Grizzlies-Mavs Preview: Second Day Of School

Brendan Haywood said that an NBA season opener is "exciting ... like the first day of school.'' Well, here comes the second day of school, the second game of the regular season for the 1-0 Mavs, playing host to Memphis. The Grizzlies arrive without the services of two key contributors as Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph will not play. Let's break it down:

Both of these players absence will be felt on the court, and the Mavs have to find at least minimal solace in the fact that Randolph won't be around for them to defend. In four games last season he put up four double-doubles to average 23 points and 13.5 rebounds against Dallas.

However, this would have been the first chance to see how the new tag team of Tyson Chandler and Brendan Haywood would have faired against Randolph. As it is, we may be presented with Hasheem Thabeet at center, last year's second overall pick, who is coming off a diappointing rookie campaign. And, if the first game lineup holds, Darrell Arthur -- the DFW product -- could start at power forward.

Even with these two players out the Grizzlies remain a dangerous team behind a skilled young core, led by Rudy Gay, OJ Mayo (20.3 points per game against Dallas in 2009-10, including an incredible 61.1 percent behind the arc) and Michael Conley (25 points, six rebounds and five assists on 3/31/10 against Dallas).

Conley was also the leading scorer for Memphis in their opener, with 23 points, eight assists and five rebounds.

Dallas stands at 1-0 for the season, fresh off their opening night win over the Charlotte Bobcats, which was highlighted by the spectacular performances of Jason Kidd (the DB.com "Dirkie" award recipient for Player of the Game due to his 12 points, 18 assists and three steals), Dirk Nowitzki (28 points on 11-of-13 from the floor, and 13 rebounds) and Jason Terry (22 points on 10-of-15 attempts, six assists and four steals).

Memphis comes to town after a poor performance that saw them down by as much as 20 in the fourth quarter to the Atlanta Hawks, leaving them at 0-1 for the season. The Grizzlies played without Marc Gasol and lost Randolph after a hard fall early in the first quarter, though he did return to total 15 minutes before leaving the game for good.

With the Mavs, we're again forced to make assumptions on the starters, as Carlisle generally will not release lineup information until the moments prior to the opening tip. Should he go back to what worked in Game 1, we'll see Terry at shooting guard and Chandler at center.

Historically, Dallas has dominated Memphis with a 49-10 all-time record against them. Yet, they are only 3-3 over the last six contests … winning three of four last season. Memphis has not won in Dallas since Nov. 26, 2005, a streak which includes nine losses in a row for the Grizz.

The Rangers are off. If you missed the opener on Wednesday, this could be a great chance to greet this year's Mavs as they tip off at 7:30 in the AAC against the young, athletic Memphis Grizzlies. DallasBasketball.com will be at the gym all day and all night ... so stay tuned! Probable Starting Lineups: Dallas Mavericks Position Memphis Grizzlies Jason Kidd Point Guard Michael Conley Jason Terry Shooting Guard OJ Mayo Caron Butler Small Forward Rudy Gay Dirk Nowitzki Power Forward Darrell Arthur Tyson Chandler Center Hasheem Thabeet


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