WHERE: FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee
WHEN: 7:00 PM CT
HOW TO WATCH: Fox Sports Southeast/ 92.9 FM ESPN Memphis
MEMPHIS- Mike Conley (Out, Left Achilles), Wayne Selden (Out, Right Quad) Brandan Wright (Out, Right Groin), Ivan Rabb (Out, Concussion)
DALLAS- Seth Curry (Out, Leg) Dorian Finney-Smith (Out, Knee) Josh McRoberts (Out, Leg)
MEMPHIS- Mario Chalmers, Dillon Brooks, Chandler Parsons, JaMychal Green, Marc Gasol
DALLAS- Dennis Smith Jr., Wesley Matthews, Harrison Barnes, Max Kleber, Dirk Nowitzki
The Grizzlies are back in action Wednesday night against the Dallas Mavericks. These two teams have split their earlier two matchups this year. Memphis has been struggling as of late looking all out of sorts losing 5 straight and 8 of the last 10. After a fantastic start to the season, the boat has begun to take on water. This game is very close to a must-win for Memphis.
Dallas is the worst team in the league with a 3-15 record. The narrative will once again be the same: The Grizzlies have to start winning these games against the sub .500 opponents. As we all know, as of late this team has had mental lapses against subpar competition causing them to lose winnable games. Wednesday night will be a great chance to change all that.
This Mavericks team will be coming off a brutal home loss to the Boston Celtics. Dallas had a chance to end the 15-game winning streak, but they choked it up down the stretch falling in overtime. With this in mind, the Grizzlies need to come out hot to smother their hopes of a bounce-back win. Memphis desperately needs this win, but as GBB’s site manager, Joe Mullinax, wrote we can not stop believing in the Memphis Grizzlies.
Here are two things to note before tonight’s matchup:
Shorter, Reliable Rotations
One consistent point about the Grizzlies season thus far has been how deep Coach Fizdale has gone into his bench. Fizdale has never had a consistent eight or nine guys rolled out there on game by game basis. Across the league, there are many instances of coaches sticking with the same rotation night in, night out. It may be time for Fizdale to do this.
In Monday night’s game against Portland, eleven Grizzlies saw the court. Three of these players (Andrew Harrison, Jarrell Martin, and James Ennis III) played 20 minutes combined and totaled a whopping 0 points and 1 rebound. Those were 20 crucial minutes that other players could have seen that would have been more productive than what resulted from these three.
Now, as we know, Ennis can contribute to this team. He is not the issue. However, Martin and Harrison should not be getting important minutes on this team. Fizdale needs to cut down on his lineups with Harrison-Martin-Davis-Chalmers-Brooks/Ennis, it just hurts any chance the Grizzlies have.
Shortening to an 8-9 man rotation would be something to think about for the Grizzlies coaching staff. With Conley and Wright hurt, it shouldn’t mean that he needs to dig deeper into bench. Instead, he should stick to a shorter, reliable rotation that he can count on to win games.
Chandler Parsons has come to play
As I have stated multiple times, I have been a major critic of Chandler Parsons and his stint in Memphis. However, this year it is worth mentioning whenever possible how good he has been so far. Parsons’s offensive rating ranks 16th in the whole league of players who have played 15+ minutes per game. On top of that, his three-point percentage of 51.1% also ranks in the top 3 of the league. Parson has switched a gear this season with a new shooting stroke and has been a top Grizzly on the roster this season. He needs to feast now that he is inserted in the starting lineup. Wednesday night he will face up against Harrison Barnes.
My prediction is that the Grizzlies will win this one, but not after a little worry. The Mavericks always play the Grizzlies tough and I believe it will happen again tonight. Without Conley, there is a glaring hole of offensive of production. As we say every time, someone will need to step up and take the lead. The Mavericks are a team if you can get up early then you can handle the game. The effort needs to roll it back to the beginning of the season and get a full team win for this one.
Spread: Grizzlies -5.5 Take the Grizzlies on this one. Memphis plays well at home and are due for a big win. They know this is a game they have to win.
Memphis- 105, Dallas 94
All Stats are provided by NBA.com