Hello darkness my old friend.
The Rockets get a boost here because the schedule breaks really well for them. The Jazz are playing in San Antonio as I write this, and then have to come to Houston for the second game of a back-to-back. For Houston, the Jazz series was a home-and-home, as the Rockets have not played since Monday night.
Usually the Rockets have been on the receiving end of these fake home-and-home series, and I can tell you that it sucks. It almost feels like the league is purposefully screwing you over since your opponent has film of them playing you from two days earlier as opposed to "Oh we played them back in early November and now they look totally different."
The Rockets will need to take advantage of the extra time off and Utah's fatigue and try to end this game early. Once they inevitably fail to do that, we'll see if they can pull off a comeback like they did in Salt Lake City.
The key for Houston tonight will be rebounding once again. In the first leg, Houston outshot the Jazz 49% to 40%. They outshot the Jazz from 3 and shot a higher percentage from the free throw line as well. Turnovers and assists were basically the same as well. So what was the difference? Rebounding. The Jazz grabbed 10 extra boards, including 15 offensive rebounds. Basically, the Rockets were better or equal to the Jazz in every way except taht one. We'll see if JBB and the team understands that tonight.
Jazz vs Rockets coverage