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Note: This post originally appeared on MavsFanatic.com
DALLAS,TX—Tonight kicks off the first of four games in five nights in a brutal stretch as the Dallas Mavericks (30-15) play host to the Memphis Grizzlies (32-12) at 7:30pm CST at the American Airlines Center (Note: TV broadcast tonight will be on TXA 21, not Fox Sports Southwest). The Mavs will attempt to avoid their first three-game losing streak of the season and keep us all from hitting the panic button, after dropping their past two games to the Chicago Bulls at home on Friday night and then to the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday afternoon. The Western Conference second-seeded Memphis Grizzlies will be looking to avenge last Monday afternoon’s loss to the Mavs and come into tonight’s contest having won two straight since (Toronto Raptors and Philadelphia 76ers, if you count them) and are looking to make it three tonight in Dallas.
Chandler Parsons (15.4 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 2.2 apg)
Dirk Nowitzki (18.9 ppg, 6.0 apg, 1.9 apg)
Tyson Chandler (10.5 ppg, 12.0 rpg, 1.4 bpg)
Monta Ellis (20.3 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 4.4 apg)
Rajon Rondo (9.4 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 9.2 apg)
Jeff Green (17.0 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 1.6 apg)
Zach Randolph (16.7 ppg, 12.0 rpg, 1.5 apg)
Marc Gasol (19.1 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 3.7 apg)
Courtney Lee (11.3 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 2.3 apg)
Mike Conley (17.7 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 5.8 apg)
Match Up at Hand:
In perhaps their biggest win of the season, the Dallas Mavericks defeated the Memphis Grizzlies in a Martin Luther King Jr. Day match up last Monday (105-93), shooting their way to victory behind a combined eight three-pointers made on 19 attempts (42.1 percent) from Run DMC (Dirk, Monta and Chandler). The victory had Mavs fans everywhere thinking we could only go up from here after Monday’s victory, but it proved to be the exact opposite. In three games since, the trio has shot just a combined 15-41 (36.6 percent) from behind the arc and will look to change those fortunes tonight against the Grizzlies, who rank 24th in the NBA at defending threes. The Mavs will hopefully get another big lift from Dallas’ most eligible bachelor Chandler Parsons, who is averaging a team-high 22.5 points against the Grizzlies this season.
As for the Grizzlies, they will look to continue to build on their recent success, having won six of their last seven contests, fortified by the return of Zach “Z-Bo” Randolph and newly acquired forward, Jeff Green. Z-Bo, who has always a player to watch out for, plays exactly like Debo from the movie “Friday” looks like. After missing nine games with a back injury, he has been a force to be reckoned on both ends of the floor, having recorded a double-double in each of his nine games since his return. As for Green, he has scored in double figures in every game but one since the trade to Memphis (January 12) and the Grizzles have only lost one game since he was acquired, and that was to the Dallas Mavericks.
Match Up to Watch: The Backcourts
Defensively, the Mavs will need to be sharp with their perimeter defensive against a strong Memphis backcourt. Memphis point guard Mike Conley is shooting a career-best 45.9 percent from the field; including 42.3 percent from three-point range while his backcourt mate, shooting guard Courtney Lee ranks second in the league at 46.3 percent from three point range. In order for the Mavs to contain this tough Memphis backcourt, Monta and Rondo will need to channel their inner “Debo” or “Z-Bo,” for the Mavs to have any chance of competing with this elite Grizzlies team.
The Mavs lead the all-time series against the Grizzlies 56-20. The Grizzlies had won seven of the previous eight meetings in Memphis prior to the Mavericks’ 103-95 win at the FedExForum last Monday. The two teams have split the 2014-15 season series and will meet one last time this season on March 20.