WHEN: 6:00 P.M. CT
WHERE: Toyota Center in Houston, Texas
HOW TO WATCH/LISTEN: Bally Sports Southeast/92.9 FM ESPN Memphis
BETTING ODDS: Grizzlies -11 (Odds can be found on DraftKings)
MEMPHIS: Dillon Brooks (Out, ankle), Yves Pons (Out, thigh)
Houston: Dennis Schroder (Ankle, Game time decision), Usman Garuba (Wrist, OUT), and John Wall (non injury related, OUT)
MEMPHIS: Ja Morant, Desmond Bane, Ziaire Williams, Jaren Jackson Jr., Steven Adams
Houston: Jalen Green, Eric Gordon, Kevin Porter Jr., Jae’Sean Tate, Christian Wood
Can the Grizzlies continue their dominance of teams that are below .500?
That will be key to how their trajectory continues to climb as we are in the final stretch of this 2021-22 NBA season. For Memphis, coming off of a dominating win against the Orlando Magic last night at FedEx Forum 124-96, bouncing back had to feel good.
The Magic are one of those teams that will fight tooth and nail if you allow them to dance with you, but Memphis did not give them the opportunity to get on the dance floor last night. A wire to wire victory for the Grizzlies was huge. Seeing guys up and down the roster contribute and find their groove following a rough showing in Boston on Thursday night was equally huge.
Memphis found their rhythm again Saturday night against the Magic, and now looks to the second night of a back-to-back. Tonight, they are taking on another sub .500 Houston Rockets team that has lost 12 games in a row. Nothing is easy in the NBA, but with Memphis being the among the youngest teams in the NBA, second nights of a back-to-back don’t scare me. How does Memphis continue pushing for the second seed in the Western Conference and more importantly building momentum heading into the playoffs?
Consistent Energy from the tip:
One thing that this young Grizzlies team has consistently done this season is taking care of the “professional wins.” The wins that could be potential “trap games” for Memphis, the Grizzlies have handled throughout the season. To avoid a Rockets upset, the Grizzlies will have to come out the locker rooms with consistent energy in Houston.
Similar to the Magic last night, Houston likes to play at a frantic pace, which is normal for a young rebuilding team like the Rockets. For Memphis, dictating the tempo, and bringing consistent energy for 48 minutes will be huge.
Take control from the tip, and don’t look back...
Yes, the Houston Rockets have lost 12 straight games, but they haven’t been complete blowouts. Going toe-to-toe with the Utah Jazz several nights ago in an overtime loss, Houston has the fire power to hang around if given that opportunity.
The Rockets have guys up and down their roster that can get hot at any given moment. One thing Memphis prides themselves on is their defense in the half-court. The Grizzlies will need to establish their defensive dominance as early as possible tonight.
For Memphis, snatching control of the game from the tip will play a huge roll on how this one plays out.
The prediction for tonight will be similar to last night’s outcome against Orlando. I feel like the youth on this roster is beneficial on the second night of a back-to-back, combined with the professionalism that this team carries on a nightly basis, equals the Grizzlies earning their 44th win on the season.
Bonus Betting Breakdown: Similar to the Grizzlies 16 point spread last night, I think Memphis covers the 11 point spread in Houston this evening as well. Overall, Memphis’ defense, combined with it’s capability of flipping the switch on teams like Houston lead to double-digit victories. Honestly shocked the spread isn’t higher. Take the Grizzlies -11 tonight in Houston.
Final: Grizzlies 121 Houston 98