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Houston Rockets vs. Memphis Grizzlies game preview

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The Rockets look to bounce back from two of the ugliest wins in history when they take on the Grizzlies in Memphis tonight.

Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

There's not much to say here. Houston has looked like a shell of themselves offensively in their last 3 games. Outside of a good second half against Minnesota in Mexico City, 10 of the last 12 quarters have been ugly basketball for Houston. And that's not counting the Warriors game before that, which I refuse to count since the Rockets were missing three starters.

All told, it's like the Rockets have gone into a collective playing slump. Letting a team like Philly hang around is one thing, but it's another to let them stick around and barely beat them. It's one thing to let an OKC team hang around, but it's another to continue to make dumb mistakes and jack up shots that aren't clean looks.

No matter what, we're going to be glad we won this game in April, no matter what the score was. Also could you imagine how rough this back-to-back would have been if OKC was at full strength? Definitely a double loss, right?

The NBA wants to screw over the Rockets Department: Tonight the Rockets are on the second game of a road back-to-back. Memphis did not play yesterday.

Odd fact: Memphis doesn't play a back-to-back until December 12-13. Wow.

Tip off is at 7pm CST...ON ROOT SPORTS! Congrats to everyone who will finally get to watch the Rockets play. I'm interested to see what the studio setup is at RS.

Matchups:

Point Guard: Patrick Beverley vs. Mike Conley

I love Patrick Beverley. I felt so happy for him last night since OKC fans hate him and he got a win there.

Getting in a ref's face is not cool, though.

On a similar note, I love Scott Brooks but I promise you that guy wants no part of Bev. That fight would have been over so fast it would have never started.

As for Mike Conley, I continue to eat my words when I said his contract was too much. $8.7 million for Conley is an absolute steal.

Advantage: Grizzlies

Shooting Guard: James Harden vs. Courtney Lee/Tony Allen

Lee/Allen is the perfect combo to combat Harden. Both play solid/great defense and both are good slashers (off the ball in Allen's case).

I'm giving Harden the advantage, but he has shot below .500 on the road in all 6 games this season and it's highly unlikely that he bucks that trend tonight.

Advantage: Rockets

Small Forward: Trevor Ariza vs. Tayshaun Prince

If I were Dave Joerger, I would sit Prince and start Vince Carter and give VC the green light since he always lights up the Rockets. If I were Flip Saunders, I would hand the ball to Corey Brewer and ask, "Hey buddy, you ready to beat Wilt's record tonight?" whenever he played the Rockets.

And if I were any team that might face the Rockets in the playoffs, I would trade Morey anything for Jason Terry and then set him loose.

But that's just me.

Advantage: Rockets

Power Forward: Donatas Motiejunas vs. Zach Randolph

I loved D-Mo's hustle last night. Like most of the Rockets, he was working hard despite not getting good looks on offense. Tonight, he's going to have his work cut out for him against Zach Randolph. Last year it was a home game against the Grizzlies that slingshot D-Mo back into the rotation and got him a handful of starts when Terrence Jones picked up some injuries late in the season.

Z-Bo went 17/22 against the Pistons. Yes, the same Pistons that start Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond. Yes, that is crazy.

Advantage: Grizzlies

Center: Dwight Howard vs. Marc Gasol

All in all, I think the Rockets need a loss, and really they need a shellacking. Getting destroyed in this game wouldn't be the worst thing, as Houston is probably losing this game even at full strength.

After getting blown out, they can regroup before getting the Lakers at home on Wednesday.

Advantage: Even

Bench

Rockets: Propeller Plane, Tarik BlackKostas PapanikolaouTroy DanielsIsaiah Canaan

Grizzlies: Courtney Lee/Tony Allen, Jon Leuer, Kosta Koufos, Beno Udrih, Vince Carter

Advantage: Grizzlies

Prediction: Rockets fall 102-81.

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