Dallas Mavericks: Previewing the Ever Important Grizzlies Game
By Kohl Rast
The Dallas Mavericks face-off in a must win game against a Memphis Grizzlies team crawling to the playoffs tonight.
The Dallas Mavericks prepare for a big time game tonight against the Memphis Grizzlies. The game is scheduled to tip at 7:30 CT at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. This game is nothing short of a must-win for the Dallas Mavericks team that is on the verge of locking up a playoff spot.
Dallas has found new life over the last few weeks and, shockingly the biggest impact has come from the smallest of all the players.
J.J. Barea has been nothing short of phenomenal since Deron Williams went down with an abdominal strain. In the last 7 games, the little Puerto Rican has managed to average over 22 points, and in the 5 game win streak, he has averaged over 24. Although it is an incredibly small sample size and no indicator of what would have actually happened with him as the starting point guard, Barea would be sitting in the 8th spot in the NBA overall scoring list, in between Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook.
The resurgence of J.J. has also brought an incredible, dominant defensive life from the Mavericks team. In the last 5 games, Dallas has allowed 86 opponent points per game, a major difference from the 103 they are allowing per game for the season. The defensive grit in itself could make this Mavs team a uniquely difficult matchup in the playoffs.
With Dallas currently sitting at 40-38, finishing above .500 would clinch a playoff spot without any doubt. Although this may seem difficult with the remaining schedule, the Mavs have a wonderful opportunity tonight against a ‘struggling is an understatement’ Memphis Grizzlies team.
Injuries have absolutely ravaged the Grizz this year, losing their two best players for the year. Without Mike Conley and Marc Gasol, the Grizzlies have fallen apart, going from a dangerous playoff team to an almost guaranteed first round bow-out.
This bodes particularly well for a Dallas team that is both streaking and in desperate need of an easy win, even though this season has proven that a dominant performance from start to finish is just not possible for this team.
Next: How the Dallas Mavericks Can Still Be the 5th Seed
If Dallas wins this one, they only need one more win or a Houston Rockets loss before the end of the season to guarantee a playoff spot.