The Utah Jazz (10-8) look to win their fourth game in a row, but in order to do so they will have to hold off the head-hunting Houston Rockets (11-6). Houston is on a long road trip (@ Sacramento Kings, @ Portland Trail Blazers, @ Utah Jazz, @ Golden State Warriors, @ Denver Nuggets) -- but won the first two. In Portland they ended up sowing up the tie-breaker against the Blazers. A win tonight in SLC gives them the tie breaker against the Jazz as well. In a tough Western Conference these things mean something. In a year where you play a team only three times, getting this out of the way early is a great way to start a strong campaign for playoff position.
Honestly, for as long as I've been a Utah Jazz fans I've learned to dislike the Houston Rockets. As far as our fan bases go, it seems to be a mutual disdain for one another. They think that Karl Malone didn't deserve all the free throws he got against Otis Thorpe. We think Hakeem Olajuwon walked on his "Dream Shake". These two teams have met in the NBA Playoffs many times before. And in the Jazz are up 21-18. Converting that into series victories, Utah is up 5-2, winning in 1985, 1997, 1998, 2007, and 2008. Of course, Houston won in 1994 and 1995 and got to play in the NBA Finals against an Eastern Conference that didn't have Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls representing them. Two rings later their fan base has eternal bragging rights until our guys win games that result in a championship. We can care about the head to head, with Utah in the lead in the playoffs, and with a 101-90 lead in the regular season (64-31 in Utah) --- but it's not the same thing as winning a ring.
And until Utah gets one, Houston fans are always going to have that over us.
PG: George Hill vs. Patrick Beverley
SG: Rodney Hood vs. James Harden
SF: Gordon Hayward vs. Trevor Ariza
PF: Boris Diaw vs. Ryan Anderson
C: Rudy Gobert vs. Clint Capela
Injuries / Absences:
SG: Alec Burks (UTA, OUT)
PF: Derrick Favors (UTA, OUT)
C: Chinanu Onuaku (HOU, NBADL)
GO JAZZ GO!
Who's gonna win tonight
This poll is closed
The Utah Jazz
The Mighty Utah Jazz
The home team
The one where none of the starters have impractically long facial hair (seriously, how does he drink soup?)