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Memphis Grizzlies vs. Dallas Mavericks

WHO: Memphis Grizzlies (Three-Zero, 1-Zero highway) vs. Dallas Mavericks (Zero-Four, Zero-Three residence)
WHEN: 8:30 PM ET
WHERE: American Airways Middle in Dallas, Texas

Memphis- JaMychal Inexperienced (Out- Ankle), Wayne Selden Jr. (Uncertain- Quad), Ben McLemore (Out- Foot)
Dallas- Devin Harris (Questionable- Private), Seth Curry (Out- Leg), Josh McRoberts(Out- Knee)
MEMPHIS Mike ConleyAndrew HarrisonJames Ennis IIIJarell MartinMarc Gasol
DALLAS Yogi FerrellDennis Smith Jr.Wesley MatthewsHarrison BarnesDirk Nowitzki

That is extra enjoyable than we thought it might be, proper?
Even essentially the most optimistic of Grizzlies followers most likely wouldn’t have imagined Memphis could be sitting at Three-Zero heading into this residence and residential back-to-back in opposition to the Dallas Mavericks. With the New Orleans Pelicans, Golden State Warriors, and Houston Rockets all on the schedule to start the 2017-2018 marketing campaign, 2-1 gave the impression to be the practical, if not hopeful, aim.
And but, right here we're.
Led by a dominant Marc Gasol, well timed Mike Conley contributions, and a workforce protection that seems to be far forward of the place most thought it might be at this stage, Memphis is presently among the many better of the Western Convention. The opposite two western undefeateds - the Clippersand Spurs - had been anticipated by most to be playoff groups (L.A.) or within the combine to contend (San Antonio). Numerous preseason prognostications had the Grizzlies falling out of this degree of competitors...
Up to now, they’re incorrect.
However video games like tonight and tomorrow evening are ones that can matter extra in April than folks notice. As nice because the begin to this season has been, there shall be down instances over the span of an extended, 82-game run. Memphis must rack up as many early wins as doable. In opposition to a Dallas workforce on the other finish of the convention rankings, the Grizzlies hopefully make it a precedence to buck the development of previous squads and never play right down to the extent of their competitors.
In the event that they do, it is going to be a tricky center of Texas Week. Listed here are some issues to observe for tonight.

Coping with Small Ball

Dirk Nowitzki began at heart in Dallas’ final recreation in opposition to the Golden State Warriors. He began the sport there as nicely on Opening Night time, however between that recreation and this two-game sequence with the Grizzlies, Dirk and his Mavericks have used a number of completely different beginning lineups. A part of that has to do with well being, whereas certainly one other piece to that has to contain the truth that Mavs coach Rick Carlisle isn’t fairly certain what he has on this Dallas roster. Dirk is the fixed, and Harrison Barnes is a key cog within the Dallas machine shifting ahead, as is rookie Dennis Smith Jr.
From there? Issues are up within the air. Nerlens Noel, the topic of free company drama this previous offseason, has been coming off the bench as a rule because the Mavericks attempt to get as a lot capturing and athleticism on the ground as doable whereas nonetheless beginning the elder statesman Dirk. This might turn out to be useful for Memphis, particularly with Marc Gasol enjoying in addition to he has been the previous two video games. Dirk has by no means been generally known as a dominant defender, however at this stage of his profession he can't cling with Gasol. Neither can Barnes within the publish.
Relying on Carlisle’s changes to the lineup, it may very well be an excellent evening for Marc.
A significant cause the Grizzlies protection is so forward of the place so many thought it might be is the tradition that has been established in Memphis. That is the long-term “Grit and Grind” mentality of arduous work and energy on that finish of the ground that has been ingrained in gamers like Conley and Gasol, but in addition David Fizdale’s extra short-term imaginative and prescient and scheme at work. Combining the switching and motion of Fizdale’s defensive calls with the blue-collar work ethic that has turn out to be a calling card of the Grizzlies, and you've got a protection that presently ranks sixth within the NBA in effectivity at 96.7 factors per 100 possessions.
The gamers are expert as nicely, after all. The athleticism and size that the Grizzlies dedicated to emphasizing this offseason is paying off early. However because the season continues on, for Memphis to take care of their standing as an elite workforce on the defensive finish of the ground they need to stay dedicated to what has gotten them right here. Execution of scheme and full effort has to remain on the forefront, because the defensive aspect of the sport feeds these Grizzlies on the offensive finish as nicely.
The extra issues change, the extra they keep the identical.

The Prediction

Keep in mind, this serves because the preview for each video games, as there shall be no new preview for the sport Thursday evening in Memphis. The Grizzlies will want Mike Conley to be extra current offensively your complete recreation for Memphis to drag out a victory. In addition they shall be relying on that bench, because the first back-to-back of the season for the Grizzlies most likely means Coach Fizdale monitoring minutes greater than possibly he often would.
These are video games that Memphis ought to win. However historical past tells us that it's arduous to brush a again to again in opposition to the identical workforce - the Grizzlies weren’t capable of do it in opposition to the Cavaliers final season, or in opposition to the Miami Warmth (though that residence and residential had a day without work in between). These Grizzlies even have had a historical past of permitting for lesser groups to hold round with them. This Mavericks workforce isn’t nearly as good because the Cavs, or possibly even that Warmth squad from a 12 months in the past. They nonetheless have shooters who can get scorching, although, in addition to Carlisle, who stays one of many easiest coaches the NBA has to supply.
Memphis ought to win each in opposition to the Mavs...and that would be the prediction right here. However don't be stunned if the Grizzlies slip in considered one of these contests, with the probably candidate being tonight.
GAME ONE PREDICTION- Memphis 105, Dallas 101
GAME TWO PREDICTION- Memphis 108, Dallas 95

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