Tonight the Utah Jazz face off on the road against the Houston Rockets in their gym, the Toyota Center. Tip off is scheduled for 5:00 MST. This is a rivalry game, even if it's not Jerry Sloan going up against Rudy Tomjanovich or Rick Adelman. Tonight it's Kevin McHale going up against Tyrone Corbin. That's would be a miss match on the floor, and appears to be a miss match on the side lines as well. Kevin has coached 125 games, winning 56 of them. Tyrone Corbin has coached 57 total games. Yeah, McHale has more experience, but that doesn't mean he's necessarily a better coach. They are both in the sub 50% winning percentage range as head coaches. Well, the games aren't decided by the coaches . . . the players have a big part to say in this.
The Jazz are 3-9 on the road, and the Rockets are 11-4 at home. Their big minute guys are Kyle Lowry, Kevin Martin, Luis Scola, Chandler Parsons, and Courtney Lee. They all play more than half the game. No one on their team dominates the glass (Dalembert averages 7.8 rpg), but they all rebound very well as a team. They are #7 in offensive rebounds, and #9 in total rebounds. They do a good job keeping the other team off the class as well (#11th best). They are a good shooting team, with great percentages across the board -- but can be prone to making turn overs. They are absolutely deadly when they get to the line, but so far this season they do not get there more than 18.6 times a game. I'm sure they'll go for 30 tonight.
The Jazz continue to be the team that I thought they were. January was fun, like we all knew it would be; however, I knew it wouldn't last. And it didn't. We are still a very interesting team to watch, and an outside shot to make the playoffs. Lately we've been up and down, which is a problem if your team's core is young. You kind of expect that. You'd wish for more game to game consistency from your veterans, and so far the only guy who has done it every game (more or less) has been Al Jefferson.
The Jazz will attack inside, and the Rockets will defend their paint. We'll see who wins this land war close to the basket, because that'll go a long way towards winning the game.
|Utah Jazz||@||Houston Rockets|
|Al Jefferson||C||Samuel Dalembert|
|Paul Millsap||PF||Luis Scola|
|Gordon Hayward||SF||Chandler Parson|
|Raja Bell||SG||Kevin Martin|
|Devin Harris||PG||Kyle Lowry|
- Jordan Hill (Hou), MCL Sprain