Oct 24, 2013; San Antonio, TX, USA; Houston Rockets head coach Kevin McHale talks to center Dwight Howard (12) during the second half against the San Antonio Spurs at AT

Grizzlies vs Rockets Preseason Preview

This game would make a very good opening game of the regular season. Oh well, at least this is the last of these preseason tuneups. Especially after that stinker in Toronto.

Houston has been picked to finish the season higher in the playoff standings than the Grizzlies in most preseason polls and analyses. This is largely due to their offseason acquisition of Dwight Howard.

Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

Howard fancies himself the best basketball player on the planet, or at least the best center in the NBA. There is plenty of agreement on that high opinion of Dwight. Should he have been last season’s Defensive Player of the Year? Did Marc Gasol only receive that award because Howard was injured? Will Dwight Howard regain his rightful place as DPOY this season? Personally, I never thought leaving your man to block a guard’s shot equated to great defensive.

Regardless of your stand on that, Dwight Howard is one of the Rockets strengths that will match up directly with one of the Grizzlies strengths in Marc Gasol. This will be a contrast of styles, as Gasol will play the captain and quarterback of the Grizzlies team defense.

As a team, the fast-paced offensive oriented Rockets represent a contrast in style compared to the Grizzlies. And, like the Howard / Gasol matchup, each Houston strength seems to be countered by a Memphis strength.

At shooting guard, James Harden was the Rockets primary scoring threat last season. He will be guarded by Tony Allen, the best perimeter defender in the league. Allen has proven he can shut Harden down.

At the point for Houston is Jeremy Lin, the player formerly know as Linsanity. Lin is prone to turn the ball over, and will be facing Mike Conley, one of the league’s best at stealing the ball.

We’ll see how it goes.

-Omer Asik on being asked to slide over to power forward, after requesting to be traded

I have no idea what to expect from the Omer “We’ll see how it goes” Asik and Zach Randolph. But, it will be interesting to see Asik begrudgingly shift to power forward alongside D-Ho.

The Grizzlies have an annoying tendency to allow players like Chandler Parsons go off on them and score 30. Let’s hope than doesn’t happen with… let’s see.. who is starting at small forward for the Grizz tonight?

Not likely to be Tayshaun Prince, who has been abducted by aliens who implanted a stomach bug suffering from a stomach ailment, causing him to miss most of training camp and the preseason. Mike Miller has drawn some starts, and played well while playing way too many minutes. Quincy Pondexter has started some games. Q-Pon started out playing well, but has been underwhelming lately.

So, this could be a great matchup, with two teams with contrasting styles of play. Two of what promises to be the best frontcourts in a tough Western Conference. A potential playoff matchup, jockeying for position. Well, all that if the game actually mattered. Sigh… It’s still the preseason.

Maybe the Memphis crowd will give a standing ovation to Patrick Beverly when he enters the game. You know, for knocking Russell Westbrook out of the playoffs last season.

When: Friday, October 25th, 7:00 PM CST
Where: FedEx Forum, Memphis, TN


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