I saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens last night. Tonight I get to see the Mavericks play. Life can be pretty good if you just let great things fall on consecutive days.

 

The Mavs welcome division rival Memphis into the American Airlines Center tonight. Obviously ever game has importance and the ones against your intimate foes hold even more power, but the records of both of these teams make this December 18th packs an even bigger punch for this one.

 

The Grizzlies enter at 14-13 with the Mavericks a 1/2 game ahead at 14-12. Safe to say that, even this early –and it’s getting to the point where early isn’t so early anymore– that this game is key to both teams. Particularly the Mavs.

 

Because these teams have already met once in the first of four 2015-16 matchups, and the Mavs…got…killed.

 

Memphis had this game wrapped up after three quarters, leading by 22. The Mavericks shot 39% from the field, missed 23 of 34 three point attempts and did a lot of the same of what has plagued them so far this season. J.J. Barea and Raymond Felton each had 16 to tie for the team lead. Dirk Nowitzki shot 5-15.

 

I predicted the Grizzlies as my third place Western Conference team, something that I can tell you already won’t happen. Memphis thrives off their defense, but their offense has been simply pathetic all too often.

 

96.2 PPG is 5th worst in the NBA. And their defense isn’t even close to the elite performance of years past. The Grizzlies are tied for 16th allowing 100.9 points a night. Tied with who you ask? Well, us. Balance.

 

Tonight is a very, very important game. Don’t let the date fool you. The season series is of extreme importance in the grand scheme, and rumor has it winning them basketball games is, too!

 

The winner of Dallas-Memphis tonight brings themselves a superior record, momentum in the season series and Balance in the Force.

 

Oh, before I go. A year ago today the Mavericks and Celtics agreed on a deal to send…Dwight Powell to the Mavs!!!

 

Injury Report:

 

Mavericks: John Jenkins (concussion) Game Time Decision

Devin Harris (hamstring) Game Time Decision

Chandler Parsons (knee) Game Time Decision

 

Grizzlies: Tony Allen (knee) Game Time Decision

Jordan Adams (knee) Out

Brandan Wright (knee) Out

 

Leaders:

 

Points:

Mavericks: Dirk Nowitzki, 17.1

Grizzlies: Marc Gasol, 16.1

 

Rebounds:

Mavericks: Zaza Pachulia, 10.5 (8th in NBA)

Grizzlies: Zach Randolph, 8.6

 

Assists:

Mavericks: Deron Williams, 5.9

Grizzlies: Mike Conley, 6.1

 

Steals:

Mavericks: Deron Williams, 1.2

Grizzlies: Tony Allen, 1.5 (Jordan Adams also has 1.5 but in just 2 games)

 

Blocks:

Mavericks: Dwight Powell, 0.7

Grizzlies: Brandan Wright, 1.4

 

How to Watch: 7:30 PM CST on Fox Sports Southwest

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