The Houston Rockets will host the Utah Jazz for game 2 of their 7 game Western Conference playoff series. The Rockets lead this series 1-0 after defeating the Jazz in game 1, 110-96. Houston is the top seed in the Western Conference and the Jazz are the 5th seed in the West.
Houston is looking to keep the pressure on the Jazz and take a 2-0 series lead. Utah wants to bounce back from a tough game 1, and steal home court advantage away from the Rockets. The Jazz will still be without point guard, Ricky Rubio for this game, giving the Rockets an even bigger advantage. The Houston Rockets are -11 over the Utah Jazz in NBA Playoffs action on Tuesday.
Harden Leads, Rockets Follow
James Harden has been on a tear all season for the Rockets, and he kept up his great play in game 1 of this series. Harden torched the Jazz for 41 points while getting to the free throw line 11 times. Harden’s aggressive play is tough for the Jazz the defend, and Harden should have another monster game 2.
The Rockets did most of the damage in game 1 with their starters. The starting unit for the Rockets outscored the Utah Jazz team, combining for 97 points while making 15 threes. Look for the Rockets to get better play from their bench in game 2, making things even harder on the Jazz
Without Rubio, Jazz Struggle
The Utah Jazz were dealt a tough blow to begin this series, when it was announced that Ricky Rubio would miss at least 10 days. Without Rubio, the Jazz were left without a true starting point guard. Rookie, Donovan Mitchell did his best to fill the void scoring 21 points, but it took him 22 field goal attempts to get his points. Dante Exum is the best point guard option for the Jazz, but struggled in game 1.
If the Jazz are going to steal game 2 in Houston, they must figure out a way to stop Harden. The potential MVP was in attack mode all night, and the Jazz didn’t have an answer for him. Look for Jae Crowder to draw the assignment of guarding Harden in game 2, but it will take a team effort to slow him down.
Jazz Will Keep it Close
Utah coach Quin Snyder is a good coach, and he will have his team ready to compete in game 2. The Jazz know that their top priority is slowing down Harden and the high scoring Rockets offense. Offensively, Donovan Mitchell continues to lead the Jazz but he will need some more help in game 2.
James Harden has torched the Jazz all season long, and continued this trend in game 1. If the Jazz don’t make adjustments then Harden will continue to dominate. Houston’s bench was nonexistent in game 1, but will need to play a bigger role in game 2. The Rockets will win game 2, but the Jazz will make it a very close game. Bet the Utah Jazz +11 over the Houston Rockets in NBA Playoffs action on Wednesday.