Game Preview: Houston Rockets vs Memphis Grizzlies

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After a getting back on track with a win over the Suns, the Rockets head to Memphis to face the Grizzlies. The Rockets are led in scoring, assists and rebounds by James Harden, at 27.8 points, 11.7 assists and 8 rebounds a game. The Rockets now rank 4th in offensive rating, 14th in defensive rating, and 5th in net rating.

After an inspiring six game win streak, with Mike Conley out with an injury, the Grizzlies have lost four of their last five games. The Suns are led in scoring by Marc Gasol, at 20.1 points, in assists by Mike Conley, at 5.7 assists, and in rebounds by JaMychal Green, at 8.1 rebounds per game. So far this season the Grizzlies rank 29th in offensive rating, 1st in defensive rating, and 13th in net rating.

Starting Lineups

With Clint Capela still sidelined with a leg injury, the Rockets starting lineup will likely be: James Harden at point guard, Patrick Beverley at shooting guard, Trevor Ariza at small forward, Ryan Anderson at power forward, and NenĂª Hilario at center, with Eric Gordon getting starter’s minutes.

After missing two of their starters due to injury, Mike Conley and Chandler Parsons, the Grizzlies are now fully healthy. The Grizzlies are likely to come out with a starting five of Mike Conley at point guard, Tony Allen at shooting guard, Chandler Parsons at small forward, JaMychal Green at power forward, and Marc Gasol at center.

Three Things to Watch

  • Who's gonna stop Gasol? – With Clint Capela, the Rocket's best defensive center, out of Friday's game the Rockets will struggle to contain Marc Gasol. Watch to see how the Rockets scheme to try and slow down someone who many think is the best center in the league.

  • Slow vs Fast – The Houston Rockets are the 9th fastest team in the NBA, while the Grizzlies are the 3rd slowest. Watch to see which of the two teams is able to control the tempo of the game.

  • Great offense or great defense? – This game has one of the league's best offenses up against one of the league's best defenses. Watch to see if the Rockets great offense is able to overpower the Grizzlies great defense.

Prediction and Tip-Off

The Rockets are ready to start another win streak. I think the Rockets will take advantage of the sliding Grizzlies team and come out of Memphis with a win.

Tip-off will be at 7:00 P.M. Central Time in Memphis on Friday, December 23rd. The game will be televised on ROOT Sports, with the radio broadcast on Sports Talk 790-AM.

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