Off their first overtime win in 11 tries, the Dallas Mavericks (14-23) finally head home to take on the Memphis Grizzlies (24-10). Dallas is looking for back-to-back wins for the first time since they won three in a row between Dec. 6 – Dec. 10, 2012. Expect a physical, grind-it-out type of game between the Mavericks and the Grizzlies. The Grizzlies will look to impose their will with their physical big men, Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph. Memphis is second in the entire league in terms of points allowed, have the third slowest pace and they’re tied for second-best in terms of rebound differential.
Whether it’s a good thing or not, Memphis does come in on a the second night of a back-to-back after hard fought overtime win over the San Antonio Spurs at home. It remains to be seen if the Grizzles will have the legs to tackle another game as all five starters for Memphis played between 37 and 43 minutes against San Antonio.
Here are the notes for the game between the Mavericks and the Grizzlies.
The home team has won the last four meetings between the Mavericks and the Grizzlies. Memphis has taken three of the last four overall meetings. The Mavericks hold an all-time record of 51-16 against the Grizzlies in the regular season, but Memphis has won nine of the last 14 meetings between the two clubs. The Grizzlies took the first meeting between the two teams this season, 92-82, at Memphis on Dec. 21, 2012.
Shawn Marion posted a double-double, 14 points and 11 rebounds, for Dallas in the loss on Dec. 21, 2012. Vince Carter (14), Dominique Jones (13), Brandan Wright (12) and O.J. Mayo (10) also scored in double figures for Dallas in the loss. The Grizzlies have now won four straight and seven of the last nine matchups in Memphis. The Mavericks have taken 19 of the last 22 matchups in Dallas and are 27-6 all-time at home against the Grizzlies. Dirk Nowitzki averaged 13.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 27.6 minutes in three starts against Memphis in 2011-12. Nowitzki (right knee surgery) did not play in the first meeting between the two teams this season at Memphis on Dec. 21, 2012.
It’s a Small World:
O.J. Mayo played his first four NBA seasons with the Grizzlies from 2008-12. Mayo appeared in 301 of a possible 312 games with Memphis and averaged 15.2 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 32.8 minutes. Mayo was named NBA All-Rookie First Team in 2009 and runner-up to Derrick Rose for the 2008-09 NBA Rookie of the Year Award after averaging 18.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 38.0 minutes in 82 games (82 starts).
Dahntay Jones also played his first four NBA seasons with Memphis from 2003-07. Grizzlies forward Darrell Arthur is from Dallas and attended South Oak Cliff High School. Dominique Jones was originally drafted by Memphis with the 25th overall pick in the 2010 Draft, but was traded to Dallas for cash considerations. Mavericks forward Elton Brand and Grizzlies big man Marreese Speights played three seasons together on the Sixers from 2008-11.
Mavericks big man Brandan Wright and Grizzlies guard Wayne Ellington were both freshmen on North Carolina’s 2006-07 ACC Championship Team. Wright grew up in Nashville, Tenn., and attended Brentwood Academy. Wright earned Tennessee’s Division II Mr. Basketball title in 2004, 2005 and 2006, becoming the first three-time recipient at any level of Tennessee basketball. Wright was a four-time MVP of the Tennessee Division II private school state championship tournament. He led Brentwood Academy to four consecutive state titles, a first in Tennessee high school basketball history.
1. Have Mayo springboard his game against Sacramento go into the game against Memphis. Clearly, Mayo was eager to face his former team in Memphis in December. He might have been too jacked up as he ended the night shooting 3-of-11 from the field and scored 10 points. Mayo had 10 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter of the Mavericks’ previous game in Sacramento. With the pressure of not being back in Memphis out of the mix, maybe Mayo can get back in a good groove.
2. Continue to protect the ball. The Mavericks have recorded 13-or-fewer turnovers in seven of their last nine games, despite playing four overtime games in that span, including each of their last four. Dallas is averaging 12.3 turnovers per game over the nine-game stretch (starting at Oklahoma City Dec. 27 through their previous game at Sacramento on Jan. 10). The Grizzlies have forced opponents into at least 10 turnovers in 138 consecutive games, by far the longest active streak in the NBA and the third‐longest such run since the start of the 1992‐93 NBA season. The Grizzlies’ streak of forcing 10‐plus turnovers is the league’s longest since the Golden State Warriors’ 190‐game run from 1993‐96 and the Seattle SuperSonics’ 155‐game streak from 1993‐95.
3. Continue to have Sarge reporting for duty. Bernard James had played a combined total of one minute over the previous three weeks, but he was instrumental in helping the Mavericks get their comeback victory over the Grizzlies. He brought a level of toughness on the defensive end that helped the Mavericks build defensive stands, allowing them to get back in the game. With a physical front line on the other end of the floor, the Mavericks need to make sure Sarge doesn’t spend a lot of time on the bench.
Bryan Gutierrez writes about sportsmen. He is a contributing writer for Mavs.com. Bryan also attended Ball So Hard University. You can follow him on Twitter @BallinWithBryan.