Grizzlies sit four key players, three for rest, for nationally televised game

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Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger made a point of noting during his in-game interview that the Nov. 7 Memphis-Oklahoma City game was his team’s only nationally televised contest (excluding NBA TV).

But the Grizzlies actually have another chance to impress a national audience.

They play the Wizards on TNT tonight, getting optioned onto the prominent slot to to replace Knicks-Lakers.

You just won’t recognize this Memphis team.

No Marc Gasol. No Zach Randolph. No Tony Allen. No Mike Conley.

Ronald Tillery of the Commercial Appeal:

Conley’s injury is legitimate. Though he returned to last night’s loss to the Celtics, he was limping afterward and wore a boot.

But for all the Grizzlies, this is their seventh game in 10 days. That’s a brutal stretch, and Joerger is probably making the right decision to rest players. The goal is succeeding in the playoffs, not on a Thursday in March just because the game is on TNT.

Pressure is on Jeff Green to carry Memphis to a win — and maybe Joerger to explain himself, but that shouldn’t be too difficult. Gregg Popovich already set a precedent to follow.