Since that day, the Rockets have played seven back-to-backs. Their opponents have been on the second half of a back-to-back once. That was against a Phoenix team that had played the night before in Dallas. Houston had also played the night before. In Minnesota.
In that time period, the Rockets have had more rest than their opponents only one time. They had three days off before they played in Denver. The Nuggets had two days off. Thanks NBA!
So it feels like the schedule has finally given Houston a break. Utah played in Oklahoma City last night, blowing a late lead. The schedule does get funky again, as Houston has to fly back to New York after this game, despite being in New York two night ago. And Oklahoma City will get five days of rest before they play Houston next, while the Rockets play 3 games before getting OKC while on a back-to-back. Sounds fair.
Back to the task at hand, there's reasons to be wary of this Utah team and not look ahead to the Nets. For one thing, Utah's players seem to get up for games against Houston. Trey Burke, Gordon Hayward, and Derrick Favors always seem to come up big against Houston and all three have been playing well lately.
Burke started the year poorly, but is averaging 22 points per game in his last 3 games played and finished with 20/5/5 in OKC. Favors has had 3 straight 20/11 games. Hayward's been his usual Babyfaced Assassin self. Rudy Gobert blocked 7 shots last night, taking 14 points off the board.
Still, Houston is the better, more rested team. They should win this game. But the Bulls were supposed to beat Utah in Chicago too. And OKC was supposed to run over them.
As always, this is relevant. And by relevant, I mean that Dave would kill me if I didn't post this.
Tip-off is at 7pm CST.
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