Game Preview: Houston Rockets vs Utah Jazz

[embed align="center"]http://gty.im/161201416[/embed]

After an encouraging blowout win over the Portland Trail Blazers, the Rockets move to 7-5 on the young season, as they prepare to take on the Utah Jazz. After Thursday's game, the Rockets are ranked 21st in defensive rating, 5th in offensive rating, and 11th in net rating. The Rockets are now led by James Harden in points (28.5 a game), and assists (12.8 a game), while Clint Capela is leading the team in rebounds (8.6 per game).

The Utah Jazz are sitting at 7-6 on the season, which is a bit surprising, given their preseason expectations. Despite their record, the Jazz have played like one of the NBA's best, ranking 5th in defensive rating, 13th in offensive rating, and 10th in net rating. The Jazz are led in points by Gordon Hayward and George Hill (tied at 20.4 per game), in assists by George Hill (5 per game), and in rebounds by Rudy Gobert (10.5 per game).

Starting Lineups

After missing the first 11 games with a knee injury, Patrick Beverley returned to the starting lineup and played well (11 points, three assists, and two rebounds, to go with three blocks), so don't expect that to change. The Rockets are likely to start Saturday's game with James Harden at point guard, Patrick Beverley at shooting guard, Trevor Ariza at small forward, Ryan Anderson at power forward, and Clint Capela at center.

After an injury plagued season last year, the Jazz appear to have hit the same bad luck with starting power forward Derrick Favors out indefinitely, and starting point guard George Hill questionable for Saturday's game. I would expect to see George Hill at point guard, Rodney Hood at shooting guard, Gordon Hayward at small forward, Boris Diaw at power forward, and Rudy Gobert at center, with Dante Exum taking Hill's place if he isn't healthy enough to play.

Three Things to Watch

  • Rebounding from last year - Last season was a disaster in many ways, one of the biggest was rebounding. Last season, even with Dwight Howard in the middle, the Rockets were dead last in Defensive Rebounding Percentage. However, they are tied for 10th in the NBA this season, a remarkable turnaround. Watch to see if the Rockets can keep limiting teams to one possession by cleaning up the defensive glass.

  • Capela on the rise - Over the last 4 games, Clint Capela is averaging 12 points, 11 rebounds, and 2.75 blocks in just under 26 minutes a game, while shooting 60.6% from the field and 72.7% from the free throw line. Watch to see if Clint has really taken the next step in becoming a top flight starting center.

  • 4th quarter troubles - Despite being 5th in total offensive rating, the Rockets have the second lowest offensive rating in the league in the fourth quarter (89.9 points per 100 possessions), which is embarrassing compared to their 108.9 rating overall. Watch to see if the Rockets can fix their late game problems in what looks likely to be a close game on Saturday.


Prediction and Tip-Off

This is another very hard game to predict with both teams playing well and having the same amount of rest. I will predict another Rockets win, due to home court advantage and shaky health for the Jazz, moving the Rockets up to a 8-5 record on the season.

Tip-off will be early at 4:00 P.M. Central Time in the Toyota Center in Houston on Saturday, November 19th. It will be televised on ROOT Sports with the radio broadcast on Sports Talk 790-AM.

3 comments:

  1. Hi There! We are searching for experienced people that are interested in from working their home on a part-time basis. If you want to earn $100 a day, and you don't mind developing some short opinions up, this might be perfect opportunity for you! Simply click the link here NOW!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi There! We are searching for experienced people that might be interested in from working their home on a part-time basis. If you want to earn $100 a day, and you don't mind writing some short opinions up, this might be perfect opportunity for you! Simply check out the link here NOW!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi There! We are looking for some people that are interested in from working their home on a part-time basis. If you want to earn $100 a day, and you don't mind creating some short opinions up, this might be perfect opportunity for you! Simply click the link here NOW!

    ReplyDelete