At this moment, we - if not the Mavs themselves - are reeling from the Friday OT loss to Portland. Increasingly, it's getting easier to imagine a less-than-ideal first-round series for the Mavs (or an even worst fate). But that can be turned around tonight in Memphis. A tiebreaker game and a battle for 5th and we go into the playbooks here:
Let's get to tonight's visit to the Grizzlies -- and some of the strategy...
The starting lineups, Dallas Mavericks at Memphis, and NBA scouting info from Kyle Leath ...
|F- Rudy Gay
||F- Shawn Marion
|F- Marreese Speights
||F- Dirk Nowitzki
|C- Marc Gasol
||C- Brendan Haywood
|G- Tony Allen
||G- Vince Carter
|G- Mike Conley
||G- Delonte West
A look at the Grizzlies Offense ...
• Big steal team which leads to some easy transition baskets.
• When not in transition after a steal, Grizzlies will run a lot of Flex look out of their half-court offense.
• Mid pick/roll series with PG and 4-man. Will post Gasol to counter pick/roll.
• Double low-post look, especially as part of the secondary break.
A look at the Grizzlies Defense ...
• They play man with good help from bigs on drives.
• Will pick up full-court off dead balls and FTs.
• Good perimeter defense and guards do a good job of help and recovery on penetration. Have a variety of guys to take turned on Dirk Nowitzki.
• Will fight over ball screens when shooter has ball.
West Race ...
The Race To The West Playoffs … updated daily to keep y’all posted on where the Mavs stand!
In addition to watching the Mavs tonight at Memphis, on TXA21 with a 7 p.m. tip...
Follow the game on Twitter with the Mavs Twitterverse ... The 75-Member Staff!
How to Beat the Grizzlies:
• PROTECT – Must take care of the ball and not let them get out off turnovers.
• DEPTH– Which team can survive its injuries and be healthy? Conley is back and Randolph is back and Mayo is good off the bench. Memphis' schedule has been a load. Mavs need to utilize depth - but that gets eaten into with no Kidd.
• RHYTHM – Important to get all players into the flow on offense. Be patient, don’t settle for shots, make shots. At the same time, in crunch time, the ball needs to be in the right hands of the right people.
• PSYCHOLOGY – “I don’t know that it’s a time for amateur psychologist analysis,'' Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said after the Portland loss. And he's right. But it is time for professional self-analysis. Both teams are coming off the first of back-to-backs. Memphis just beat the Heat. But Dallas is an impressive 12-6 in this situations. Yet since Feb. 1, the defending champs are now a .500 team. Losses are coming in a variety of ways, including what Portland did on its final possession ...
Is there a negative hangover from things like that? That's got to change, from the neck up as well as on the court.