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Memphis Grizzlies vs. Houston Rockets

WHO: Memphis Grizzlies (Four-1, Three-Zero house) vs. Houston Rockets (5-1, Four-Zero away)
WHEN: 7:00 PM CT
WHERE: FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee
Injury Report:
Memphis - JaMychal Inexperienced (Out- Ankle), Ben McLemore (Out- Foot), Wayne Selden (Out- Quad)
Houston - Nene Hilario (Out- Achilles), Trevor Ariza (Out- Foot), Chris Paul (Out- Knee), Tarik Black (Possible- Hip)
PROJECTED STARTERS:
Memphis - Mike Conley, Andrew Harrison, James Ennis III, Jarell Martin, Marc Gasol
Houston - James Harden, Eric Gordon, Luc Mbah a Moute, Ryan Anderson, Clint Capela

Properly, right here we go once more.
In case you really feel just like the Grizzlies have been enjoying the identical groups again and again this week, you’re not mistaken. After an electrical comeback win in Houston earlier this week, the Grizz get one other crack on the Rockets, this time within the pleasant confines of FedEx Discussion board.
Because the final Grizzlies-Rockets matchup, Memphis went 1-1 in a midweek again to again matchup in opposition to the Dallas Mavericks. In each video games, the Grizzlies sadly performed right down to the extent of the competitors. As most Grizzly followers know, this can be a widespread theme 12 months in, 12 months out. The Grizzlies at all times battle with one of the best of one of the best, however drop pointless video games in opposition to inferior competitors. The power stage of the entire staff, and most notably the bench, was not near the extent that it was at within the first three video games of the season.
Tonight’s sport is most undoubtedly a “assertion sport.” It’s an opportunity to show that the early season wins in opposition to the Warriors and Rockets weren’t a fluke. It’s an opportunity to essentially instill confidence within the gamers that this staff has a shot to be actually good this 12 months. With Marc Gasol enjoying in addition to he ever has in his profession (he’s 33 years outdated, why is that this occurring?), and Mike Conley residing as much as his nickname, “Captain Clutch,” this staff can compete with one of the best within the west.
Right here are some things to look at for in tonight’s matchup.

The Bench

This second unit has been the discuss of the city up to now this season, and for good purpose. They supply the Grizzlies with a lot greater than the bench from final 12 months, which gave up lead after lead final season. It has been established that they're crucial to the Grizzlies’ success this 12 months, however they play an particularly vital position in opposition to excessive octane offenses just like the Rockets.
The Grizzlies will attempt to sluggish the Rockets down, very similar to they did on Monday evening. Nevertheless, it's actually powerful to decelerate a James Harden run offense for a complete sport. I'm assuming that the Rockets will put up extra factors than they did Monday, as a result of, nicely, they only often do. Even when slowing the tempo down is affective, the Rockets will go on runs. The Grizzlies want to have the ability to put the ball within the basket at a great price to battle these runs off. Andrew Harrison, James Ennis, and Jarell Martin should not guys that may constantly create offense for themselves or others.
Till extra polished scorers like JaMychal Inexperienced and Ben McLemore (extra polished, undoubtedly not polished) arrive, guys like Tyreke Evans, Mario Chalmers, and Dillon Brooks must pickup among the scoring load. They've proven that they'll all individually get scorching and rating the ball, and there might be conditions the place they're wanted to just do that.

Marc Gasol

So, why aren’t extra individuals speaking about Marc Gasol? His begin to this season has been unbelievable. Pundits assumed his numbers and efficiency would dip just a little bit from final season, however he has proven no indicators of that occuring.
Quite the opposite, Large Spain is placing up stat traces constantly that used to by no means actually come round.
This new emphasis on rebounding, together with him anchoring the protection makes it look like he's ageing in reverse. It's exhausting to know if these kind of outings are sustainable, however lets hold having fun with them as they arrive.
However sufficient Marc Gasol fan-boying, why does he matter a lot tonight?
His effort defensively is so vital in opposition to the Rockets. Having to chase Clint Capella round from ball display to ball display, giving the guard a hedge and retreating again into the paint to forestall the lob in addition to contesting and affecting pictures on the rim is exhausting, but it surely’s actually, actually vital if you wish to string collectively stops in opposition to the Rockets. Lets hope to see Marc extraordinarily engaged and energetic on the defensive finish tonight, as a result of when he's, it helps the Grizzlies immensely.

The Prediction

That is going to be a tough fought sport. The Grizzlies appeared to rub the Rockets the mistaken means on Monday (I’m you, Rio), and that often means that there's extra incentive for the opposition to offer their all. Harden is coming off of a triple double in opposition to Charlotte final evening in a snug win, so he might be coming into the sport with lots of confidence.
An enormous issue for this sport is the truth that the Grizzlies have had a day of relaxation to prepare bodily and mentally for this sport. The Rockets, alternatively might be enjoying for the second evening in a row, on the third sport of a street journey. It additionally doesn’t assist Houston that Trevor Ariza and Nene, two priceless contributors, are out with accidents tonight. All of those elements are favorable for the Grizzlies.
The Rockets are nonetheless deep and proficient, and if Harden and his streaky supporting solid (Eric Gordon, Ryan Anderson, and many others.) catch hearth, they're nearly unattainable to beat. Nevertheless, I believe fatigue, harm, and stable protection from the Grizzlies will hold this sport very shut.
And the way might I ever guess in opposition to Mike Conley within the 4th? Grizzlies in a nail-biter.
SCORE PREDICTION - Memphis 107, Houston 104
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