Memphis Grizzlies (2-0 SU, 2-0 ATS, 0-2 O/U) vs. Houston Rockets (3-0 SU, 2-1 ATS, 1-2 O/U)
NBA: Monday, October 23, 2017, Toyota Center, Houston, Texas, 8 pm ET
Line: Houston -8; Over/Under: 210.5
A pair of undefeated teams meet in a Southwest Division contest in the Lone Star State. The Memphis Grizzlies are on the road as they look to take down the Houston Rockets Monday night. Memphis remained unbeaten as they defeated Golden State 111-101 at home Saturday night. Houston ran their mark to 3-0 as they rolled to a 107-91 home win over Dallas in a Southwest Division matchup Saturday. The Rockets have a 55-33 advantage in the all-time regular-season series between the teams though they split four meetings last season. Houston claimed a 123-108 win in the last meeting here on March 4.
Memphis Grizzlies Seek 3-0 Start to Season
Memphis shook off the defending champions in the Warriors and now look to take down the Rockets on the road. The Grizzlies led by five at the half and took command by outscoring the Warriors 32-20 in the third quarter before hanging on for the win. Memphis shot 46.8 percent from the field in the contest while knocking down 10 of 27 from three point range. The Grizzlies limited the Warriors to 39.3 percent shooting from the floor, including 12 of 38 from beyond the arc, and forced 17 Golden State turnovers in the win. Marc Gasol led the way as he piled up 34 points and 14 rebounds for Memphis.
The Grizzlies enter this contest ranked 13th in scoring offense in the league as they average 107 points per game. Memphis is in the bottom third of the pack in the league on the glass, ranking 23rd with 42.5 boards a night. The Grizzlies are tied for 25th in the league in assists with 19.5 per game. Memphis stands 7th in the league in scoring defense as they allow 96 points per game. Marc Gasol leads the team with 24 points and 12.5 rebounds per game. Mike Conley adds 18.5 points plus five assists a night, rookie Dillon Brooks contributes 14 points a game while Tyreke Evans adds 11.5 points plus six rebounds per game. James Ennis III, Chandler Parsons, Mario Chalmers, Brandan Wright and Andrew Harrison are key pieces in the rotation for Memphis. The Grizzlies are tied for 17th in the league in field goal percentage as the team shoots 44.4 percent from the floor. Memphis is 16th in the league with 9.5 threes per game and 17th in the league as they shoot 33.9 percent from beyond the arc.
Houston Rockets Look to Remain Unbeaten
Houston maintained their perfect record as they rolled past a young, overmatched Dallas team. The Rockets look for a second straight divisional win in this contest. Houston led by 13 at the half, 23 at the half and by 34 after three quarters before allowing the Mavericks to cut the deficit in garbage time. The Rockets shot 47.6 percent from the floor despite going only 11 of 47 from three-point range in the game. Houston controlled the glass by a 54-41 margin in the contest and stifled the Mavericks into 36.9 percent shooting from the field. James Harden led the Rockets with 29 points plus seven assists in the win.
The Rockets are well above average offensively: they are 10th in the league with 111.3 points per game. Houston is tied for 9th in rebounding with 47 boards per game and tied for 14th with 21.3 assists a night. The Rockets are tied for 15th in scoring defense as they allow 104 points per game. James Harden leads the team with 27.7 points per game while grabbing four boards and dishing out 8.7 assists a night. Eric Gordon is putting up 22.3 points per contest while Clint Capela averages 15.7 points plus 10.3 rebounds a night. PJ Tucker (9.7 points) and Ryan Anderson (8.7 points, 7.7 rebounds) each are key secondary options this season. Nene Hilario, Trevor Ariza, Chris Paul and Luc Mbah a Moute are key pieces in the rotation as well. Paul is out currently with a bruised knee and is expected to miss two to four weeks. The Rockets are 15th in the league in field goal percentage, shooting 45.4 percent as a team. Houston is 5th in the league with 12.7 threes a night while the team is 27th by shooting 28.6 percent from long range this season.
- Grizzlies are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a winning home record
- Grizzlies are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game
- Grizzlies are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 road games
- Rockets are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 vs. NBA Southwest
This one is going to be a solid matchup between a pair of teams that have gotten off to hot starts. Both teams have beaten the Warriors in the opening week of the season with the Grizzlies winning at home while the Rockets won on the road. Houston hoped to have Paul healthy to help ease the heavy workload Harden had last season but with his early injury, it’s back to the drawing board for that plan. As it stands, the Rockets have better depth on the offensive end and that carries them to a win in this contest.
Pick: Houston Rockets -8
Houston has seen quality production offensively but more importantly, their defense showed up and has been decent in the early going this season. The Rockets have always had defensive struggles but if they can come up with an even average showing on the defensive end, they can become a more viable threat to the Warriors and Spurs among the Western Conference hierarchy. Memphis has a solid starting five but their depth is suspect as the departure of Zach Randolph took a major piece out of their rotation. The Grizzlies don’t have the depth, at least right now, to sustain success if Gasol or Conley miss time.
The under is 6-2 in the Grizzlies’ last 8 road games vs. a team with a winning home record and 8-3 in their last 11 games on the road. Houston has seen the under go 4-1 in their last five home games. The under has come up in 23 of the last 34 meetings between the teams in Houston. Defense has been good for both sides in the early going: look for this one to stay under the total.