The Dallas Mavericks (21-45) and the Memphis Grizzlies (18-48) met for the final time this season on Saturday night. The Mavs came away with the 114-80 victory, as they won the season series against their division rivals, 3-1. Memphis played this game without Mike Conley, Marc Gasol and Tyreke Evans, while Dallas was without Dennis Smith Jr. and Nerlens Noel. Despite both teams being short-handed, the Mavs clearly had more firepower and definitely more effort in this one.
Here’s three things we learned from the game tonight.
Hot take: the Mavs would’ve won more games this season with a healthy Dorian Finney-Smith
Maybe that’s just a semi-hot take. The 6’8”, 24-year-old wing made his return tonight after missing 50 consecutive games due to having bad tendinitis in his quadriceps. Finney-Smith’s stat line wasn't eye-popping, but he’s more of an energy guy than anything else at this point anyway. Bringing the energy is exactly what he did, putting up 7 points, 3 rebounds, 1 block and 1 steal in 18 minutes. He was also a plus-21.
Good look at Dorian Finney-Smith's quicker, smoother jumper. pic.twitter.com/2gupUMSpXg— Bobby Karalla (@bobbykaralla) March 11, 2018
Whether the Grizzlies are losing on purpose or not, that performance was flat out embarrassing
The Mavs scored 31 points in the first quarter. The Grizzlies scored 30 points IN THE FIRST HALF. Yes, that’s how horrible they were in this game. I’m not going to say J.B. Bickerstaff is out there instructing his players to throw games, because you’d think he’d want to be more than just an interim head coach going past this season. But man, was that an embarrassing showing for what is supposed to be a professional basketball team. The Grizzlies have now lost SEVENTEEN consecutive games.
I actually hope the Grizzlies get the first overall pick in this year’s draft after seeing that mess. They deserve it.
Okay, just kidding, I really hope the Mavs get lucky in the lottery and snag that first pick. I’m not sure that the basketball gods will reward a team that tanks so hard that it disrespects the game. Do better, Memphis. Sheesh.
Harrison Barnes really likes playing against these guys
In the last three matchups with the Grizzlies this season, Barnes averaged 19.7 points and 8.7 rebounds. He also hit an incredible 3-pointer at the buzzer to win the third game against the Grizzlies this year.
Tonight, Barnes continued to light up Memphis, finishing with 25 points and 7 rebounds in 31 minutes.
The Mavs will now shift their focus to the Houston Rockets tomorrow night on the second night of a home back-to-back.