The Dallas Mavericks (34-33) are on the road again as they take on Memphis Grizzlies (39-26) in Memphis for the first time this season. Let's start with the bad news first. Head coach Jason Kidd confirmed Luka Doncic is out for Saturday's matchup. In addition, Kyrie Irving missed practice on Friday for personal reasons, but the Mavericks are hopeful he’ll make the trip to join the team in Memphis.
The good news is Reggie Bullock, JaVale McGee, and Maxi Kleber will be available for the game Saturday night. Grizzlies superstar Ja Morant will remain away from the team for at least the next four games, so the Mavericks will not see Morant in either of the next two games. Steven Adams remains out for the Grizzlies after suffering a setback this week, leading to a stem cell injection in his right knee.
Here are three things to watch for before Saturday night's matchup.
No Ja, no problem
Despite being without their superstar the last three games, the Grizzlies still show up to fight. Memphis is averaging 121 ppg since Morant’s absence. Memphis has made at least 18 3-pointers in two of their last three games. Considering Dallas gave up 13 threes to a short-handed New Orleans Pelicans team Wednesday night, this gritty Memphis team could cause problems for the Mavericks.
Get Green right
Josh Green needs a get-right game in Memphis, to steal a phrase from Tim Cato. Since the all-star break, Green has only scored in double digits once, an 11 point performance against the San Antonio Spurs in late February in Dallas. Green getting yoyoed in and out of the starting lineup most likely hasn't helped with his confidence. With Doncic out Saturday night, one would hope Jason Kidd gives Green the green light.
Bane of our existence
Former TCU horned frog Desmond Bane continues to show teams across the league why he should have been drafted in the lottery in 2020. While Bane gets plenty of credit for his improvement in 3-point shooting, he’s progressed in all areas of his game. In Morant’s absence, Memphis has been letting Bane run the offense. Considering the Grizzlies generally aren’t a great half-court offense, Bane didn't look half-bad running point Wednesday night against Golden State. He dished out six assists and had zero turnovers in a needed win against the Warriors.
How to watch
You can watch the game on Bally Sports Southwest, or stream it on Bally Sports Plus at 7:00 CST.