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Memphis Grizzlies vs Dallas Mavericks
(4) DALLAS MAVERICKS
The Mavericks have improved tremendously on “D”
this season, holding opponents to under 94 points per contest,
which earned them a top ten ranking.
Forward Dirk Nowitzki can certainly score; his 26.6 PPG put him 7th in the league and his 90% free throw mark ranked him 4th. Nowitzki is also strong off the boards, averaging 9.0 RPG (15th) and 7.6 defensive RPG (6th). He’s a dominate force that knows how use his big frame to advantage. He’s the key player for this team on both ends of the court.
Swingman Jerry Stackhouse is another free throw artist—7th in the NBA at 88%. As the sixth man off the bench, he’s one of the best in the league. Center Erick Dampier, with 3.3 offensive rebounds per game, is ranked 5th in the NBA and an important part of this team’s transition game.
The Mavs have always been able to score but now, under new coach Avery Johnson, they’ve learned to stop other teams from scoring. They have the potential to go deep into the tournament. This is especially true if they can slow other teams down, while quickly pushing the ball up the court when on offense.
(5) MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES
Inside, forward Pau Gasol, and outside, guard Mike Miller make this team run and win. Gasol is the team’s go-to player, which can wear after a while. Miller offers consistency.
In the top four offensive categories, Gasol was first on the team averaging 20.4 PPG, 8.9 RPG, and 4.6 APG, while hitting 50% of his shots. He’s pretty much asked to do it all, and he has.
Mike Miller, with an average of 13.7 PPG, is 19th in the league in 3-pointers (.407). He was best on the team in foul shooting—80%.
Damon Stoudamire’s early season injury, knocking him out for the rest of 2005-06, will have an effect in the playoffs. The Grizzlies could really use the point guard’s stellar play.
Memphis possesses a slew of 10-12 points per game guys, which is great when they’re coming off the bench but not so great when they’re starters.
To win, the Grizzlies have to get more from teammates other
than Gasol and Miller. Gasol is a great player but a team needs
more than one guy scoring to make it out of the first round
of the playoffs. They won't get into round two, but it’s
hard imagining this team won't be a threat in future post seasons.
Maddux Sports Series Picks
Dallas wins series 4-0
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