Rockets 89, Grizzlies 103 - Running on Empty

Photo by Mark Downey Lucid Images/Corbis via Getty Images

The Houston Rockets have lost basketball games this season to exactly one team, the Memphis Grizzlies, and now they've lost to them twice. In a predictable scenario, the predictable results came to pass. With only one serviceable guard in James Harden, the tired and beleaguered Rockets were easy prey for a Grizzlies team led by a hot and furious Chandler Parsons. The Rockets kept the game close in the first half, but had no defense against the Grizzlies, as well as no offense of their own in the second half. There's little to take away from this miserable game that we didn't already know. The Rockets need to get healthy, they need to get home, and they need to get rest.

If you're looking for something encouraging about this game, look away. The closest thing to good news is that the Rockets shot 36.8% from three point range, which is definitely an improvement for them. The rest of the landscape is charred and broken, covered in broken dreams and blue bear fur. While Nene and Trevor Ariza returned from their injuries early, the Rockets lost Eric Gordon to an illness, and all hope with him. Bobby Brown seems to have earned the minutes the injured Chris Paul would be playing, but he's far, far from sufficient to cover those, much less to absorb Eric Gordon's role as well. This game was effectively James Harden and some forwards, which worked out exactly as miserably as one might imagine.

Add on top of that the long minutes the team played in Charlotte the night before as well as the Grizzlies' rough and smart play, and you get a formula for a devastating and ugly loss. The fact that the Rockets actually led by 2 after the first quarter speaks of their ability, and the fact that they scored only 17 in the fourth quarter speaks to their lack of resources. Without two of their best three players, both of whom are the only other guards capable of running an offense at an acceptable level, this dog-tired team had no chance.

There were players and they had lines, but unless you're looking over your fantasy basketball team, only Chandler Parsons particularly stood out. He shot a ridiculous 9-11, including a scorching 6-8 from deep for 24 points. There's no way in the world he keeps this up, but for one night he had a powerful revenge game against the team that drafted him. Hopefully for him and the Grizzlies he can stay healthy and active, though the Rockets would probably prefer he be a little less active next time these two teams meet.

There's nothing to take away from this game, so don't even try. We already know why they lost, and we know what will change it. The only thing we need to know now is when Chris Paul will be back in the lineup. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a soul in the world who knows.

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