Double or Nothing: Grizzlies face the Rockets for the second night in a row

Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

After getting a big win in Houston, the Grizzlies are now above .500 once again. One win was big, but a win on back-to-back nights against the Rockets would be huge.

2013/2014 NBA Season
vs
21-20 (11-13 home)
Won 1
29-16 (11-9 road)
Lost 1
January 24th, 2013
FedexForum in Memphis, TN
7:00 PM CDT
Fox SportsSouth/ 92.9 FM ESPN
Possible Starters
Mike Conley PG Patrick Beverley
Courtney Lee SG James Harden
Tayshaun Prince SF Chandler Parsons
Zach Randolph PF Terrence Jones
Marc Gasol C Dwight Howard
2013/14 Advanced Stats
92.37 (30th) Pace 98.15 (7th)
102.4 (19th) OEff 107.5 (4th)
103.9 (T-16th) DEff 102.1 (T-9th)

Line: Houston -1: O/U: 195

Opponent's Blog: The Dream Shake

Injury Report: Memphis: Tony Allen - Out (Hand); Quincy Pondexter - Out (Foot); Houston: Ronnie Brewer - Questionable (Calf); Greg Smith - Questionable (Knee); Omer Asik - Out (Knee); Francisco Garcia - Out (Knee)

Memphis Grizzlies Tickets

Extinguish Chandler Parsons' Flame

Parsons hit ten threes in last night's game. IN A ROW! Parsons is a good shooter, but he's unlikely to hit seemingly every shot he launches for the second night in a row. The crazy thing about Parsons big game was his performance despite the Grizzlies strong defense on him. Any Grizzly who drew the assignment of guarding him at one point or another did a really good job of sticking with him and hugging his hip to limit his space. There were a few lapses tonight that allowed Parsons to be the beneficiary of a wide-open look, but overall guys did a good job of following his every move.

When Parsons began burying threes several feet behind the three-point line, it became obvious that the Grizzlies were not going to be able to do anything with him. Maybe in tonight's game, the Grizzlies should tug on his jersey, step on one of his shoes, or do anything to get him off his rhythm if the refs aren't going to call it. That's really the best option if he's having a scorching hot shooting night again.

Swarm James Harden and Dwight Howard

The Grizzlies limited one of the best offensive teams in the league in the Houston Rockets, and a big part of that has to do with how they defended Harden and Howard. Courtney Lee did a great job of following Harden around, fighting through a bevy of screens, and cutting off his drive without fouling. Of course, the refs determine how the Grizzlies can defend Harden. If the guys in stripes are calling as many fouls as they did the first two times these teams met, it could be a long night. However, the refs were fair Friday night and let both teams play. That would benefit the Grizzlies.

As for Howard, the Grizzlies frustrated him from the tip, and he could never get going in the post, at least against reigning Defensive Player of the Year Marc Gasol. Big Spain did an excellent job staying vertical to contest Howard's shots, and he was physical enough with Howard to throw him off his game. If the Grizzlies can limit the production from the two Rockets superstars, they will have a much better chance to pick up another win.

Spread the Wealth

Scoring by committee isn't new for the Grizzlies, and they deployed that strategy against the Rockets Friday night. Given Houston's defensive woes, a balanced offense can give them fits. Five Grizzlies finished with double-digit points, and spreading the ball around kept the Rockets from being able to key in on just one guy.

Just because one guy shouldn't always be the primary option for the Grizzlies against the Rockets, that doesn't mean the Grizzlies shouldn't attack one guy in particular whenever the opportunity presents itself. That player? James Harden. He shows a complete lack of interest on defense, and Courtney Lee went for 19 points last night being primarily guarded by Harden.

Final Prediction

Houston is one of the top teams in the Western Conference, and the Grizzlies are heating up and heading towards the last playoff spot. Coming off of a huge victory against this Rockets team, including the first of the season over a Southwest Division foe, the Grizzlies might have a slight advantage if their energy is still up on the second night of this back-to-back. Also, they're playing at home. Memphis hasn't been good at home this season, but with Gasol back and it being a Saturday night, expect energy to run rife in the FedEx Forum. If the Grizzlies defense plays like they did last night, they stand a great chance of ending the season series with the Rockets in a 2-2 tie. The Rockets are too good for it to be a blowout though. A game between these two teams could easily come down to the last possession of the game for the second night in a row.

Final Score: Memphis 94, Houston 91

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