Memphis Grizzlies vs. Dallas Mavericks Preview

UPDATE: Luka Doncic was ruled out after writing, but it has not changed the overall handicap from Robert on this game.

The Memphis Grizzlies (12-10 SU, 13-9 ATS) travel to Dallas to battle Luka Doncic and the Mavericks (11-10 SU, 9-12 ATS) on Saturday night. Can the Grizzlies build off of their record-setting win against the Oklahoma City Thunder? Or will the Mavericks bounce back after a loss to the Pelicans on Friday night?

Memphis Grizzlies vs. Dallas Mavericks Betting Lines

At Basketball Insiders, we get all of our game lines and information from the best betting sites. All of the game lines that are featured below are taken from BetUS.

Point Spread: Dallas Mavericks -4.5
Money Line: MEM +165/ DAL -190
Total: Over/Under 220

Memphis Grizzlies vs. Dallas Mavericks Injury Report

For the Mavericks, Kristaps Porzingis (knee) and Willie Cauley-Stein (personal reasons) are both day-to-day, and will be game-time decisions for this one.

For the Grizzlies, Ja Morant (knee) is expected to be out until at least December 23rd and Kyle Anderson (back) is expected to be out until December 6th. Brandon Clarke (knee) and Ziare Williams (knee) are game-time decisions.

Memphis Grizzlies vs. Dallas Mavericks Preview

Grizzlies Off Historic Win 

The Grizzlies made history on Thursday night, defeating the Oklahoma City Thunder 152-79, the largest point differential in NBA history. Memphis shot a whopping 52.8% from three (19-36) led by Jaren Jackson’s 6-for-7 mark from beyond the arc.

The Grizzlies own the fifth-best offensive rating in the NBA, and have not missed a beat since Morant’s knee injury. In their last three games without  Morant, the Grizzlies own the 3rd best offensive rating and eighth best eFG%.

But interestingly, they are first in defensive rating over that stretch.

Of course, three games is an incredibly small sample size, and a lot of that rating is thanks to the game flow on Thursday. Nonetheless, since Morant’s injury, the Grizzlies have only allowed 101 points to the Kings, 91 points to the Raptors and 79 points to the Thunder.

In this season on a whole, Memphis is dead last in defensive rating. So it certainly helps when the Kings shoot 9-42 from three, the Raptors shoot 10-39 and the Thunder go 11-38.

While on the surface it would appear the Grizzlies have improved defensively, we can expect the poor opponent shooting to regress to the mean. Nevertheless, this is a team playing well without their star.

Mavericks Treading Water

It has not been an overly pretty season for the Mavericks, to say the least. They sit at 11-10 in the 5th seed in the Western Conference as an average to slightly below average basketball team. They rank 23rd in adjusted net rating, 15th in adjusted offensive net rating and 24th in adjusted defensive net rating according to Dunks and Threes.

Luka Doncic is having a notably worse season as well. His 50.8 eFG% is the lowest since his rookie year and much worse than his 55% clip last season. He’s also averaging just 5.7 free-throws per game, down from 7.1 per game last season. Doncic, much like James Harden, has always been good at drawing fouls but, due to the new rules this season, isn’t benefiting as much as usual.

The Mavericks are 2-3 over their last five games with two road wins against the Clippers and Pelicans and three home losses to the Wizards, Cavaliers and Pelicans. Prior to those three losses at home, the Mavericks were 6-1 at home this season.

Memphis Grizzlies vs. Dallas Mavericks Prediction

The Grizzlies and Mavericks are two teams seemingly headed in opposite directions. Memphis is playing a tenacious style of basketball, and we will likely see the Mavericks show some fatigue tonight on a back-to-back against a Grizzlies team that ranks third in Offensive Rebound Rate this season.  Moreover, the Mavericks are 27th in rebound % this season while the Grizzlies are 4th, per NBA Advanced Stats.

The Grizzlies are well-rested after their blowout win on Thursday and come into this game as underdogs against a slogging Mavericks team on a back-to-back.

The Grizzlies have overachieved defensively and are off an historic win, but I still like them to keep this game close and perhaps win it outright. The Mavericks just cannot be trusted right now.

Memphis Grizzlies vs. Dallas Mavericks Pick

The Mavericks are a tough team to back at the moment. They are playing poorly, are not particularly well coached and I think are still getting overvalued in the market. The Grizzlies, even without Morant, are on almost equal footing with this Mavericks team. Back the Grizzlies underdogs in this one.



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