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Houston Rockets

Tuesday Game Previews: Harden, Rockets hosts the Grizzlies; AD & Pelicans face the Clippers

James Harden and Anthony Davis headline Tuesday's NBA broadcast schedule in India.
James Harden and Anthony Davis headline Tuesday's NBA broadcast schedule in India. (Getty Images)

Memphis Grizzlies (19-23) vs Houston Rockets (24-18)

Where to Watch

Date: Tuesday, Jan. 15

Time: 6:30 AM IST

TV: Sony ESPN

Location: Toyota Center, Houston, TX

Game Preview

During the league's Thanksgiving holiday, the Memphis Grizzlies had the best record in the Western Conference (third overall).

The season after that has been a completely different story. The Grizzlies slid from a record of 12-5 to 19-23 including two losing streaks of five or more.

The Grizzlies do have a very respectable defense which ranks 6th in the league with a rating of 105.8. However, their offense is tied for 26th in the league (104.5), only better than the Chicago Bulls, Phoenix Suns, and the Atlanta Hawks.

After a positive start, the season seems to be slipping from under the Grizzlies.

Fortunately for them, their rookie Jarren Jackson, the No. 4 pick in the 2018 Draft has been a bright spot in their campaign. Among rookies, he ranks fifth in scoring (13.4), sixth in rebounding (4.6), and second in blocks per game (1.5).

Memphis desperately need a change in momentum but that would be tough against James Harden and the Rockets in Houston, where they have won 11 of their previous 12 games. To make matters worse, this game is the beginning of a rough 4-game stretch where they play all potential championship contenders in the Rockets, the Milwaukee Bucks, the Toronto Raptors, and the Boston Celtics.

Despite the loss in Orlando, James Harden has now made it 16th straight games with 30+ points (tying Kobe Bryant's streak). Through his scoring streak, he has led the Rockets to a 12-4 record, the second-best win percentage in that span.

Over the course of his scoring streak, the reigning MVP has saved Houston's season. Before his streak, the Rockets were 14th in the West with a record of 12-14 and now their record stands at 24-18, tied for fifth in the Western Conference.

The Rockets have won 11 of their last 12 games at home and they play six of their next at home as well. So expect Harden and the Rockets to climb up the West standings.

Game Notes

  • In 21 previous home games at the Toyota Center, the Rockets have gone 15-6 including a 10-game winning streak.
  • On the other hand, the Grizzlies, on the road, have gone 8-14.
  • The Rockets would be missing a host of players - Chris Paul (Hamstring) and Carmelo Anthony (Coach's decision). Meanwhile, Eric Gordon (Knee), Nene (Rest), Brandon Knight (Knee) could be available. Vincent Edwards is said to be a game-time decision.
  • Memphis would be suiting up without three players - Chandler Parson (Not Injury related), Dillion Brooks (Toe), and Kyle Anderson (Ankle).

Last Time They Played

Date: Jan. 1, 2018

Score: Grizzlies 101-113 Rockets

Grizzlies: Kyle Anderson - 20 points, 5 assists, 3 rebounds, and 3 steals on 69.2% shooting.

Rockets: James Harden - 43 points, 13 assists, 10 rebounds, and 2 steals on 42.1% shooting.


New Orleans Pelicans (20-23) vs LA Clippers (20-23)

Where to Watch

Date: Tuesday, Jan. 15

Time: 9:00 AM IST

TV: Sony ESPN

Location: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA

Game Preview

Despite a very positive 10-7 start to the season, it's been downhill since. The Pelicans haven't been above .500 since the Thanksgiving break (10-9) despite arguably one of the great players in the league right now.

Anthony Davis is averaging 28.9 points, 13.3 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 1.7 steals (all career-highs). He also leads the league in ESPN's PER (Player Efficiency Rating) - 31.08 and ranks a close second in NBA.com's PIE (Player Impact Estimate) - 20.6.

Unlike the Memphis Grizzlies, the defense is an issue for the Pelicans. Their offense ranks a tied 3rd in the league with a rating of 113.4 but their defense ranks in the bottom third of the league at 25th with a rating of 111.3.

This season, the Pelicans have failed to score 100 points just twice in 43 games but their defense has restricted the opponents to under 100 points just twice.

Forward Nikola Mirotic has only recently returned to the lineup but Davis and the Pelicans still have a tough test against the well balanced and deep LA Clippers. The Clippers have four players in Tobias Harris, Danilo Gallinari, Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell that average 15 points or more this season.

While the team's offense ranks 8th in the league with a rating of 111.6 but their defense can use some work, currently ranking 22nd with a rating of 110.3. and the team has a tough road ahead, literally, with 12 of their next 19 games in road arenas.

Game Notes

  • The Clippers have won two-thirds of their games at home at Staples Center - 14 of 21.
  • Their opponents, the Pelicans have won only 5 of 22 games in road arenas. This game is the Pelicans' second of a five-game Western Conference road trip.
  • The LA Clippers seem to have a completely healthy rosters right now with only Luc Mbah A Moute (Knee) said to be a game-time decision.
  • The Pelicans are said to have a completely healthy roster with no players on the injured reserve list.

Last Time They Played

Date: Dec. 4, 2018

Score: Clippers 129-126 Pelicans

Clippers: Danilo Gallinari - 24 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists on 53.8% shooting.

Pelicans: Jrue Holiday - 32 points, 14 assists, 4 rebounds, and 4 steals on 52.2% shooting.

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