What more can you ask for from Tuesday's Dallas-Memphis matchup? It's two 16-win teams, one that's the top offensive club in the NBA and one that's No. 1 in defense. The Grizzlies are 3.5-point favorites on BetOnline NBA odds with a total of 203.5.
Mavericks a Scoring Machine
Dallas (16-6) leads the NBA in scoring at 110.6 points per game and is also No. 1 in offensive efficiency, averaging a scary-good 114.0 points per 100 possessions. Just for comparison, the No. 1 team last year in that category was the L.A. Clippers at 109.4. The Mavs have seven guys averaging at least 8.0 points per game and four in double figures: Monta Ellis (21.2 ppg), Dirk Nowitzki (19.2), Chandler Parsons (15.5) and Tyson Chandler (11.3). Of course Parsons and Chandler were the team's two big offseason additions, Parsons a free agent from Houston and Chandler in trade from the Knicks.
The Mavs last took the court Sunday and clobbered visiting Milwaukee 125-102, the eighth straight game in which Dallas scored at least 106 points. It was the sixth time the Mavs scored at least 120 this year. Parsons had perhaps his best game as a Maverick with 28 points on 11-for-14 from the field. Nowitzki was 8-for-12 and had 21 points. Dallas shot a sterling 49-for-84 overall (58.3 percent). The Mavericks pulled away with a 17-4 run to close the third quarter to lead by 19.
Dallas has yet to get projected starting point guard Raymond Felton on the court. He was acquired with Chandler from the Knicks but has yet to play because of a suspension and then a sprained right ankle. He's not likely to debut here. Felton is one of four point guards on the roster but none of them are elite and that's probably going to keep Dallas from winning the Western conference. It is currently +800 at sportsbooks to win the conference.
The Mavericks are 13-9 against the spread at sportsbooks and 13-9 'over/under.'
Grizzlies Win with Defense
Memphis (16-4) leads the NBA in scoring defense at 93.5 points per game and is No. 5 in defensive efficiency in allowing 99.4 points per 100 possessions. The Grizzlies suffered their first losing streak of the season last week, falling by nine in Houston and then by six at home to San Antonio. It's not a coincidence that the Grizz lost when allowing their opponents 105 and 107 points respectively. That defense was back on track Sunday in a 103-87 rout of Miami.
Reserve forward Jon Leuer, who usually plays only about 15 minutes a night, had the game of his life with 20 points and 12 rebounds in 24 minutes vs. Miami. He was the first Grizzlies reserve to post 20 points and 10 rebounds since Zach Randolph on Nov. 20, 2010. All-Star center Marc Gasol had a rare off game, going just 1-for-6 for 2 points but did have seven assists and six rebounds. The win improved Memphis to 9-1 at home after having a 22-game regular-season home winning streak snapped last Friday by the Spurs.
The Grizzlies' big offseason acquisition was signing former Mavericks swingman Vince Carter, but Carter has vastly disappointed. He didn't get off the bench against Miami and is averaging 5.3 points on .333 shooting in around 15 minutes a night. He has never averaged single-digit points in his career; Carter put up 11.9 last year per game with Dallas.
This is the first meeting between Dallas and Memphis in 2014. Last year the Mavs took three of four. The only loss was 106-105 in overtime in Memphis on the final day of the regular season that allowed Memphis to claim the No. 7 seed in the West playoffs and put Dallas at No. 8. Both the Grizz and Mavericks lost in the first round in seven games to Oklahoma City and San Antonio, respectively. Mike Conley played in only two of the four Dallas games for the Grizz but averaged 23.0 points and 6.5 rebounds. Randolph averaged 21.8 points and 11.5 boards in four games. Nowitzki played all four games for Dallas and averaged 25.0 points. Ellis averaged 17.0.
NBA Free Picks: Grizzlies -3.5 and 'over' 203.5 points at 5Dimes. Memphis is 5-2 ATS in its past seven after a win. The 'over' is 5-0 in Dallas' past five overall and 4-0 in the Grizzlies' past four Tuesday games. The 'over' is also 5-0 in the past five meetings.