WHERE: American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas
WHEN: 7:30PM CT
HOW TO WATCH: Fox Sports Southeast/92.9 FM ESPN Memphis
MEMPHIS- Grayson Allen (Out, Left Hip); Brandon Clarke (Out, Right Quad); Jaren Jackson Jr. (Out, Left Knee); Justise Winslow (Out, Back)
DALLAS- Luka Doncic (Questionable, Thumb); Tim Hardaway Jr. (Questionable, Shoulder); Dorrian Finney-Smith (Questionable, Hip); J.J. Barrea (Questionable, Ankle) Jalen Brunson (Out, Shoulder); Dwight Powell (Out, Achilles)
MEMPHIS- Ja Morant, DeAnthony Melton, Dillon Brooks, Kyle Anderson, Jonas Valanciunas
DALLAS- Luka Doncic, Dorrian Finey-Smith, Tim Hardaway Jr., Kristaps Porzingis, Maxi Kleber
The Grizzlies are back in action tonight, and have traveled to Dallas, Texas to take on the Luka Doncic and the Mavericks. Memphis is riding a three-game winning streak, the last two being 39 and 41 point blowouts respectively. It has been led by some stout defense and offensive execution not expected from a Grizzlies team who is a bit injured. After some weak competition in these two games, they may have their hands full against this Dallas Mavericks team.
Although, it is still a question of who will be leading this team in tonight’s game. Most of their starting lineup is questionable for this one mainly led by Luka Doncic who suffered a thumb injury in their previous overtime thriller against the New Orleans Pelicans. The Mavs have been a streaky team winning last night in that impressive win but then falling in their match-up before against the Chicago Bulls. It will be interesting which Mavs team that will show up tonight and mainly if Luka Doncic will be able to battle it out against Ja Morant, two premier players in today’s game.
So far this season, these two teams have split the season series one win a piece. Ironically enough, the Grizzlies won the last contest in Dallas and the Mavs won the game in Memphis. This will hopefully bring good karma to the Grizzlies in this one. The Grizzlies will be relying again on some bench help which they have gotten during this three-game winning streak. Depending on injuries, the Grizzlies could face Dallas at just the right time. Above all else, the Grizzlies must continue to win to keep that three game lead over the other teams vying for the 8 seed.
Here is one thing to watch for in this contest:
Luka Doncic vs. Ja Morant
(Let’s hope Doncic plays, so this preview doesn’t go completely out the window)
This is the premier match-up everyone will be tuning in for in this game. Last year’s Rookie of the Year vs. this year’s probable Rookie of the Year. It is highlighting the future of the league, and the worst part is, these two have still not matched up head-to-head this season. In their first game between these two teams, Morant sat out and Doncic went on to score 24 points while grabbing 14 rebounds and dishing out 8 assists. Then, their next contest, Doncic was out and Morant scored 21 points and had 3 assists. Thus it makes sense that the team with their star player in the mix won that game.
Going into this one, it will be a bit different, again hoping Luka plays. Morant will be ready to go toe-to-toe against anyone in the league where he may not have early on in the season. The rookie is radiates with confidence, and that only shows off more when he is paired up against another superstar in the league. These two will have dazzling passes all night long that make you wonder how they see the angles they do. Every passing lane is wide open for the both of them. Throw in a Ja Morant high-flying and you have some beautiful basketball. This is what everyone is hoping for in this one.
The prediction tonight really does fall on whether Luka and their other starters are playing tonight. After a long game against New Orleans, they could look to be more likely to rest players than normal. If Luka sits, then the Grizzlies should be able go into Dallas and take this one.
A subplot will be Kristaps Porzingis. He has gotten back to his old ways as of late and could be a scary match-up for the Grizzlies. Jaren Jackson Jr. is injured so Kyle Anderson will have the task of guarding KP most of the night. Advantage should go to Porzingis, but it will be a battle
Again, if the Mavericks do not have Luka, I would take the Grizzlies. I would guess they are still underdogs, so you could get some good value on that line.
Grizzlies- 118, Mavericks- 111