Grizzlies vs Rockets
Tonight marks the return of the Houston Rockets to the FedEx Forum. The Grizz are 21-7, and are ranked #1 in the Southwest division. The Houston Rockets are right behind the Grizz, standing at 20-7, and claiming the #2 spot in the division. Tip off at the Forum is 7:00 pm.
Tonight also marks the return of The Grindfather Tony Allen, to the floor. Zach Randolph remains questionable for play this evening. The return of Tony Allen to the Grizz line-up couldn’t be better timing. Posting 9 ppg, and an average of at least 2 steals per game, Allen is desperately needed for his defense; it has been poor defensive play from the guys the last three games while he’s been out. Allen is a creative and aggressive defender, often setting the defensive tempo.
The Grizz have won the the last three out of four Houston match-ups. The Rockets are coming into The Forum hot, with the addition of Corey Brewer and Alexey Shved in trades. Josh Smith, released from the Detriot Pistons on Monday, has chosen to play for Houston, although signing isn’t complete. James Harden played aggressively Monday against The Trailblazers posting 44 points, and five steals. Dwight Howard posted up a double-double.
The Grizz are going to have to be aggressive on the offensive boards, and limit second chance points. Without Randolph, the has proved difficult. Hopefully reinserting Allen will reset the defensive rhythm. Allen also serves as the Grizzlies best perimeter defender, an area that when left open immediately becomes a hot zone for opposing teams. Hopefully, Courtney Lee will settle back down and return to the key with consistency. With Mike Conley, and Marc Gasol playing at the All-Star level, tonight looks to be a knock down drag out fight, just the way we like it.