Game 3 Preview: Houston Rockets vs. Memphis Grizzlies

65-1 is on the table you guys. Just sayin'.

That game was a good old fashioned butt-whooping, and something none of us expected. I don't know about you, but I was waiting for the other shoe to drop throughout the game. Like, "Yeah, we're up 20, but who's about to have a season-ending injury?" or "Did the Spurs set this up to be their McGrady 13 in 35 payback?" Alas, it wasn't to be, and the Rockets have their first win of the young 2011-2012 season.

Now it's onto Memphis, who have lost their first two games. However, the games were against San Antonio (in a revenge situation) and Oklahoma City (who are my pick to win the West if Russell Westbrook doesn't kill Kevin Durant in his sleep). So this is still a good Grizzlies team that got over their losing streak against the Rockets last year and really broke out during the playoffs. I'm excited to see them and see what the addition of Rudy Gay does versus the subtraction of Shane Battier.

Random crazy idea time! OK, so let's say the Rockets make the playoffs (knock on wood, rub rabbit's feet, etc.). And let's say game 1 is on a Monday. Now, I have no idea how the Lakewood Church is laid out, but if it's possible, the Rockets could play game 1 in their old building. For one day, call it the Lakewood Summit, and play the game on the hollowed grounds where Hakeem Olajuwon made the Rockets champions. I think that would be pretty cool, and totally worth driving down from Lubbock to see.

Matchups after the jump.

Matchups:

PG: Kyle Lowry vs. Jeremy Pargo/Josh Selby:

I like Mike Conley more than most around here, but the fact that he's making more money than Kyle Lowry is preposterous. Let's just say Morey knew what he was doing when he chose to pry Lowry away from the Grizz.

Kyle Lowry messed around and almost had a triple double last night. He certainly would have had a shot if the game had been close in the fourth quarter. But man that guy just has total command of this team. No way around it.

By the way, Conley's hurt, so it's either Jeremy Pargo or Josh Selby playing the minutes here.

Advantage: Rockets

SG: Kevin Martin vs. Tony Allen:

Typical Kevin Martin. Scored 20 points in the first half then disappears in the fourth quarter. Hasheem Thabeet outscored K-Mart in the second half. Pitiful. That guy has to be traded for a bag on Funions immediately. Unless he has a good game, of course. Then it's for Dwight Howard and a couple of first round picks.

I expect Tony Allen to give him trouble tonight, but we'll see how the confidence from a good game affects him tonight. We'll see if he has tiger instincts to go with his 23 points per game career average.

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Advantage: Rockets

SF: Chase Budinger vs. Rudy Gay:

As good of a game as the Rockets played yesterday, the black mark on the game was definitely Bud's poor play. 2 points on 1-3 shooting in 18 minutes of play is not good enough from your starter. He did play well on defense, and he still works better as a starter than Terrence Williams, but that's a fluid situation.

Rudy Gay will torch him tonight.

Advantage: Grizzlies

PF: Luis Scola vs. Zach Randolph:

I'm a Zach Randolph believer now. Not in his leadership qualities or whatever, but that guy can be the best player on a championship-caliber team. We saw that last year and there's no reason to suspect he's going anywhere.

However, Scola is playing lights out right now.

Advantage: Even

C: Jordan Hill vs. Marc Gasol:

Time for J-Hill (oh that's awful) to show the Rockets that they shouldn't have tried to sign Gasol, who has in the words of Mike Kerns, "fat potential."

Advantage: Grizzlies

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Bench:

Grizzlies: Jeremy Pargo, O.J. Mayo, Quincy Pondexter, Josh Selby, Dante Cunningham, Josh Davis

Rockets: Corndog, Showtime, Other Kevin Martin, Tweet-Will, Morris Twin A, Legit Center, Beast

Advantage: Rockets

Injuries:

Grizzlies: Darrell Arthur

Rockets: Patrick Patterson?

Prediction: Memphis 98-92

Make sure you get in on TCWHRO (we have to figure out another way to say that)'s fantasy basketball game. Details here. Just make your predictions in the comments, and maybe explain how you came to that conclusion so we have something to talk about.

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