The Grizzlies came into Houston with the opportunity to take a win from a Houston squad who has suffered a few big losses recently. After James Harden’s dismal shooting performance (1-17 from three) against the Magic last night, the Rockets suffered another blow today upon finding that starting center Clint Capela could miss up to six weeks with a thumb injury.
Rockets center Clint Capela will miss four to six weeks with right thumb injury, league source tells ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 14, 2019
Coming off these on and off-court losses, no one would be too surprised to see Memphis take a win in Houston against an already short-handed Rockets squad. But James Harden did what James Harden does. He put the team on his back and completely dominated the game to give his team a much-needed win. Memphis looked lost offensively and inept on the defensive side as well.
Let’s check out the grades for a rough loss in Houston.
Mike Conley: C+
Statistically speaking, Conley has had worse performances. 14 points to go along with 7 rebounds and 7 assists seems like a decent performance. However, given that Conley had 5 turnovers and went into halftime with a big, fat zero points are what knock this grade down.
Mike has 0 points. Marc has 5 points. Pretty bad defense so far in the first half with no real help rotations with a lot of turnovers. Harden has 36.— Mark King (@king_producer) January 15, 2019
I guess being down 54-48 is a win at this point?
As one of the leaders of this team, Conley can’t be going into halftime without any points if the Grizzlies are wanting to be serious about winning.
Jevon Carter: C
Carter started off playing well enough. He had 8 points in the first quarter, and was playing aggressive defense primarily on James Harden. His energy and hustle, trademarks of his time at West Virginia, were on full display. Unfortunately, both Carter’s playing time and his impact on the game disappeared after that. While he tried his best to keep up with the Beard, he ended up getting torched for most of the time he was in the game. That’s not totally on him, it’s hard to stop an unstoppable object. But his impact, and to an extent his grade will be limited as long as J.B. continues to limit his playing time.
Garrett Temple: B
Temple played a team-high 34 min in the loss to Houston, mostly because Memphis is horribly short on wings. They’re all either hurt (Dillon Brooks, Kyle Anderson) not with the team (Chandler Parsons) or for whatever reason can’t get off the bench (Justin Holiday). Temple tied with Mike Conley for the dubious honor of the Grizzlies’ leading scorer with 14 points on an efficient 5 of 7 shooting. Garrett is a solid NBA player, but on his best nights is just that. Solid, but not great. He isn’t someone who can be counted on to help carry the team when his teammates are struggling. Right now the best thing he could do for the Grizzlies is continue to boost his trade value before the deadline, a la JaMychal Green.