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Houston Rockets vs. Utah Jazz game preview

The Rockets return home for a huge tilt against the Utah Jazz.

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

First off, mega-super-duper-uber thanks to Darren, who wrote an excellent game preview for the Thunder game. It's always fun to read what others have to say about upcoming games instead of just rehashing my thoughts over and over again.

Anyway, I'm back. And I'm back for a pretty big contest. The Utah Jazz sit half a game back of the Rockets and would therefore take over the eighth and final spot in the Western Conference playoff picture with a win tonight. The Rockets hold a 2-1 season series lead so the implications here are incredible. Win and you essentially give yourselves an extra game of cushion to work with (in addition to creating an extra game officially in the standings). Losing means giving up control of your playoff fate. As of this writing, Houston controls its playoff destiny. A loss tonight muddies the waters (short answer: technically they still would).

The Jazz are winners of five of their last six, including wins over the Cavs and in Milwaukee. This is also a team that has had two days off to prepare whereas Houston played last night on the road. It's almost a certainty that Utah has been in Houston longer than the Rockets have today.

Utah has a really dynamic starting unit, with Shelvin Mack and Rodney Hood starting at the guard positions. Hood is shooting 54% against the Rockets (cue the "LOL HAREN!" comments). Mack is shooting 58% from distance over his last five games.

As for Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, and Rudy Gobert, you don't need me to tell you how terrifying they are as a unit. Favors and Gobert make one heck of a tag team down low and Hayward is a jack-of-all-trades type that could thrive in a multitude of systems.

Who would play Quin Snyder in a movie? Has to be Pacino right?

I post the picture for every Jazz game, so I guess it has to go here too. Especially with how much is riding on the game.

Kyle Korver and 2 weird guys

Tip-off is at 7pm CST.

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