Memphis surprised a lot of people last year by finishing with the second-best record in the entire NBA. They advanced to the second round, where they eventually fell in six games. Now, the expectation will be to surpass that mark. That will be a difficult task in a reloaded Western Conference that still includes the Warriors, Mavericks, Suns, Clippers, and Nuggets.
Houston was able to hang with Atlanta, and staying with Memphis will require just a bit more composure. The Hawks turned 16 Houston mistakes into 28 points. Basically, when the Rockets were careless, it directly led to points for Atlanta. I realize that the team wants Kevin Porter Jr., Jalen Green, and Alperen Sengun to be aggressive and learn from their mistakes. But that group cannot turn the ball over four more times than their opponent does in total. Not every team has a Dejounte Murray, but ball security is of the utmost importance. The ball is the game.
Finally, it’s kind of wild to see the three Texas teams each at 0-1 and New Orleans and Memphis each at 1-0. I recognize the situations (tanking, opponents, etc.), but after years of the Texas Triangle holding up the Southwest Division, it’s cool to see the rest of the party arrive. Especially while Houston isn’t trying to be competitive.
Tip-off is at 7pm CT on AT&T SportsNet Southwest