By: Marc Cashion, who can be found on twitter: @MarkwithaC03
The Dallas Mavericks (28-21) take on the Memphis Grizzlies (26-21) Wednesday, February 5th at 7 PM CT. With a win, the Mavs will find themselves 2 games up on the 9th place Grizz. The Grizzlies will be playing without their leading scorer Michael Conley, who has averaged 18 points per game this year.
Memphis’s hot streak: The Grizzlies host the Mavs having won eleven out of their thirteen previous games. Their only two loses being to the New Orleans Pelicans by just 3 points and to the Western Conference front-runner Oklahoma City Thunder. With Marc Gasol back from injury Memphis has been beating teams in typical Grizzly fashion with great defense and good half court offense.
Will the Grizzlies score enough?: The high scoring Mavs go into Memphis only having to deal with a team averaging 95.5 points per game giving them a lackluster 25th scoring offense in the NBA. With the Mavs averaging 104.6 points per game it will be interesting finding out if the Grizzlies can score enough. In fact, the Grizzlies haven’t scored 100 points in the last eleven games.
Injuries an Issue: The Mavs have missed Shawn Marion being out with a nagging shoulder injury and in return have had to give increased minutes to Jae Crowder and Wayne Ellington. This loss doesn’t amount too much when you look at what the Grizzlies are missing without Michael Conley. Earlier in the year the Grizzlies traded their only other point guard Jerryd Bayless to the Boston Celtics for Courtney Lee. Although Lee has produced for the Grizzlies they are now left without a true point guard until Conley returns. Tony Allen hasn’t played since January 3rd ,so Monta Ellis will have a little more breathing run than usual.
Which Dalembert will we see? It should anger all Mavs fans when we see exactly what we have been waiting for from Samuel Dalembert. He hadn’t reached double digits since January 15 until last game when he had 18 points to go along with 8 rebounds against the Cleveland Cavaliers. With Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph inside, Coach Carlisle is going to need Dalembert to be what they expected from him when they signed him, an ANCHOR.
Dirk again shined in limited minutes against the Cavs on Monday. The Mavs will need him to continue against the Grizzlies. Devin Harris has showed us he’s back. Over the past four games his production has increased and he is playing a huge role off the Mavs bench. Monta Ellis had struggled early with Harris in the lineup, but both seem to be on the right track heading in to Memphis.
Leading into this game the Mavs lead the season series 2-0 and have clinched the tie breaker. A win though creates breathing room for the Mavs as they try to stay within the top 8 in the West.