Takeaway from Dallas Mavericks win over Grizzlies: 5. Defense
The Mavs were giving fans ulcers with their defense. Things were rocky when the team had multiple players in the health and safety protocols, but supporters assumed the issues would be solved when their starters were healthy. That was not the case. Dallas had allowed 116 or more points in seven straight games.
The Mavericks came out and dominated the Grizzlies with defense on Monday night. They held Memphis to 13 first-quarter points, which tied a season-low for Dallas. Ja Morant had 22, but nobody else got going as the Grizzlies finished with just 92 in the game. It was a poor shooting night as they finished below 40 percent from the field and made just six of 31 3-pointers.
The Mavs forced tough shots and created 13 turnovers on Feb. 22. Memphis had multiple players on the sidelines, but it was still an impressive performance. It was only the fifth time this season that Dallas held the opposition under 100 points. Fans can bet coach Carlisle emphasized defense in practice during their week off, and it paid dividends versus Memphis.
The defense has looked better without Kristaps Porzingis this season. That trend continued on Monday night. Hopefully, fans see the best version of KP when he returns from this injury, but it is something to watch going forward.
Next: No. 4