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3 things to watch for as the Mavs take on the Grizzlies

Dallas is looking toward next season, so enjoy watching the young guys develop.

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Dallas Mavericks Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Mavericks playoff hopes are pretty much dead, with Dallas five and a half games back of the eighth-seeded Trail Blazers with eight games left. So tonight’s matchup with the Memphis Grizzlies doesn’t carry that much intrigue but there are still things to look for as the Mavs still try to hone their young core for next season.

Repeat performance for Nerlens Noel?

Noel’s best game since being traded to Dallas was against Memphis back on March 3, where he posted a double-double with 15 points, 17 rebounds and throwing in two assists, two blocks and a steal.

It hasn’t been the best week for Noel, with some shaky performances against New Orleans and Toronto, so it’ll be interesting to see how he can potentially bounce back against a team he’s had success against. The Mavs are continuing their Noel-Dirk Nowitzki starting lineup and those two have meshed well together.

Yogi Ferrell continuing to impress

There was some worry that Ferrell’s hot start and record-setting night in Portland might inflate his numbers to the season’s end, but damn if Ferrell isn’t proving he’s a real contributor for the Mavs this season and the next.

Ferrell showed his three-point shooting isn’t a fluke, shooting 47.1 percent from deep in March, which is actually better than his three-point mark in February (41.2 percent). That’s impressive when you remember Ferrell’s 9-for-11 mark from three against Portland came in February — Yogi was just a consistently good shooter in March, with no huge outbursts inflating his numbers.

It’s been good to see, especially with him coming off the bench lately.

The sleeper-cell tank experiment named Jarrod Uthoff

It was really funny when the Mavs announced earlier this week they had signed Uthoff to a multi-year deal and then Rick Carlisle telling reporters they were going to give Uthoff some more burn to evaluate further. Usually, it’s the other way around.

Of course, Uthoff’s deal isn’t fully guaranteed so the Mavericks have nothing to lose and everything to gain — seeing what you have in Uthoff is good for next season and good for this season since it will only help the Mavs lose games and slide closer to a potential top-8 draft pick.

There’s some skills from Uthoff in his long frame that are easy to like but unless Uthoff has Monstar-stolen some of Yogi Ferrell’s 10-day contract superpowers, the Mavs will get a look at him and also lose. Uthoff played two minutes and 45 seconds against the Pelicans on Wednesday and managed to get off three shots. He was a minus-5 in those minutes. Shoot your shot, Uthoff.

How to watch

Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. central time, 8 p.m. eastern in Memphis. The game will be broadcast on Fox Sports Southwest locally and NBA League Pass, through whichever cable or streaming services you have.