In their first game, Ja Morant, Brandon Clarke, and Kristaps Porzingis were out. Then, Luka Doncic missed the second game. Now, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Clarke won’t play.
We also don’t know Luka Doncic’s injury either.
All I’m asking for is our first matchup between Ja and Luka. Please, Lord.
Anyways, I caught up with Kirk Henderson from Mavs Moneyball to ask some questions about the Grizzlies and Mavericks.
1) If Luka’s a go for tonight’s game, what are you looking forward to the most in our first Ja-Luka matchup?
If Luka plays, and that’s a key question for the rest of the season with his various injuries, I want to see what happens when they get switched on to one another.
Luka can’t guard a chair at the moment, he tries but pair an ankle injury with questionable lateral movement to begin with, and a switch on to Ja could be rough.
2) What’s been the key in Kristaps Porzingis’ hot stretch?
Confidence and a lot more motion towards the rim. He’s fairly reckless with his body for a guy with injury issues but he’s seen enough shots go down the last 10-11 games and he’s just feeling it. I’ll give you an example - on the season, he’s shooting 42% on post ups, but this last stretch he’s shooting close to 70%.
I don’t know how sustainable it is but it’s really fun to see.
3) What else (or who else) do the Mavericks need to add to become a legitimate contender over the next few years?
Wings, wings, more wings. The Mavericks have one good man to man defender in Maxi Kleber. Everyone else ranges from bad out right to guys who are best as help defenders or rim protectors. They need a number of 6’5” to 6’9” guys who can play defense and hit open shots.
So does everyone of course but when you look at the Mavs roster, they have Dorian Finney Smith, Justin Jackson, and Courtney Lee. And the latter two are not helpful.
4) From an outsider’s perceptive, what are your thoughts on the Memphis Grizzlies’ surprise season?
Wild jealousy at the fruits of the last two drafts. I know it’s stupid for me when I have Luka and KP, but Jaren Jackson Jr. was my favorite player from that draft after Luka and I’ve made statements in the past where I say I think he could be the best player in that draft. Then there’s Brandon Clarke, who I was willing to take top 3 last year, I think he’d be awesome with Porzingis. And John Konchar! Draft twitter sold on him pre-draft.
Oh and Ja, the most efficient rookie we’ve seen in...man he’s just so good.
I hate the Southwest Division. So this stretch of wins isn’t that surprising to me. The Grizzlies are good.