Houston Rockets vs. Memphis Grizzlies Preview

By Michael Ma

Mar 29, 2013; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley (11) and Houston Rockets point guard Patrick Beverley (12) chase after the loose ball during the game at FedEx Forum. Memphis Grizzlies defeat the Houston Rockets 103-94. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden–USA TODAY Sports

Coming off a win that helped the Houston Rockets clinch a playoff berth for the first time since 2009, now have their sights on catching up to 6th seeded Golden State.  If they do, the Grizzlies might just be the Rockets first-round opponent.

The Grizzlies have won two out of the three games against the Rockets so far this season, but the defeat was a 121-96 loss at Toyota Center on December 22nd.  121 points was the most points they have allowed in two seasons.

But for the Rockets, getting an opportunity to be in the playoffs for the first time in 4 years is something they are looking forwards to already.

“It’s a great accomplishment for us,” James Harden said. “For our first year together, it’s a pretty good thing.”

Houston could be without Chandler Parsons (calf) again, for the fourth consecutive game, while Carlos Delfino, who’s missed the last four games due to flu-like symptoms, is questionable.

Memphis will be looking to play all-out.  They are currently one game behind Denver for the 3rd seed, while the Los Angeles Clippers hold the 4th seed.  The Grizzlies have a better record than the Clippers, but because they lead the Pacific Division, they’re set to have home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.  Catching the Nuggets would mean home-court advantage for the Grizzlies.

The Grizzlies last beat the Rockets at home on March 29th, 103-94.  They have gone 6-1 since then, and have allowed a meager 84.9 points per game.  They lead the NBA in scoring defense, allowing just 89.5 points per game.

Once again, it will be a game of contrasting styles as the Rockets average 106.2 points per game.  Whichever team can play their game will come out on top.

The Grizzlies could be without top reserves Darrell Arthur and Jerryd Bayless, as they have missed the last two games.