The Memphis Grizzlies and Houston Rockets are two teams looking to turn their losing misfortunes around, as the former has lost 3 straight games, and the latter has lost 11 games in a row. Despite the current state of things, both teams are constructued to have bright futures — though Memphis has had better present luck.
To get ready for this matchup, I chat with Zach Allen of The Dream Shake — the Houston Rockets SB Nation blog — to preview tonight’s game.
1) This is the first full season of the rebuild. How optimistic are you of the process?
The process has been up-and-down for the Rockets. But me personally, I’m slowing enjoying the grooming of these young players, the best of which is Jalen Green. Jalen Green has shown explosiveness, shot diversity, and the ability to meet a defender at the rim. Just waiting on consistency. KPJ is finding his way as PG but is learning how to control the pace as a scorer and passer. The Rockets go as far as he takes them.
2) What a haul in the 2021 draft. What are your early thoughts on some of the potential prospects in next year’s draft?
I love Paolo Banchero from Duke. I see a NBA body, athleticism, shot diversity, passing, and the ability to defend everywhere. Also run a offense in transition and create the ability to create for himself. Patrick Baldwin, I see another version of KD at 6’10”. He is great around screens when it comes to shooting the ball. In-and-out scorer. Length is out of this world, which allows him to get to rim easier.
3) So what’s this deal with Christian Wood, and where do you stand? Good young players are good to have.
Christian Wood has become a better rebounder but it’s a mental thing for him when it comes to another losing season. He is a max player but idk if he is the guy to bring you over the top. He is worth a ton in trade valued but patience must be there. Christian has shown more a ability to be good in transition off-the-dribble.
4) Is anyone worried about Jalen Green’s slow start, or is it known that it’s a part of the process?
Like I said before, Jalen is a rookie, so it will take time for him to find that elite stride. He has the ability to get 30 points. Nobody is worried that Jalen will not be great. He has all the tools in Houston.
5) Ja and Jaren get the most attention, but which young Grizzly, aside from those 2, fascinates you the most?
DESMOND BANE. He has gotten so much better. Really good shooter and is small tank truck. He has become a reliable player for the Grizzlies.