Dallas Mavericks: MLK Day Q&A


Sun Tzu stressed the importance of knowing one’s enemy in The Art of War. So I got together with Ken Newhouse over at The Beale Street Bears to find out a little more about the Memphis Grizzlies in anticipation of the MLK Day matchup.

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Dec 9, 2014; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol (33) backs in against Dallas Mavericks center Tyson Chandler (6) during the second half at FedExForum. Memphis defeated Dallas 114-105. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

1.) Memphis had averaged fewer than 100 points per game in the four seasons prior to this one. They’re averaging nearly six more points per game this season than last. What has been the reason for the uptick in offensive production?

“The uptick in the Grizzlies’ offense has been a shock to everyone. The increase in production from Marc Gasol has been the main contributor to that.  Coach Dave Joerger encouraged him to be more aggressive before the season, and that has paid off.”

2.) Who do you see as the biggest threat to the Grizzlies on the Maverick roster? Memphis matches up well with the high-scoring Mavericks, but are there any chinks in the armor? Will Marc Gasol be tasked with defending Dirk Nowitzki?

“The problem with the Grizzlies’ facing the Mavs is Chandler Parsons. Parsons has been a thorn in the Grizzlies’ side ever since he was with Houston.  His 30 point game earlier this season helped combat the poor performance by Dirk.  Gasol shouldn’t have an issue guarding Nowitzki. I’m more worried about Zach Randolph’s performance against Tyson Chandler.”

3.) I thought parting ways with Lionel Hollins was a mistake, especially when it looked like Dave Joerger would jump ship and head to Minnesota. What’s your opinion on Joerger? Does he have what it takes to lead Memphis to the NBA Finals?

“It’s been a love/hate relationship with Dave Joerger so far in Memphis. At the beginning of last season, the fans were calling for his head, and now they love him. I’m shocked he didn’t leave this summer for Minnesota.  I personally miss Coach Hollins, but his struggles with Brooklyn show that his style wouldn’t have worked much longer in Memphis.”

4.) What’s your prediction for today’s game? 

“I think the Grizzlies’ can pick up their 5th straight win today over the Mavericks. I don’t like the matchup, because it always seems Memphis struggles with Dallas. Mike Conley will likely be out again today with sprained ankles, but Beno Udrih is more than capable of picking up the slack. I’ll pick the Grizzlies’ in a close one 105-101.”

The game tips off at 5pm ET at the FedExForum. 

Next: Where Will Dirk Nowitzki End Up on All-Time Scoring List?