The Memphis Grizzlies have shaken things up since the last time they saw the Rockets. When they last fell to the Houston Rockets, by 18, they still had Marc Gasol, JaMychal Green, Garrett Temple, Omri Casspi, and Shelvin Mack on the roster. This new-look roster has been both entertaining and flawed — dropping games to equal teams, and stealing wins against playoff-bound teams.
The Grizzlies have given up 130+ points in the past few games, and this high-powered Houston squad must be salivating at this game. If the defense doesn’t tighten up, James Harden and company may have a field day.
I caught up with Jeremy Brener from The Dream Shake, SB Nation’s Houston Rockets affiliate website, to discuss the Rockets and tonight’s matchup.
1. Can James Harden’s historic scoring run win him another MVP?
It absolutely can. I think James Harden has done more than enough to win the MVP this season. However, it isn’t necessarily in his hands. Giannis is in the driver’s seat for this MVP race. If he continues to do what he’s been doing, he should win, but if he slips up, Harden is next in line.
2. On a scale of 1-10, how concerned are you about Chris Paul’s health entering the postseason?
11. CP3 has been the glue to this team and has been the one guy that has brought the Rockets to a whole new level. His presence and leadership is so important for the team and it makes a tremendous difference. Put it this way, the Rockets cannot win a series without him. The Rockets simply do not stack up against any Western Conference opponent sans Paul.
3. Can this iteration of the Rockets dethrone the Warriors?
Absolutely. The team is clicking at the right time and has momentum heading into the stretch run. The team needs to stay healthy and focused and they need to get to the Warriors first. It is a long journey ahead, but if they have the chance to cross that bridge, they most definitely can.
4. I am a new Danuel House fan. What does he bring to this Rockets team?
House is unselfish and adds to an already great chemistry. He’s also a proven scorer off the bench that can give you 10 to 12 points in a game and can really make the Rockets dangerous. It also allows Eric Gordon to start (where he has played better this year) and not have a drop-off in bench scoring.
5. What matchup are you looking forward to the most?
Mike Conley vs. Chris Paul. Granted CP3 might not play as his availability in SEGABABAs have been spotty, but if they play, it will be a lot of fun to see those two battle, as it has been so many times in the past.