Through the first week of games played, the Memphis Grizzlies find themselves still in search of their first win, as they boast an 0-3 record and, in turn, reside down at the 15 spot in the Western Conference standings.
Though things may appear rather bleak at this point in time, the 2023-24 campaign has only just begun and, with 79 games remaining on the docket, Taylor Jenkins and company still have plenty of time to turn things around before mid-April’s conclusion.
Monday night will serve as their next attempt at claiming win number one, as they’ll be playing host to the surging Dallas Mavericks.
Without question, trying to come away victorious against such an opponent will undoubtedly prove to be quite challenging.
That said, with its resilient and talented collection of ballers, Memphis should by no means be counted out and, according to Joe Mullinax of Locked on Grizzlies, the main key they must focus on during the contest is to limit Mavericks star Kyrie Irving.
Major ‘key’ for Grizzlies to beat Mavericks is to keep Kyrie Irving in check
"“As much as I love Jaren Jackson Jr. and Desmond Bane, Luka Doncic is going to be the best player on the floor. The ket for the Grizzlies is going to be making sure that Kyrie Irving is not the second best player on the floor,” Mullinax said. “…If they can find a way to make sure that it’s Bane and Jaren that are the second and third-best players on the floor behind Luka in this one and Kyrie’s the fourth best guy I think that’s going to be the key to a Grizzlies victory because there’s going to be chances for for these other Grizzlies players to find their spots offensively against this Mavericks defense.”"
As alluded to by Mullinax, no matter the defensive game plan, Mavs star Luka Doncic will likely manage to find a way to produce at his All-World brand of talent, as has been the case throughout his entire career and certainly during these early stages of the new season (averaging 41.0 points, 11.5 rebounds, and 8.5 assists).
Instead, the focus for the Grizzlies should, instead, be on limiting his supporting cast, particularly their recently re-signed co-star in Irving who, despite his sound surface-level counting stats of 19.5 points, 6.0 assists, and 4.5 rebounds has struggled mightily with efficiency, as he’s shooting an abysmal 39.0 percent from the floor and 16.7 percent from deep.
Should they hold the 13-year veteran back during their upcoming bout while the likes of Bane and Jackson Jr. shine through on the offensive side of the ball (combining for nearly 40 points per game so far this year), Mullinax believes a win would be a realistic outcome for Memphis.