Memphis at Dallas
Time: 7:30 PM CST (NBA LP)
Spread: DAL -7
Odds c/o 5dimes
The Memphis Grizzlies has won its last three overall and is back at .500 on the season. In possession of a No. 8 seed, the Grizzlies have just a 3.5 game lead on No. 9 Portland. Memphis finds itself 7-point underdogs at Dallas Friday night in NBA League Pass action. The betting total is set at 227 points according to pro basketball oddsmakers at 5dimes.
MEMPHIS news & notes:
The Memphis Grizzlies have snuck into the playoff picture after surging to improve to 31-31 on the season. It has lost its last three games overall.
In a year that was considered a rebuilding or tanking effort, Memphis has done anything but. The young Grizz are competing and winning games.
Memphis is led by a first-year point guard in Ja Morant and second-year forward Jaren Jackson Jr. Jackson leads the team in scoring at 18.1 points per game while coming up with 4.9 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 2.0 steals/blocks in just 28 minutes a game. Ja Morant is seeing 29.5 minutes per game and averaging 17.8 points, 6.9 assists, and 3.4 rebounds. Morant is shooting 48.4 percent from the field and 39 percent from three on 2.3 attempts per game. Jackson is shooting nearly 42 percent from three on 6.4 attempts per game. Memphis attempts 32.8 threes per game and connects on 36 percent as a team. He is currently sidelined and expected to be out at least two weeks.
The Grizzlies average the 8th-most points in the league at 113.4 per game. However, Memphis also has a bottom-five defense that allows 116.1 per game. Interestingly, the Grizzlies lead the league in assists per game with 27.9 per contest as a team. Between that chemistry and an improving defense, the Grizzlies may have a chance to stay in the top-8 and make the postseason in a year few considered it possible.
DALLAS news & notes:
The Dallas Mavericks have won six of its last 10 overall SU. It has fared 23-14 against fellow Western Conference teams and is 17-14 at home where it hosts tonight’s game. The Mavericks have a +6.0 point differential, which ranks ahead of all Western Conference teams except for the No. 1 and No. 2 seeded L.A. Lakers and Denver Nuggets.
Luka Doncic has gone atomic since returning from injury, but it came with the nasty fact that the other star, Kristaps Porzingis, is now out with right knee soreness. Both Doncic and Porzingis were out last game, and the result was that Seth Curry simply had his best game of the season as the mavericks rallied to defeat the Hornets 116-100. Curry scored 26 off the bench in connecting on 6 of 8 from three-point range, and he added six rebounds and three assists while finishing with a +20 mark for his 28 minutes on the court.
With Doncic out, the Mavericks got a good look at Kristaps Porzingis, who turned in another strong game in the Mavs’ loss to Boston. He tallied 23 points on 8 of 19 shooting to go along with 13 rebounds, three blocks, two assists, and a steal but is out for an indefinite period now. It has been hard to keep its core healthy. The Mavericks have had a difficult time getting its core together healthy, but are still 32-21 and 18-8 on the road this season.
Doncic had 35 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists in the 120-112 win over Portland. Tim Hardaway Jr. added 29 points and five made triples.
On the season Porzingis is averaging 17.4 points and 9.2 rebounds per game, but all suggestions are that he was able to greatly increase his usage percentage with Doncic unavailable. The Mavericks need to get another guy to step up, because Doncic left a 29.3 point, 8.9 assist hole when he sprained his ankle. While he is expected to make a full recovery and is already back in triple-double form (!), the Mavs are still in overhaul replacing his production.
Although the Doncic-Porzingis punch is a strong one, the Mavericks still seem to be lacking a “third star” to complete the picture.