Can they keep Morant out of the paint
This is always going to be the first order of business when facing the Memphis Grizzlies. The second year floor general has seen significant improvement this season and managed well in the absence of running mate Jaren Jackson Jr.
Ja’s out-of-this-world explosiveness is part of what makes him so dangerous as a player, but his feel for passing & creating is likely his greatest trait. It’s why keeping him out of the paint is so important.
Its easier said than done, but he still has a weakness as a jumpshooter. Exploiting thay really is your best best bet, even if he is making them and sometimes he’s going to.
Can they keep Valanciunas under control?
Jonas Valanciunas is one of the games most underrated players. He’s a bit of a throwback, as he prefers to do his work right at the basket and on the boards, but it’s a testament to him that, despite his seemingly outdated game, he’s remained so effective.
He certainly wore the Mavericks out last time these two teams met. If not for some Luka heroics, he would have been the key cog in a huge Grizzlies victory.
For the Mavericks to make it easier on themselves this time, they’re going to have to do a better job on him. And that means moving him off his spots, strong box-outs, and gang rebounding.
They take care of those things and they should be okay.
Run their shooters off the line
Grayson Allen, Desmond Bane, Jaren Jackson Jr., Dillon Brooks, DeAnthony Melton, etc…
I could keep going but you get the point: Memphis has shooters. And they know how to deploy them.
What the Mavericks need to figure out is how to slow down Morant & Valanciunas while also not getting bombarded from the line. That will take great effort, terrific closeouts, and a group of guys committed to doing the job.
Sometimes the Mavericks have showed that, sometimes they have not. We will ultimately see which team decides to show up.
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