Mavs Power Points: Mauled By Grizzlies
The downward spiral continues.
It's not looking very good for the Dallas Mavericks as of late. Following two heartbreaking last-second losses, the Mavs got absolutely blown out by the Memphis Grizzlies in a game that seemed ripe for the taking to the Mavs. Right before tipoff, it was confirmed that the Grizzlies would be without two key players: Mike Conley and Tony Allen. Yet the Grizzlies didn't miss a beat and got revenge for the loss to the Mavs just about a week ago by demolishing Dallas, 109-90.
"Right now, our inability to sustain a high level and kind of full-capacity level is our nemesis,” said coach Rick Carlisle of the 30-16 Mavs.
This was a top-to-bottom deal. At the top? Zach Randolph scored 22 points. He was better than the Mavs. At the bottom? Former Dallas property Nick Calathes had a season-high 13.
And it meant the Mavericks are handed their first three-game losing streak of the season, and have lost a third straight chance to get coach Rick Carlisle his 600th career victory ... an issue he's probably tired of having to even think about right now.
So, panic, anyone?
“I wouldn’t say panic, but we definitely understand that we need to come in and fix some things,” Tyson Chandler said. “We’ve got to make some adjustments. You know, it’s the first time we’ve lost three games in a row this season and we’re headed to a tough road trip, so these games are important.”
In a blowout like this, it's no surprise the Mavs fell short in every category to the Grizzlies. The Mavs shot 48.7 percent from the field to the Grizzlies' 53.2 percent and an ugly 26.9 percent from downtown compared to 47.6 percent for the Grizzlies. The Mavs also fell short from the free-throw line, shooting 70 percent to the Grizzlies' 75 percent.
Also an important stat for the Mavs, especially lately: Out-rebounded 40-35. Among the non-contributors in this department was Chandler Parsons (who did manage to join Monta Ellis in scoring a team-high 19). He had been limited to one rebound in consecutive games for the first time since his rookie year. He had a total of two against the Grizzlies.
As the game got out of hand, Carlisle sat his starters early, knowing they have a road game tonight night against the Rockets. (It's a 7 p.m. start on FOX Sports Southwest.) Rajon Rondo played 28 mintes, while Dirk played 29. Tyson Chandler and Chandler Parson both played 32 minutes while Monta Ellis played the most, logging a little over 33 minutes.
Above, the official highlight reel, such as it is.
Overall, the Grizzlies bench outscored the Mavs bench 43-24, but even that is being generous to the Mavs because with about five minutes left in the game, Carlisle let his bench players fill the stat sheet. But the reality is that the bench play was horrendous. Until there was 35 seconds left in the third quarter, Devin Harris was the only bench player to score for the Mavs, and he only had six points, all that came in a span of a minute-and-a-half in the first quarter. Al-Farouq Aminu added another two points late in the third quarter, but the Mavs went into the fourth quarter with just eight point from their bench, six of those from Devin Harris in the first quarter. No wonder they trailed 86-72 entering the final period.
Meanwhile, everything was working for Memphis, including Vince Carter, who scored 12 points off the bench in his first visit to Dallas since signing with Memphis in the offseason.
And it doesn't get much easier. Fish has called this "Hell Month.'' Carlisle says this week is "Murderers' Row.'' Truly, there isn't a real soft spot coming up for the Mavs to regain their swagger. Five of their next eight opponents include the Rockets, Heat, Warriors, Trail Blazers, and Clippers. The only soft spot in between those games is contests against the Magic and Timberwolves but for the most part, it's about to be tough competition.
"We've got to sustain effort during defensive possessions," said Carlisle, whose team fell 3.5 games behind the Southwest Division-leading Grizz and essentially erased that MLK Day win at Memphis. "Right now it's a hard conference. It's a hard stretch of schedule."
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