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Houston Rockets vs. Utah Jazz game preview

NBA: Playoffs-Houston Rockets at Utah Jazz Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

It’s safe to say that neither the Houston Rockets nor Utah Jazz thought their seasons would start this way.

Both teams expect to be real challengers to the real Warriors. The Rockets brought in Carmelo Anthony and Utah kept a good young core together, hoping that continuity would propel them into the upper echelon of Western Conference teams. But Houston was blown out in their home opener and are just scraping by until Chris Paul returns from injury and others return from injury. On the other side of the court, the Jazz opened with a road win in Sacramento that was closer than expected, then blew a late lead against the Warriors at home and then beaten in the same building by the Grizzlies.

Tonight marks the fourth time the Rockets play a team with their exact record, which will be a fun trend to follow since it could continue on Friday against the 2-1 Clippers.

Tonight, Houston will likely be missing their usual complement of players as well as Chris Paul, who is serving his second and final game of suspension for being spit on. The Rockets will have to overcome those missing players and try to right the ship before their record becomes 1-3.

Utah hasn’t looked super crisp either to start the season, but so far the 2018-19 NBA season is all kinds of discombobulated. For years, teams have come into training camp talking about how they want to speed up their pace of play. Well so far, teams are moving at ludicrous speed and it’s leaving slower squads like the Rockets and Jazz behind a little. We’ll see if teams can continue to move at this fast pace, as injuries and general fatigue start to set in as the season moves along.

Oh, and just for fun.

Tip-off is at 7pm CT