After a great win over the Utah "barely recognizable if not for Raja Bell annoying everyone" Jazz, the Rockets welcome the owners of the worst throwback jerseys in the NBA, the Memphis Grizzlies to the Toyota Center on Monday night. The Grizzlies won back to back games with Rudy Gay missing game winners and other Grizzlies (Tony Allen and Speights) bailing him out with tip ins. That is representative of the way the Grizzlies play overall. Never take a play off and frustrate the other team.
Currently, we are tied in the standings, for 6th in the West, a half game behind the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Grizz lead the league in steals per game by a decent margin so turnovers are probably something the Rockets should be extra careful to avoid.
Lost the last matchup with Kevin Martin scoring an entire 0 points, 29 points off his average against the Grizz last year. So yeah, get him the ball and stuff.
Thanks to ak2themax for letting me do the preview.
PG : Kyle Lowry vs Mike Conley:
So Lowry decided to take over yesterday and show the NBA why he is the best player not to be named an all star this year. He's always active defensively, knocked down his 3 point shots, got into the paint at will and dished it around. Mike Conley is not CP3, Derrick Rose or Deron Williams. He is solid in his own right. Won't blow you away, won't lose you games.
SG: The Ghost of Kevin Martin/Kevin Martin vs Tony Allen
Which Kevin Martin will we get? The one who scores at will and efficiently or the one that disappears for stretches? At least he doesn't hurt the team with stupid shots. Tony Allen - OJ Mayo fight invigorated the Grizz last year and gave them their identity. Allen will be in the passing lanes and in the skin of whoever he's guarding (usually with his body under the offensive player and his hands behind his back). He's improved at finishing around the rim and hits jump shots if left wide wide open. Before people say Martin will be useless while guarded by Tony Allen, I would like to point out his 29 PPG average last year against the Grizz. Kevin Martin running around also helps the spacing and creates more space for Scola post and Lowry drive.
Advantage Rockets (if Kevin Martin is actively running around)
SF: Chandler Parsons vs Rudy Gay
Rudy Gay destroyed us last time. I think Parsons will do better against him this time. Parsons just makes plays. You feel his presence on the court which is something I always like to see. Finds a way to matter.
PF: Luis Scola vs Mo Speights
A vintage performance from Scola last night. Efficient 26 points and 9 boards. Would like the turnovers to be cut down but I'm just being harsh. Would love to see more Argentinean tango. He will probably be guarded by Marc Gasol who is physical and will push Scola off his spots. Speights was picked up from Philly after Z-Bo went down earlier in the season. Can hit a jump shot and will play tough scrappy basketball.
C: Sam Dalembert vs Marc Gasol
Hopefully, this is a good 'Bert game because we will need it against Marc Gasol. Gasol has rounded into a good big man. Does everything well. Passes, defends his man, help defense, scores from the outside, scores from the inside, sets screens. All that good stuff. Sam Dalembert sometimes does it, sometimes doesn't.
Rockets: Goran Dragic, Courtney Lee, Chase Budinger, Patrick Patterson, Greg "Xiane" Smith
Grizzlies: OJ Mayo, Dante Cunningham, Jeremy Pargo, Quincy Pondexter and Hadadi
While Mayo is good, Rockets bench is more complete. Dragic does get bogged down in the halfcourt but there is a good amount of instant offense and Greg "Xiane" Smith
Make sure you get in on TCWHRO's awesome fantasy basketball game. Predictions and any feedback on whether I'm crap at writing previews in the comments. And talking about how awesome Kyle Lowry and that crossover, stepback 3 yesterday was is encouraged.
Go check out Straight Outta Vancouver for the Grizz side of things.
7PM CST Start time so hope to see you all posting