I'm so glad we're going back on the road. As has been stated multiple times, this young Rockets team is unaccustomed to the pressures of a home crowd. It's kind of counter-intuitive, but I'll try to explain my stance.
When you're on the road, the expectations are zilch. You're a young team that just recently got together to have a practice as a team. Then you're playing in front a packed house on the road and if you lose, that's what people thought would happen. If you win, great.
Then you win. Then you win again.
Then you come home. BAM! Expectations through the roof. You might be a playoff team now. Maybe a 6 seed or something. The fans came to watch a winning team. You want to put on a good show and get the W. But the competition gets stiffer. And you lose. Twice.
Tip off is at 7pm CST.
Point Guard: Jeremy Lin vs. Mike Conley
This used to be so much easier when it was Lowry vs. Conley, since Lowry took it so personally and always whipped the crap out of Conley and the Grizzlies.
Bold prediction: Lin shoots well tonight from three, but Conley still outplays him.
Shooting Guard: James Harden vs. Tony Allen
Allen is yet another tough wing defender for Harden to face. Like Iggy, he's going to make life difficult for the Bearded One.
Harden and Lin will have to be smooth players tonight.
Small Forward: Chandler Parsons vs. Rudy Gay
Remember the Rudy Gay-Shane Battier matchups?
Man, this game is all about nostalgia.
Rudy Gay is a top small forward.
Chandler Parsons needs to hit a three pointer or five.
Power Forward: Patrick Patterson vs. Zach Randolph
This one could get ugly fast. Randolph has one of the more polished post games in the NBA, while Patterson, though a good defender, is still a little too young to understand all the nuances of post defense.
I think Z-Bo takes him to the wood chipper.
Center: Omer Asik vs. Marc Gasol
Bench-Obvious caveat here
Rockets: Toney Douglas, Carlos Delfino, Marcus Morris, Greg Smith, Cole Aldrich
Grizzlies: Marreese Speights, Quincy Pondexter, Jerryd Bayless, Wayne Ellington
Prediction: Grizzlies win 105-92
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