It didn’t take long for the jokes and memes to come after the Rockets fell to the Warriors to lose the semi-final series.
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Utah Vs Houston
2015/16 NBA Championship, 24 February, 2016
|Vivint Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City, UT|
|Utah 103 v Houston 101 (4P)|
After a strong start to the season, things have been spiralling out of control for the Houston Rockets, and they must find a way to turn it around when they go on the road to play the middle-of-the-road Utah Jazz. Join The Roar for live scores from 1pm (AEDT).
The Jazz started the season completely dissimilar to the Rockets, being well down in the bottom half of the west during the early goings of the 2015-16 season. That run down the bottom though, has well and truly come to an end with the Jazz recording some big wins and getting towards the provisional playoff seeds.
In fact, the Jazz won seven games in a row before losing three of their last four which only heaps the pressure on this game.
The Rockets meanwhile, as mentioned had a strong start to the season, sitting up near the top of the west early on. From there though it has all been downhill, with the Rockets stumbling from loss to loss and now sitting eighth place, just half a game ahead of the Jazz.
The run for the Rockets has been atrocious, winning only three of their last nine games.
The teams have already matched up on two occasions this season, with them both coming in early January, just three days apart.
With vastly opposite seasons for each team compared to now, the Rockets recorded two wins over the Jazz, inserting their dominance.
The first match, playing in Utah saw it go back and forth the whole way, before Houston pulled away at the end through 30 points from James Harden, as they won by two.
The second, played in Houston, saw the Rockets win a lot more comfortably by nine points. James Harden would again be the star, dropping 33 points.
It appears Harden will once again be the key to the match, and thus far the Jazz just haven’t been able to match his scoring habits against them. With plenty of injuries to big men for the Rockets, they will really struggle to have a good inside game in this one, and more than likely turn to Harden more often than not.
It will be important for the Jazz to get double teams on Harden at every opportunity, and make the most of the time that Dwight Howard spends on the bench.
Utah has been just about as unpredictable as you can get while Houston has been on a downward spiral. While the influence of Harden can’t be understated, the Rockets with injuries to big men just don’t have the inside game when Howard is off the court to match it with the Jazz playing away from home.
Jazz by 7.
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