Mavericks at Grizzlies Preview: The Dallas Mavericks will travel to Memphis to take on the Grizzlies at FedExForum. Dallas is sitting in seventh place and the Mavericks are in eighth place. Both teams are in the play-in tournament seeds and are looking for a spot in the top 6 playoff spots.
Inside the Grizzlies
The Grizzlies have had a wild season thus far. They have dealt with many injuries throughout the season but have continued to fight and are sitting in eighth in the Western Conference. Ja Morant continues to be a star playmaker in the NBA.
The former ‘Rookie of the Year’ is averaging 18.9 points per game, 3.5 rebounds, and 7.4 assists per game. Memphis has a relatively easy schedule throughout the rest of the regular season but they have struggled with consistency.
Their four-game win streak was ended by the New York Knicks after losing by only four points in overtime. The Grizzlies defense is what is keeping them in the top 8. Their defensive rating ranks seventh in the league.
Jonas Valanciunas is currently the key player for Memphis. He may not rank first in points but as a whole his production is great.
He is ranked third in rebounding with 12.7 rebounds a game and is averaging a double-double this season. Jonas is not too far behind Morant averaging 17 points per game.
Inside the Mavericks
The Dallas Mavericks also have a fairly easy schedule for the rest of the regular season. Even though they have some easy teams to face the Mavericks have given up the lead to worse teams too many times this year.
Dallas has lost three of their last four games with one of those losses being to the Rockets. Point guard Luka Doncic spoke up about what he and his team want going forward and how he doesn’t understand the play-in tournament style.
Doncic said: “Obviously, we will try to be the 6th seed. I don’t understand the idea of a play-in (tournament); you play 72 games to get in the playoffs and maybe you lose 2 (games) in a row and you’re not in the playoffs. I don’t see the point of that.
But we are just trying here to get the 6th spot, and I think that’s our goal now… Maybe even more than the 6th spot.”
Kristaps Porzingis has done very well in the games he has played this season. He did not play against the 76ers but is expected to suit up and play the Grizzlies.
JJ Redick made his Dallas debut in their last game after he recovered from a heel injury. As always Doncic has been amazing this season.
He is averaging 28.6 points per game, 8.0 rebounds, and 8.6 assists per game. Doncic is looking unstoppable as he leads his team in minutes played, points, assists, rebounds, steals, and PER. He is the definition of clutch as we have seen in the past and will see in the future.
- Luka Doncic (PG), Josh Richardson (SG), Dorian Finney-Smith (SF), Maxi Kleber (PF), Kristaps Porzingis (C).
Both teams are almost evenly matched on paper but the Mavericks are the better team. Memphis is also missing Justice Winsloe and others and may not be able to keep up with Dallas. If I were a betting man I would put my money on the Mavericks.