Apr 7, 2012; Memphis, TN, USA; Dallas Mavericks power forward Brandan Wright (34) shoots the ball while guarded by Memphis Grizzlies forward Dante Cunningham (44) during the first half at the FedEx Forum. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-US PRESSWIRE

Mavericks vs. Grizzlies: Dallas Comes Out Flat, Slips To 8th Place In Loss

With the loss on Saturday, the Mavericks have now dropped 3 of 4 games, putting themselves on the cusp of falling out of the playoffs entirely.

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Will Jason Kidd Strained Groin Recover Quickly Enough To Help Mavericks Make The Playoffs?

Jason Kidd has been out of the Dallas Mavericks lineup for the last four games due to a strained right groin. Without Kidd in the lineup the Mavs have lost three of their last four, and are now sitting in the eighth position in the Western Conference playoff standings.

WIth just nine games remaining and crucial games remaining on the schedule including contests versus the Los Angeles Lakers, Utah Jazz, Golden State Warriors and Portland Trailblazers, the immediate future of the season lies in front of Rick Carlisle, Dirk Nowitzki and the rest of the team. Dirk addressed the need for Kidd in the lineup to the press after Saturday's contest:

"We needed his veteran leadership to make passes and not turn the ball over," Dirk Nowitzki said after Saturday's 94-89 loss to the Grizzlies, the Mavs' third defeat in four games. "We definitely need it. Hopefully we’ll see him at some point (this) week and keep the troops together, stay healthy and make a push here towards the playoffs."

Dallas has a few days off until they prepare to host the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night.

For more on the Mavericks go check out Mavs Moneyball. For everything else on The Association, check out the SB Nation NBA hub page.


2012 NBA Western Conference Standings: Mavericks Fall To The No. 8 Spot After Latest Loss

The Dallas Mavericks have lost four of their last six games and are falling ever so close to falling out of the Western Conference playoff race. The latest loss for the Mavericks came against the Memphis Grizzlies and with that loss it dropped them to the No. 8 spot in the West.

Technically the Mavericks are in a three-way tie for the final spot, but they are much further away then they were just a week ago when they were trying to secure home court advantage to where they are now. What is even more concerning for the Mavericks is that they are only 1.5 games ahead of the Utah Jazz for being outside of a playoff spot.

Western Standings

San Antonio Spurs 53 39-14 .736
Oklahoma City Thunder 55 40-15 .727
Los Angeles Lakers 56 35-21 .625
Los Angeles Clippers 55 33-22 .600
Memphis Grizzlies 55 32-23 .582
Houston Rockets 55 30-25 .545
Denver Nuggets 55 30-25 .545
Dallas Mavericks 55 31-26 .544
Utah Jazz 56 29-27 .518

For more on the Mavericks go check out Mavs Moneyball.


Mavericks Vs. Grizzlies Final: Memphis Never Trails, Wins 94-89

Despite clawing within one possession several times in the second half, the Dallas Mavericks couldn't overcome an extremely lethargic start in a 94-89 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday night.

Every time the Mavericks made a charge, the Grizzlies answered with a basket in the paint, as they overwhelmed the smaller Dallas front-line. Zach Randolph had 15 points and 11 rebounds off the bench, while Rudy Gay lead all scorers with 25 points on 9-15 shooting.

With little lift in his legs after playing 43 minutes on Friday night, Dirk Nowitzki could never get his offense going, scoring 17 points on 5-12 shooting.

However, the Mavericks were almost overcome their star's poor shooting thanks to another strong offensive performance from reserve center Brandan Wright, a Nashville native who had 16 points on 7-11 shooting, many of them above the rim dunks.

Unfortunately, his lack of bulk ended up costing Dallas, as Memphis was able to get multiple second-chance opportunities in the fourth quarter, with Gilbert Arenas scoring 14 points on 3-5 shooting from beyond the arc.

The loss gave the Grizzlies the season tiebreaker over the Mavericks, while pushing Memphis up the playoff chase and sending Dallas tumbling down it.


Mavericks Vs. Grizzlies: After Slow Start, Dallas Down 50-39 At Half

Coming off an OT loss on Friday night, the Mavericks got off to an extremely slow start in Memphis, ending the first quarter down 29-10 while shooting 13% from the floor.

They were able to claw their way back to a 50-39 halftime deficit, but they will have to improve their overall energy level as well as their offensive execution if they want to make a game of it against a streaking Grizzlies squad in the second half.

Memphis was led by Rudy Gay, who had 14 points on 6-12 shooting in the first half.

On the other side of the floor, none of Dallas' primary scorers could get going. Dirk Nowitzki clearly had a case of tired legs, as the normally sharp-shooting 7'0 went 1-7 from the floor.

The Mavericks were saved by a burst of energy from Brandan Wright, a Nashville native who impressed the large contingent of friends and families who came to cheer him on with several acrobatic alley-oop dunks. With Ian Mahinmi away from the team due to the birth of his first child, Wright's 8 points were huge.


Ian Mahinmi To Miss Game Against Grizzlies To Be With Wife, Newborn Baby

The Dallas Mavericks will be shorthanded in Saturday nights key Western conference game against the Memphis Grizzlies as backup center Ian Mahinmi will be with his wife and their newborn child and missing this game. Mahinmi will return to the Mavericks in time for Monday's practice.

With Mahinmi not available on Saturday, that means Brandan Wright will need to be prepared to see some extended minutes. This is a big loss since last time the Mavericks played the Grizzlies, Mahinmi had 10 rebounds and four points while going up against Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph. In that same game Wright only saw the court for two minutes.

However, when the Mavericks played the Grizzlies back on Feb. 29 Wright played 21 minutes and scored 8 points, seven rebounds, two steals and two blocks.

For updates on the Mavericks, go visit Mavs Moneyball, and for everything on the Grizzlies head on over to Straight Outta Vancouver.


Mavericks vs. Grizzlies: Game Time, TV Schedule And More

The Dallas Mavericks are looking to bounce back from an overtime loss by defeating the Grizzlies for the second time in less than a week on Saturday night.


2012 NBA Western Conference Standings: Mavericks Loss To Blazers Hurts Chances For Home Court

Friday night the Dallas Mavericks had a chance to ge a fairly easy win when they faced the Portland Trail Blazers, and it looked that way early on but the Mavericks blew a 15-point lead. However, the Mavericks loss to the Trail Blazers which drops them to the No. 6 spot and 2.5 games behind the Clippers for the No. 4 spot with only 10 games left.

The loss also puts the Mavericks only one game ahead of the No. 8 spot and two games from being out of the playoff race all together. The Mavericks can not afford any more losses to inferior teams if they want to even stay in the playoff race to defend their title, or let alone earn home court advantage in the first round.

Western Standings

1 San Antonio Spurs 53 39-14 .736
2 Oklahoma City Thunder 55 40-15 .727
3 Los Angeles Lakers 55 35-20 .636
4 Los Angeles Clippers 55 33-22 .600
5 Memphis Grizzlies 53 30-23 .566
6 Dallas Mavericks 55 31-24 .564
7 Houston Rockets 54 29-25 .537
8 Denver Nuggets 54 29-25 .537
9 Phoenix Suns 54 28-26 .519
10 Utah Jazz 55 28-27 .509

For more on the Mavericks, head to Mavs Moneyball.

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