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Game Thread - Utah Jazz @ Houston Rockets

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The last time we saw the Rockets, it wasn't pretty. They came into the ESA and put a beat-down on the Jazz in the fourth quarter and ended up winning 113-96.

The Jazz weren't torched by any one player either, it was everyone. Out of the 9 players that played for more than a minute, 8 of them had double figures and nobody had more than 19.

The Rockets were hot then as the rest of the league would find out. They went 9-8 in their first 17 games when most had picked them to be at the bottom of the league given Yao's season-ending injury and TMac being out. They had a fantastic December going 12-5 and climbing. They were playing great D and great team basketball. Very reminiscent of the Jazz sans John and Karl.

Last month they headed south though and they've only posted a 3-6 record over their last 9 games. They're kind of in a flux right now as they're waiting to see if they're going to be able to trade McGrady or not. His expiring contract is pretty attractive commodity for teams like the Knicks that are trying to free up cap space for this summer and that are falling out of the playoff hunt.

How does TMac in a Knicks uni affect NY's record? To tell you the truth, I don't think they care right now. Their game plan for the past few years has just been trying to shed contracts and get under the cap for 2010 free agency. If the past is any indicator of how they'll do, I think it might end up well for us as TMac starts putting up 20 threes a game under D'Antoni. I also don't see how the players rumored , Jordan Hill, Jared Jeffries, Larry Hughes, to be sent to Houston help them really for this season. There will be some draft picks swapped as well. Don't worry about that too much though if it happens. I don't think TMac has that much of an impact either way for them.

As for the Jazz, they're definitely a different team from the one that lost to the Rockets early in the season. The lost to LA to end the pre-All-star break wasn't encouraging either though.

But everyone has had a long break and has forgotten that game I'm sure. I'm looking forward to them coming out tonight and showing that the LA game was just a result of being tired (not that it's an excuse). I want to see those passes early and often.

Let's get this second half going