The Grizzlies don’t look like the gritters and grinders we’ve gotten so used to over the past five years anymore. And the Mavericks are falling apart now, too. So which team is in worse, literal, condition?
The obvious answer is probably Memphis. The No. 6 seeded Mavs have an easier first-round opponent than the No. 7 seeded Griz (the Thunder instead of the Spurs), and the Mavericks have already taken a game from Oklahoma City. Memphis, meanwhile, trails 2-0 in its series against San Antonio.
But from a health perspective, things are bad. Real bad. And that’s true all around.
Dirk Nowitzki may not play in Game 3 in Dallas after suffering a bone bruise on his right knee during Game 2. He’s currently listed as a game-time decision. So is Deron Williams, who’s nursing an abdomen issue. J.J. Barea (groin) could be out for the next game, as could David Lee (heel). And that’s forgetting about Chandler Parsons, who hasn’t played since mid-March and is out for the season with a knee injury.
So, who in the world will be starting for the Mavs during their return game to Dallas?
No one has any clue.
Meanwhile, the problem for Memphis may be that we do know who’s going to be in the first unit, and it’ll be the same group that helped lead the team to 32- and 26-point losses during Games 1 and 2, respectively.
Mike Conley has been done for the season since the beginning of March. Marc Gasol hasn’t played since before the All-Star break (and isn’t coming back). Even significant role players like Jordan Adams and Brandan Wright won’t be able to contribute in the series.
The big secret about Memphis even before the injuries was that the team may not actually be that good. The Grizzlies owned a point differential comfortably in the negatives all season long, even before they started dropping like flies. Of course, that got worse as the roster erosion continued.
If everyone’s out for the Game 3s in Dallas and in Memphis, does it even matter who’s worse off? But at least the Mavs’ guys are coming back at some point. And the Grizzlies seem a mere two games away from extinction.
(Via Dallas Morning News)