Utah Jazz vs. Houston Rockets / NBA – Unexpectedly, Jazzers and Rockets are almost on the very bottom of the West, which is especially surprising for the team from Houston, who were expected to be the main competitors to the Warriors at the beginning of the season. However, the small differences between the teams in the West give them the chance to reach the first eight teams with a mini-series of victories.
Utah Jazz vs. Houston Rockets begins 07.12.2018 at 04:30 CET
Jazzers have in the first week of the season played against the Rockets and recorded a 100:89 victory. Guard Mitchell was unstoppable and he scored 38 points for the Rockets, but what is more important is that the players from Utah have managed to stop Houston at 27 percent of the three-point shots (11/40). They did not allow Houston to impose their rhythm and extort a large number of offenses (which Harden and teammates often do), but it should be noted that Houston was without Paul in that match, and that Harden had to leave the court in the last quarter due to injury.
Jazzers have a great motive against Houston since the Rockets have defeated them in all four duels of the regular part of last season and then in the semi-finals of the West with a total of 4-1. This season their attack is much less efficient than Houston’s, but they have a slightly better defence. They are trying to improve their attack by bringing Corver from the Cavs, for which they have given Burks. Mitchell leads the team with 21.4 points per match, Gobert is the main force under the basket (15.4 points and 13 rebounds with 2.1 blockades), while Rubio plays quite solidly in the position of play (6.7 assists).
Probable lineups Utah Jazz: Rubio, Mitchell, Ingles, Crowder, Gobert
After they have recently had a negative series of four defeats, the Rockets have managed to overcome Spurs and Bulls by scoring a total of 257 points. However, they have spoiled their impression after a defeat by the Wolves with 91:103, where they again had problems with three-pointers and missed as many as 28 shots. In addition, Paul and Tucker have played a terrible game, scoring 2/15 from the game. That 91 point is 18 points smaller than the Rockets’ average this season, although it should be stressed that the current attack-defence ratio is such that Houston receives more points than they achieve on average (109.5 – 109.2).
In relation to the first duel with the Jazzers, they will now have Paul in the team, and not Anthony, who has ingloriously ended his short episode in Houston. It is well known that Houston is most dependent on Harden's effect, but also on his external shots. Harden is at his level (30.6 points, 8.7 assists and 5.6 rebounds), while the teams’ shot for three points is only 34 percent. They score 42.3 three-pointers on average, and until they raise that average to at least 3-4 percent, they will hardly get to the top of the West.
Probable lineups Houston Rockets: Paul, Harden, Ennis III, Tucker, Capela
Utah Jazz vs. Houston Rockets PICK
Utah has in the first 25 matches this season played even 16 games outside of their hall, but they have managed well (9-7). Houston is still below 50 percent (6-7) and this is an opportunity to fix that. What they need is a good shot, which has often destroyed them this season, so we think it is time for them to improve it.
Pick: Houston -1 points
Odds: 2.08 at 888sport (down to 2.03 can be played)
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