WHEN: 7:30 PM CT
WHERE: American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
HOW TO WATCH/LISTEN: Bally Sports Southeast/92.9 FM ESPN Memphis
MEMPHIS: Dillon Brooks (Questionable, left thigh soreness), Ziaire Williams (Out, right knee soreness) Jaren Jackson Jr. (Out, foot surgery recovery), Danny Green (Out, knee surgery recovery)
Dallas: Frank Ntilikina (Out, ankle), Davis Bertans (Out, knee)
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUPS:
MEMPHIS: Ja Morant, Desmond Bane, John Konchar, Santi Aldama, Steven Adams
Dallas: Luka Doncic, Spencer Dinwiddie, Reggie Bullock, Dorian Finney-Smith, JaVale McGee
Coming off of a crazy win against the Houston Rockets last night, the Memphis Grizzlies face off with a very familiar Southwest division opponent in the Dallas Mavericks. Dallas is looking for their first win of the season after falling to the Phoenix Suns on opening night. Furthermore, they have a bit of momentum on their side against Memphis, as the Mavericks have won three straight regular season contests against the Grizzlies and have had time to rest up since Wednesday.
The Grizzlies could be getting a key cog back as Grizzlies Head Coach Taylor Jenkins mentioned before last night’s game that they were easing Dillon Brooks back. Saying that they were going to ease him back into back-to-backs. Make what you want out of that statement, but all signs point to Brooks returning to the Grizzlies lineup tonight in Dallas.
The Grizzlies are 2-0, and on the second night of a back-to-back against a very good Mavericks team, how do the Grizzlies continue rolling?
Rebounding & Controlling Tempo:
I was going to separate these two huge categories that Memphis needs to capitalize in tonight, however, they go hand in hand. The Grizzlies will need to rebound by committee once again on Saturday night if they want to continue their winning streak.
Grizzlies big man Steven Adams has had quite the help on the boards over Memphis first two regular season games. Out rebounding their opponents 114-99 in their first two games combined. Rebounds that lead to second chance points, and getting out in transition off of opponents missed shots - areas that the Grizzlies thrive in.
The Mavericks out rebounded the Suns 52-49 in their loss Thursday night. Hopefully the Grizzlies can continue to make things gritty on the boards, as this will play a huge role in a win or loss tonight.
Working inside & then out:
The Grizzlies work their best when they are attacking the paint. Establishing their presence in the paint, and opening up their shooters off the drive works best for the Grizzlies. The Grizzlies will see two really good Centers in JaVale McGee and Christian Wood tonight for the Mavericks.
See if someone outside of Ja Morant can get to the rim, and establish that presence, which will open shooters up off the drive for the Grizzlies.
Shooters finding a rhythm:
The Grizzlies shooters will need to find their rhythm on Saturday night more than anything. The Mavericks have talented wing defenders that have length. Length that always causes the Grizzlies issues in their matchups. Dorian Finney-Smith and Reggie Bullock are the two guys I'm referencing here, so getting open won’t be easy for Memphis.
It will have to be a combination of all three of these keys to get open shots, and escape Dallas with a victory tonight.
Just going off of where these two teams stand right now, it’s going to be a tough one for Memphis. Coming off of a back-to-back, Dillon Brooks possibly returning, and the Mavericks having a day off following a bitter loss.
The first back-to-back of the season is always tough to gauge. Looking at Morant’s stat line, you could say he’s exhausted, but he only tallied 31 minutes. Morant should be ready for the task at hand. I do think this is the game Desmond Bane gets it going from beyond the arch. Bane has struggled through his first two games of the season, but this is a great opportunity for the two guard to get back on track.
Mavericks are a five point favorite which, I’d take if I were you. These teams simply don’t play in close games, and I think Memphis’ fatigue catches up with them late in tonight’s contest. The over/under hasn’t been released yet, but these two teams don’t put up a lot of points when playing one another either.
Memphis 98, Dallas 105
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