to shoot 36%. They need better results especially from their front court, and it would help if Jeff Teague could find his range. Still, no Wall makes the job significantly easier for the Hawks as they try to re-take home court advantage in the series as it shifts to Washington.
Can't wait. After a Warriors blowout in game one, the Grizzlies came back to get game two on the road behind the return of Mike Conley from face surgery. Such a tremendous back court match up, with the best offensive duo going against the best defensive duo in Conley and Tony Allen, who has been a terror. This has the makings of a great series, with a fantastic contrast in styles and two arenas that are going to be insane every game.
In order to win, the Grizzlies are going to have get better bench contributions, as the Warriors appear to be the deeper team. None of their three main bench guys--Beno Udrih, Vince Carter, and Jeff Green, have shot the ball well over the first two games of the series, and they will need to step up for the Grizz to be able to keep up with the Warriors, who are going to make some shots.
The Grindhouse will be nuts today, and this should be a good one. I'm really just rooting for seven games here, because this is great playoff basketball.