The Memphis Grizzlies may currently be winless at 0-3 but, with 79 games remaining on the 2023-24 regular season docket, there is still plenty of time for the ball club to turn things around and thrust themselves back into the legitimate title contender conversation.
Their next go at attempting to get into the win column will come Monday evening, as Taylor Jenkins’ squad will be playing host to the Dallas Mavericks at FedEx Forum. Though claiming victory over their surging divisional rival may be perceived as quite a challenge, it is one the Grizzlies must face head-on.
Fortunately for them, their odds of earning their first win may be leaning toward becoming slightly improved as Mavs star Kyrie Irving’s availability for the contest currently seems to be up in the air.
Kyrie Irving’s status for matchup against Grizzlies is currently in question
Per the NBA’s official injury report, the $120 million guard is listed as “questionable” for Dallas’ upcoming bout in Memphis due to an apparent left foot sprain.
Heading into the contest it was already determined that one of the biggest keys to victory for Jenkins and co. was to try and hyper-focus on Irving in an attempt to make him “the fourth best guy” on the night rather than the second alongside Luka Doncic, as Locked on Grizzlies’ Joe Mullinax put it.
Having him sit out would likely stand to benefit the home team.
So far on the year the eight-time All-Star selectee finds himself posting solid averages of 19.5 points, 6.0 assists, and 4.0 rebounds, though he’s struggled with his shooting efficiency to this point, as he’s converted on just 39.0 percent of his attempts from the floor and 16.7 percent from distance.
Should Irving be relegated to the sidelines, one should expect coach Jason Kidd to thrust savvy veteran Tim Hardaway Jr. into the starting two position as his replacement which, though lessens the Mavericks’ available star power, still presents specific challenges for the Grizzlies considering his own set of scoring skills.