The Houston Rockets will be hoping to arrest a ten-game skid on Sunday night as they take on the Memphis Grizzlies at the Toyota Center. After some positive results in the post-Harden era, Houston's situation has soon gone from bad to worse, developing a bottom-5 offense and a slide that has left them 2nd-bottom in the West.
Stephen Silas' side has struggled with injuries during that time. Star center Christian Wood remains sidelined after his ankle injury on February 4th and new guard pairing John Wall and Victor Oladipo only played in 4 of the 10 losses together.
Meanwhile, The Memphis Grizzlies have steadily been outsiders in the playoff hunt this season with a 14-15 record. Ja Morant is shining, including 16 points and 7 assists in a blowout victory over the LA Clippers this week.
Fixture: Memphis Grizzlies vs Houston Rockets - NBA Season 2020-21.
Date & Time: Sunday, February 28th, 2021; 8:00 PM ET (Monday; 6:30 AM IST).
Venue: Toyota Center, Houston, TX.
Memphis Grizzlies Preview
After an impressive 7-game run of victories at the end of January, the Memphis Grizzlies have since won 5 of 14 matchups. Though routing the LA Clippers on Thursday, the Memphis Grizzlies were then comfortably put away as part of a double-header by the Clippers' mean defense.
Although struggling for consistency, the Memphis Grizzlies have put on some terrific performances and have benefitted from the standout display by young star Ja Morant and center Jonas Valanciunas. The 9th-year big man has averaged a double-double over the past six matchups, grabbing a career-high 11.3 rebounds a night.
Key Player - Ja Morant
Ja Morant is one of the most exciting young players in the league and will be a star for years to come for the Memphis Grizzlies. In the first game of this season, Morant erupted for 44 points, the 2nd-most ever for a second-year player and the rookie of the year has continued in this vein of form.
Morant is consistently the Memphis Grizzlies' best player and is averaging 19 points and 7.7 assists a night. His performances and ball-handling abilities have earned him countless plaudits, including from Paul George this week, who related the young guard to Derrick Rose.
Memphis Grizzlies Predicted Lineup
G Ja Morant, G Grayson Allen, F Dillon Brooks, F Kyle Anderson, C Jonas Valancuinas
Houston Rockets Preview
In the fallout of the James Harden deal, the Houston Rockets looked to have turned a corner. They were winning with their new-look side and were posting up some of the best defensive performances in the league. While Stephen Silas' side still hold onto the NBA's 6th-meanest defense, their offensive output has been shattered by inconsistent minutes from their guard pairing, the injury to Christian Wood and the switch to a small-ball unit after letting DeMarcus Cousins go.
The Houston Rockets have the talent worthy of finishing higher up in the West but with rumors of a rebuild, perhaps fans will have to wait until next season to really see their side succeed again. Their success this year will also depend on whether they can find better protection in the paint while Wood is sidelined.
Key Player - John Wall
John Wall is one player who has had a successful season so far with the Houston Rockets despite their downfall of late. Wall is averaging 20.2 points a night, along with 6.4 assists and 1 steal.
Considering he has just returned from a season out, Wall has had his games managed but is still performing at an All-Star calibre. Wall is not only a consistent scorer but also a leader for the Houston Rockets.
Houston Rockets Predicted Lineup
G John Wall, G Victor Oladipo, F Jae'Sean Tate, F Danuel House, C PJ Tucker
Grizzlies vs Rockets Match Prediction
This could be a very intriguing matchup and may boil down to two areas where the game could be won or lost. Firstly, in the paint. Valanciunas is going to have a field-day down low against the smaller PJ Tucker. Therefore, we can expect another high-scoring double-double from the Memphis Grizzlies center.
The Houston Rockets will look to hit back at their opponents through their guards' superior scoring. Furthermore, Victor Oladipo will be utilised to lock up Ja Morant with his defensive tenacity.
With home court advantage, the Houston Rockets may just edge this encounter and break their 10-game run of losses.
Where to watch Grizzlies vs Rockets
Sunday night's matchup will be shown live in America on Fox Sports Southeast and AT&T Sportsnet - Southwest. Fans can also stream the game with an NBA League Pass.