For the time since December, the Dallas Mavericks(34-35) have fallen below .500 after losing to the Memphis Grizzlies 104-88 at home on Monday night.
Again, Dallas, who have lost three straight, was without their two best players, Luka Doncic(thigh) and Kyrie Irving(foot). Also, they were without Christian Wood(foot).
However, rookie Jaden Hardy scored 16 of his game-high 28 points in the first half, and the Mavs led 50-49 at halftime, but Memphis(41-26) outscored Dallas by 14 in the third and had their largest lead of 21 in the fourth.
With the loss, the Mavs dropped to the eighth seed in the West, and if the season ended today, they would have to win in the Play-In Tournament to make the playoffs.
According to their head coach Jason Kidd, Dallas has to get healthy in order to make a run in their final 13 games.
“Once the season is over,” Kidd said after the loss to Memphis. “It’s just the regular season. Well, that (the regular season could end, and the year is over)’s true, too. Then there has to be concern. Just understand, our health – this is what we have; these are the cards we’re dealt. Just like anybody in this league, we’ve got to play with the cards that we had tonight…
“Understand, we’re getting better – it’s just a matter of ‘can we be healthy in time to make a stretch run?’ If not, that’s just the season. No one is dying.”
While Dallas is the eighth seed right now, they are only two games behind the sixth and fifth-seeded teams, the Warriors and Clippers, and are 3.5 games behind the fourth-seeded Suns, so there’s still hope. However, Josh Green, who had 23 points, five rebounds, and seven assists on Monday, says Dallas has to start winning.
“We’ve got to win,” Green said. “It’s no other option now. We all need to have the mindset that we’re trying to win every single game from here on out. We’re playing against teams like the Lakers coming up and even the Spurs, where the young guys are trying to beat us. So, at the end of the day, whatever’s on all of our minds, it’s no more than that we need to win for the rest of the season and continue to win. Right now, the Western Conference is completely wide open, and we need to make sure that we’re winning games.”
Dallas gets back at it on Wednesday night in San Antonio against the Spurs.