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Memphis Grizzlies vs. Dallas Mavericks Game Preview

It’s Game 82. That’s about it.

NBA: Dallas Mavericks at Memphis Grizzlies Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

WHO: Memphis Grizzlies (43-38, 24-16 home) vs. Dallas Mavericks (32-48, 11-29 road)

WHERE: FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee

WHEN: 7:00 PM CT

HOW TO WATCH/LISTEN: Fox Sports Southeast/92.9 FM ESPN Memphis

Injury Report:

MEMPHIS: James Ennis III (Questionable, right knee bursitis)

DALLAS: Seth Curry (Out, shoulder), Dirk Nowitzki (Out, rest)

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUPS:

MEMPHIS- Mike Conley, Tony Allen, Vince Carter, JaMychal Green, Marc Gasol

DALLAS- Yogi Ferrell, Wesley Matthews, Harrison Barnes, Dwight Powell, Nerlens Noel


We’ve played 81 games, Memphis Grizzlies fans.

One game to go.

The NBA Playoffs begin this weekend, and the Grizzlies’ sights are firmly set on the San Antonio Spurs. Head Coach David Fizdale said as much at his practice availability on Tuesday:

Fizdale was sure to clarify later on, as he wanted to make it clear he had respect for Dallas.

And can you blame Memphis? Win or lose tonight, the Grizzlies remain the seven seed. Win or lose, they are heading to San Antonio to play the mighty Spurs on either Saturday or Sunday. It’s a whale of a task, especially for a first year head coach and a team that has struggled to win consistently since the All-Star break. So, no offense to Dallas, who dressed a retired football player for Fan Appreciation night (just kidding that was pretty cool), but there are bigger fish to fry.

So this will be a shorter preview, since the starters will likely play less that 25 minutes. There will still be some things to look for, though.

Another Preseason Game

The best way to look at tonight is like a preseason game before the season starts. That is essentially what is happening, anyway - Memphis is looking to start the second season. They want to be as rested and as healthy as possible for that, while ensuring that their starters are fresh and are still able to get into and stay in a rhythm. A first half similar to the Pistons game is likely as they try to walk that line.

From there? It will probably be the last meaningful minutes players like Wade Baldwin IV, Deyonta Davis, and Jarell Martin see this season unless a blowout happens in the playoffs. How have they come along? What possibilities are there for them beyond this season? Will they put confidence in the hearts and minds of the fans who are worried about an uncertain future? Davis has shown immense potential, but beyond him the other young players have been up and down.

It would be really nice to end the season for them on an up.

The Prediction

Like a preseason game, the outcome of this season means nothing to Memphis. In fact, this game likely matters more to Dallas to lose and try to improve their lottery odds. The Mavericks had their home finale last night and may rest their own key players, like Dirk, and the Grizzlies will surely do likewise as mentioned above.

The win or loss doesn’t matter. Execution does. How the offensive and defensive flow of the starters and key rotation pieces works will be the most important thing to watch for in this game, followed closely by how the young players execute similar schemes in their last likely shot to get extended run before Summer League.

It doesn’t matter...but it would be nice to see a win in the home finale. Let’s hope for that.

Memphis 102, Dallas 97

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