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Rockets vs. Grizzlies game preview: Southwest Division duel

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NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Houston Rockets Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

It’s like the Houston Rockets aren’t even trying.

After watching Houston’s effort on Saturday night, I was disgusted. Do they even care?

Watching the Rockets make several three pointers was disappointing. Going 18-39 is not going to get it done in the race for a top 4 pick in the draft.

Again, the Rockets need to finish in the bottom three in the league to have the best odds at a top 4 pick. They currently have the third-worst record, but Orlando just traded away all of their good players so they may never win again. That’s the kind of commitment I want from the Rockets. Not this “Oh we like being plucky underdogs” thing.

Everyone wants their players to develop in the bad years, but you also want your team to lose. We’ll go into the issues with not finishing in the top 4 soon, but suffice to say that it would set the Rockets back for at least an entire year if they cannot get the luck of the lottery this season.

As of this writing, Memphis is in ninth place in the West, which places them in the same position as they finished last season. They can still move up with a good closing kick, and it would be great for their young players, like Ja Morant, Dillon Brooks, Desmond Bane, and Brandon Clarke, to get experience in the NBA postseason.

Tip-off is at 7pm CT on AT&T SportsNet Southwest