Bear Necessities: Key notes, numbers and trends entering Grizzlies-Mavericks matchup
DALLAS – For the second time in as many weeks, the Grizzlies (25-25) try to climb above the .500 mark when they open a three-game trip Wednesday against the Mavericks (31-19) at American Airlines Center.
Bear Necessities is a spotlight on key Grizzlies’ facts and trends, curated from Communication Manager Ross Wooden’s Game Notes, to stay informed entering tonight's matchup.
Here are a few things to watch:
- The Grizzlies enter Wednesday’s game with both the reigning Western Conference Coach and Rookie of the Month for January. Taylor Jenkins is the first Grizzlies coach to earn the honor since Dave Joerger in November of 2014. And at age 35 in his first season with Memphis, Jenkins is the youngest coach to win the monthly award since Lawrence Frank did in April of 2005. Morant has swept all three Rookie of the Month honors for the conference this season, with the Grizzlies coming off an 11-4 January record.
- The Grizzlies and Mavericks meet for the second time in their four-game season series, with Dallas notching a 138-122 win in Memphis on Nov. 9. But the Grizzlies have had recent success on the road against the Mavericks, having won the past two in Dallas. A victory Wednesday would give Memphis its first ever three-game winning streak in Dallas. The Grizzlies continue the trip with games Friday against the Sixers and Sunday against the Wizards amid a challenging stretch of 10 of their next 13 on the road.
- Two other Grizzlies players are trending atop the league coming off Monday’s home win over Detroit. Jaren Jackson Jr. has multiple made three-pointers and multiple blocks in 19 games this season, which are the most in the NBA ahead of the 13 such games by Dallas’ Kristaps Porzingis and Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns. And after adding 13 points and five assists off the bench Monday, Tyus Jones has an NBA-best 10 games this season in which he’s finished with at least five assists without a single turnover.
- Both the Mavericks and Grizzlies guard Dillon Brooks are among many throughout the NBA honoring the life and legacy of Kobe Bryant in different ways. While Mavericks owner Mark Cuban announced last week that the franchise has immediately retired Bryant’s No. 24 jersey in the wake of the tragic helicopter crash on Jan. 26, Brooks has confirmed he will continue to wear the number for at least the rest of this season. In his third NBA season, Brooks has worn No. 24 since his freshman year at Oregon.
- The Grizzlies list forward Bruno Caboclo (knee), guard Marko Guduric (illness), and guard Grayson Allen (hip) as out, while center Jonas Valanciunas (knee soreness) is questionable for Wednesday’s game in Dallas. Valanciunas posted team-highs of 26 points, 17 rebounds and four blocks in 30 minutes during Monday’s win against Detroit. The Mavericks list Luka Doncic (ankle), Dwight Powell (Achilles), Seth Curry (knee), and J.J. Barea (ankle) as out against the Grizzlies.
For the Grizzlies complete game notes, check here: Grizzlies Game Notes