The 2015-2016 NBA season unofficially starts tonight for the Rockets when they head to the Memphis tonight.
Still, Houston will be doing more than reenacting Marc Cohn's greatest hit or trying out the world's second-best type of barbeque. The Rockets will be taking on the Memphis Grizzlies in a matchup that features two teams that kept their core and improved areas of need.
The Rockets aren't used to this kind of continuity, but the Grizzlies definitely are. They've trotted out a starting lineup that included Mike Conley, Tony Allen, Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol for the last 384 seasons (remember: all stats approximate). The Grizzlies brought in Brandan Wright to back up their horses down low and Matt Barnes to...um, you know...be Matt Barnes?
For Rockets fans, tonight will be about seeing Ty Lawson in action, as well as possibly getting a glimpse of Sam Dekker since he missed the entirety of Summer League. Also, Rockets fans will be interested to see the backup shooting guard competition between newcomer Marcus Thornton and K.J. McDaniels. Finally, if you haven't read Danny's post about the unguaranteed players on the roster, you should do so now.
It's always difficult to figure out who's playing and who isn't when it comes to preseason games. Players will (rightfully) get held out if they have even the slightest injuries, so it's tough. If any players are officially declared out for this game, I will update that in this post. As of right now, it looks like Donatas Motiejunas is the only one who is definitely not playing.
Update: Montrezl Harrell is also out, per Houston Chronicle beat writer Jonathan Feigen. This was tweeted yesterday and I just didn't see it.
Prediction: Rockets lose by 30.
Tip-off for the game tonight is at 7pm CST and can be found on Root Sports.
Rockets vs Grizzlies coverage