The Houston Rockets are rolling and will look to keep their winning ways going as they face the Memphis Grizzlies tonight. Can they make it five wins in a row without CP3?
Tonight will mark the tenth game of the season that Chris Paul will miss for the Houston Rockets this season. In a season so far marked by suspension and injury, the only important thing is making sure he’s 100% by the playoffs.
For the first five games, it looked like the Rockets were incapable of winning without Paul. They lost every game by an average of about 10 points and the offense (and defense) was pathetic.
Something changed though, and a large part of that is the play of James Harden in CP3’s absence. The Beard stepped up big time, averaging 41.5 points and 7.3 assists, leading to a 4-0 record in those games. A team that couldn’t beat anyone without their point guard is now beating some of the best in the league. As long as Harden is dominating like this, the Rockets can afford to make sure that Paul is completely healthy,
Tonight will be another test for the Rockets as they face yet another top-10 defense in the Memphis Grizzlies. They’ve faced two of those in these games without CP3, the Celtics (4th) and the Thunder (1st). Houston has managed to score plenty of points in those games, though, to get the victories.
Conley and Gasol
The key to this one is making sure that the Rockets can contain Mike Conley and Marc Gasol. They held them relatively in check in their victory over Memphis earlier this month, with Conley going for an inefficient 22 points and Gasol going for 17.
Clint Capela will need to bring his A-game against an older, but still fantastic, center in Gasol. Last game wasn’t great statistically for Clint (6 points, 7 rebounds, but still 3 blocks), so he’ll need to play a bit better, especially on the glass, to defeat Memphis.
The Rockets will be without former Sixth Man of the Year Eric Gordon tonight as he’s out with a knee injury. Thankfully, he should be day-to-day after tonight, but they’ll miss his offense in this game.
Eric Gordon out on Monday. Day-to-day after that. James Ennis questionable.
— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) December 30, 2018
James Ennis is questionable to play after a long return from a hamstring injury a few weeks ago. His return, if he plays, will definitely help offset the loss of EG, at least a little bit. D’Antoni also said that Austin Rivers will start and Brandon Knight will see some playing time with Gordon out.
Be sure to tune in at 6:00 p.m. CT to watch the Rockets take on the Grizzlies on AT&T SportsNet SW!