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Rockets vs. Grizzlies game thread: Return of the Beard

The Beard cometh

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

(Pregame music)

The Rockets play the Grizzlies tonight. Very soon, in fact.

James Harden is playing. Zach Randolph is playing. This is the No. 2 vs. No. 3 matchup in the Western Conference right now, a very realistic conference semifinals preview. This is a big game.

I expect all of the intensity of Sunday afternoon's tilt against LeBron and the Cavaliers. Harden has been electric all season long and it's hard to imagine a scenario he doesn't score at least 30 points with 7 or 8 assists. It'll be up to Terrence Jones playing more or less even with Zach Randolph and Motiejunas and (gulp) Josh Smith trying to keep Marc Gasol far, far from the rim.

The Grizzlies are an excellent team. More than a few people think they are the favorite to win the championship this season. Only we, apparently, think the Rockets have a shot to get there.

I am pumped up. As far as I'm concerned, the Rockets are still on a five-game winning streak. Getting No. 6 is the goal.