Houston Rockets vs Memphis Grizzlies: Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

WSN Picks: Houston Rockets to defeat the Memphis Grizzlies.

How to Watch

What: Houston Rockets at Memphis Grizzlies

Where: FedEx Forum, Memphis, Tennessee

When: Tuesday, 14 January 2020, 8:00 PM EST

How (TV/Radio): NBA TV, AT&T Sportsnet – Southwest, Fox Sports Southeast – Memphis | ESPN Radio 92.9FM / 680AM, 790 KBME & 740 KTRH / 850 KEYH & 101.7 FM

Houston Rockets (Away)

Head Coach: Mike D’Antoni {All-Time 654-511 | DEN, PHX, NYK, LAL, HOU}

Season Record: 26-12

Projected Starting Five: (G) Russell Westbrook – (G) James Harden – (F) Ben McLemore – (F) PJ Tucker – (C) Clint Capela

Top Performers

  • (G) James Harden – 37.1 MPG | 37.7 PPG | 7.5 APG | 6.2 RPG
  • (G) Russell Westbrook – 35.2 MPG | 24.6 PPG | 7.7 RPG | 7.0 APG
  • (C) Clint Capela – 33.5 MPG | 14.5 PPG | 14.4 RPG | 1.8 BPG

The Houston Rockets are barely holding on to fourth in the Western Conference. Due to the sheer competitiveness of the West, they are a win from second place and a loss from fifth.

Houston is coming off of a dominant win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Rockets took it to their opponents from the start – winning every quarter of the game, not giving the Timberwolves a semblance of hope throughout the match.

They now face off with a soaring Memphis Grizzlies team. Russell Westbrook will feel as if he’s looking in a mirror at Ja Morant, while the Houston frontline will only hope to contain Jonas Valanciunas.

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Memphis Grizzlies (Home)

Head Coach: Taylor Jenkins {All-Time 18-22 | MEM}

Projected Starting Five: (G) Ja Morant – (G) Dillon Brooks – (F) Jae Crowder – (F) Jaren Jackson – (C) Jonas Valanciunas

Season Record: 18-22

Top Performers

  • (F) Jaren Jackson – 28.2 MPG | 18.1 PPG | 4.9 RPG | 1.4 BPG
  • (G) Ja Morant – 29.5 MPG | 17.8 PPG | 6.9 APG | 3.4 RPG
  • (C) Jonas Valanciunas – 25.2 MPG | 15.1 PPG | 9.9 RPG | 1.0 BPG

The Memphis Grizzlies started the season expecting to be one of the worst teams in the NBA. However after a stunning run of form, the Memphis Grizzlies find themselves in playoff position.

The Grizzlies are coming off of a dominant victory over the weakened Golden State Warriors. They dominated on the inside, which only helped to open up their shooting opportunities.

Memphis’ run of form has been fantastic, winning their last five. However whether or not they can manage the step up in competition is yet to be determined. The Rockets are their biggest test yet.

What’s at Stake?

The Houston Rockets and the Memphis Grizzlies have a surprisingly competitive rivalry. In 73 regular-season meetings, the Rockets lead the Grizzlies 41-32.

A win for the Houston Rockets would bring them to level with the Utah Jazz for third place in the Western Conference.

A win for the Memphis Grizzlies would give them a one-game lead over the San Antonio Spurs who trail them at ninth in the Western Conference.

Questions to Answer

Can the Rockets’ stars lead them to victory once again?

Will the Grizzlies’ versatility continue to win them the day?

We are going to compare the Houston Rockets and the Memphis Grizzlies in an attempt to see who has the advantage in this matchup.

Houston’s Dynamic Duo

Regardless of brilliance, you can’t call the Houston Rockets a one-man team. James Harden has been excellent this year, but without Russell Westbrook, they wouldn’t be in the position that they find themselves in.

When their last match opened against the Minnesota Timberwolves, they found themselves struggling from deep. The Rockets were 1-6 from three, and down by three in the first. But it was Westbrook’s ability to create and attack the basket that brought them back to handle the Timberwolves.

Westbrook and Harden combined for 62 points, 18 assists, 18 rebounds, and four steals on the night. Whether or not Memphis can guard against the point of attack is still up in the air.

The Grizzlies’ Versatile Front Court

The Memphis Grizzlies have been on an amazing hot streak over their last five games. While the only plus-.500 team they’ve defeated has been the LA Clippers, Memphis’ quality frontcourt is what drives them.

Jaren Jackson is your modern stretch big man, Brandon Clarke is a bouncy energy center off the bench, while Valanciunas is your classic interior bruiser. The Grizz have been able to adapt to any situation, due to the strength of their depth.

They take on a Rockets team that may or may not be with their starting center in Clint Capela. While backup Hartenstein was excellent in his last game, they don’t look to have the means to stop Memphis in the paint.

Houston Lives and Dies by the Three

The only time that the Houston Rockets showed some vulnerability in their last match against the Minnesota Timberwolves was in the first quarter. Houston was 1-6 from deep and they looked without an option at the time.

They surged after those first six attempts though, finishing the match 17-39 from three, powered by five three-pointers off the bench from Eric Gordon. It’s a slippery slope that the Rockets play on, with all focus on offense, and little on the defensive end, especially without Capela.

The Memphis Grizzlies are not known for their ability to stop their opponents from the three-point line. The Grizzlies allow their opponents to shoot 37% from three, fourth-worst in the league. The stars are aligned for another hot-shooting night for the Rockets.

Leave it to Ja

The Memphis Grizzlies’ hot streak and the performance of rookie sensation Ja Morant is not a coincidence. Morant seems to be running away with the Rookie of the Year award, especially if he can continue to lead his side in the playoff race.

Over the course of their five-game win streak, Morant has been averaging 18.6 points, 9.4 assists, and 5.0 rebounds. Not only has he continued his ability to score the ball at will in the paint, but his distribution also displays a surprising level of maturity.

He’ll be looking at his comparison when he faces off with Russell Westbrook. While Morant has been incredible offensively over their win streak, he will be taking on the most talented point guard yet over the course of this homestand.

Houston Rockets Roster Notes

(C) Clint Capela – 11 Jan 2020 – Day To Day (Heel) – Capela did not play in Saturday’s (Jan. 11) game.

(F) PJ Tucker – 11 Jan 2020 – Day To Day (Shoulder) – Tucker left Saturday’s (Jan. 11) game with a right shoulder stinger. Coach Mike D’Antoni expects him to be available for Tuesday’s (Jan. 14) game against Memphis.

(G) Gerald Green – 28 Oct 2019 – Out (Left Foot) – Houston Rockets G-F Gerald Green is expected to miss six months after having surgery, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.

(C) Nene Hilario – 22 Nov 2019 – Out (Abductor) – Nene is still away from the team and there is currently no timeline for his return, according to Vincent Sung of Clutch Points.

Memphis Grizzlies Roster Notes

(G-F) Andre Iguodala – 23 Oct 2019 – Out (Undisclosed) – Iguodala is not currently with the team as he awaits for the team to trade him or buy his contract out, according to Drew Shiller of NBCSports.com.

Head-to-Head: (C) Isaiah Hartenstein vs (C) Jonas Valanciunas

Two bruising European centers face off when the Rockets and the Grizzlies meet up.

Hartenstein is coming off of a career game, while Jonas Valanciunas is playing his best basketball of the season. This old-school matchup is one to watch.

(C) Isaiah Hartenstein (7-0, 249lb (213cm, 112kg) | Germany | 1 Years)

 

 

SeasonAgeTeamGamesMPPTSREBASTFG%3P%
19-2021HOU1614.66.05.20.9.678.000

 

Isaiah Hartenstein is a sparingly used German center for the Houston Rockets. While he doesn’t step on the court often, he was brilliant when he stepped in for Clint Capela against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

A legit seven-footer with length and a soft touch, Hartenstein had a career game. The German contributed 17 points, 15 rebounds, and five blocks against the Towns-less Timberwolves. He’ll have a step up in competition, taking on Lithuanian veteran Jonas Valanciunas.

(C) Jonas Valanciunas (6-11, 265lb (211cm, 120kg) | Lithuania | 7 Years)

 

 

SeasonAgeTeamGamesMPPTSREBASTFG%3P%
19-2027MEM3725.215.19.90.2.602.446

 

When you think of Jonas Valanciunas, the term immediate impact comes to mind.

While only playing 25.2 minutes per game, his lowest since his rookie year, he is having a career season.

Valanciunas is coming off of a 31 point, 19 rebound double-double in a win over the Warriors. While a niche player, his dominance in the paint is something to worry about for the Rockets. If the game follows a small-ball trend, we may see very little of the Lithuanian.

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Houston Rockets at Memphis Grizzlies Predictions

Why the Houston Rockets Will Win

The Houston Rockets are a shockingly dangerous offensive team. But there is a stark difference in their rebounding ability in wins versus losses. If the Rockets can manage the Grizzlies’ fierce interior presence, they can take this match.

Why the Memphis Grizzlies Will Win

The Memphis Grizzlies’ win streak comes on the back of fantastic ball distribution, on top of dominance in the rebounding department. If they hope to win this match, they must slow the Houston stars at the point of attack.

WSN’s Pick

The Memphis Grizzlies are flying, but the combined talent of the Houston Rockets will likely be too much. Houston’s scoring is on another level and the Memphis Grizzlies don’t stop the ball nearly enough.

WSN Picks: Houston Rockets to defeat the Memphis Grizzlies.

Houston Rockets vs Memphis Grizzlies Odds

The latest odds for the Houston Rockets vs Memphis Grizzlies are provided by bet365 NJ, DraftKings Sportsbook, and 888Sport NJ.

Money Line

SportsbookRocketsGrizzlies
bet365 NJ-192+167
DraftKings-195+163
888Sport NJ-195+160

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