Game 77 Preview: Rockets at Grizzlies

So, apparently, the Rockets don't care anymore. A +0.1% chance of getting a better draft spot seems to be pretty enticing. After all, the Rockets are tops in analytics. But seriously, is Josh McRoberts that good? No.

Which brings me to this question: if you played a 1-on-1 game to 15 (by 1s and 2s) with an NBA player, and your life depended on you scoring at least one point, who would you choose to play against...if you couldn't pick Brian Cook? McRoberts is up there for me.

The Grizzlies are a game ahead of the Rockets, but the good guys lead the season series 3-0, including an impressive win in Memphis and a nice come-from-behind win in Houston.

The Grizz have the youngest team in the league, and it's shown. They've lost 16 games this season after leading by double-digits. Ouch! Jeff van Gundy would have killed someone by now if that happened to his team.

On the other hand, the Rockets have lost (approximately) 85 games this year after leading in the fourth quarter, so there you go.

Matchups ho!

Star-divide

Matchups:

PG: Aaron Brooks v. Mike Conley:  

Mike Conley is not even better than Kyle Lowry. Memphis screwed the pooch on that trade.

Memo to Kyle Lowry: work on your jump shot in the offseason. It looks like crap.

Advantage: Rockets

SG: Kevin Martin v. O.J. Mayo:

What was Kevin Martin doing in Indiana? He looked awful. At least he normally pretends to play defense, but on Sunday he looked like he wanted out in the worst way. Why play him? I want us to win, but not at the expense of one of our stars. Especially one who's susceptible to injures, made more so by joining the Rockets. 

OJ Mayo always sucks against the Rockets. I expect that to change tonight.

Advantage: Grizzlies

SF: Trevor Ariza v. Rudy Gay: 

Gay is averaging 20/6/2. He's shooting better from the field, taking fewer three-pointers, taking more free throws, and passing much better. His steals, blocks, assists, and rebounds are up from last year, and his turnovers and fouls are down. He's really rounding out nicely, and he'll make Grizzlies fans happy as long as he stays.

Trevor, I thought we'd talked about that whole shooting thing? In the instance of the rim, objects may be easier to score on than they appear.So, I give you...

Trevor Ariza's 3 steps to scoring:

1. Dribble (rate-determining step)

2. Drive

3. Get fouled/miss shot so Luis can grab board and throw down a cock back dunk and make everyone look silly

Advantage: Grizzlies

PF: Luis Scola v. Zach Randolph:

Z-Bo has had an incredible year. He's rehabilitated his image as a lazy player getting by on talent, and torched the Rockets in Houston with 30 points. If it hadn't been for AB's 7-7 night from behind the arc, the Rockets would have lost, and Randolph would have been the reason.

Anytime Scola has a bad game, he always bounces back and makes me look like a fool for doubting. Not falling for it today.

Advantage: Rockets, though close to even

C: Chuck Hayes v. Hasheem Thabeet:

Thabeet made the Rockets look silly last time out. He had four blocks well before halftime, which should never happen.He also had 8/10.

First Hibbert, and now Thabeet. Big East centers over 7-feet tall haunt the Rockets.

Advantage: Grizzlies

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Bench:

Grizzlies: Sam Young, Marcus Williams, Hamed Haddadi, DeMarre Carroll, and former Rocket (briefly) Darrell Arthur comprise the Memphis bench. It's not a great group, but it's better than most benches in the league

Rockets: You know...

Advantage: Rockets

Prediction: Who knows? Grizzlies want it more, win by 8

Rockets vs Grizzlies coverage

Straight Outta Vancouver

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