Tonight, your Memphis Grizzlies go to Dallas to face off with Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks on the second night of a back to back, after beating the Pistons last night in overtime. Fansided’s home page has your info on the start of the game.
This game should be decidedly winnable. Since the Spurs swept the Grizzlies in last year’s playoffs, it became clear that the Grizzlies can stop offense, but they don’t manage well against teams who can stop their threadbare offense. It’s why the Grizz manage well against the high-octane Clipper and not so well against the steady Spurs. Luckily, the Mavericks are not a good defensive squad. The Mavericks should struggle to score against this Grizzlies team, but he won’t be much of an impediment to the “flow” of the Grizzlies offense.
To count the Mavericks out entirely, though, is always a dangerous proposition. These guys were champions only 2 years ago, and maybe more than any other team in the league, they’re capable of being in any game. Dirk Nowitzki, on a bad day, is difficult to stop. On a good day, he’s impossible to manage.
Monta Ellis, their new acquisition, on a bad day, is probably a detriment to that team and is easy to stop by leaving him space on pick and rolls so that he can jack up bad mid-range jumpers. On a good day, though, when he gets hot, he can scramble defenses with the best of them, and Monta-Dirk pick and rolls could be deadly. With sharpshooter Jose Calderon available to spot up, they’re a dangerous team to defend on a good day.
On the bright side, they have no substantial frontcourt defensively, and while Dirk will stretch Z-Bo defensively, Samuel Dalembert does not pose much of a problem for Marc Gasol, which should leave Marc to freely roam the paint and disrupt the Mavericks. Similarly, the combo of Dalemebert and Nowitzki on defense shouldn’t do much to stop the Randolph-Gasol frontcourt on offense. As well, having Conley on defense to limit Calderon and stop plays before they really get to start should crush the Mavericks’ offense that’s based on multiple plays and deception. Tony Allen should insure that Monta Ellis has a bad night.
In general, this should be a decidedly winnable game for Memphis. But, anything can happen, and they’re only a hot Dirk and Monta away from having a rough game against this opponent who should never be taken lightly.
More to come after the game! Let us know what you think about this matchup!