The Jazz are now in the driver’s seat heading towards the playoffs with probably their most difficult game behind them. It’s looking like the situation with the Lakers is all over the place but more likely than not, Utah wants that 1 seed to avoid the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round. No matter what you think about the Lakers current situation, I don’t think anyone wants any part of LeBron James in the first round. A win tonight keeps Utah in the 1 seed and seems to be the most likely spot to avoid that Lakers first round matchup.
Houston is most likely looking to play their way into a sure shot of keeping their top-4 protected 1st round pick. Losing to the Jazz tonight helps them keep the worst record in the league and help them in keeping that pick. Any sort of victory for the Rockets is pretty disastrous.
So the motivations here line up. Utah would really like to win and the Rockets would really like to lose. Utah just needs to come out firing and it should happen.
When: 8PM MDT
Where: Vivint Arena, Salt Lake City, UT
TV: ATT SportsNet
Radio: 97.5 FM/1280 AM The Zone
What to watch for
Do we see the rise of DOK?
With it being a back to back for both the Jazz and the Rockets, and the Rockets having traveled from Milwaukee. There is a big likelihood that this ends in a blowout.
And you know what a blowout means, DOK’s arrival!
Udoka Azubuike went down with a horrible ankle injury earlier in the year in his first G-League appearance and has come back miraculously in this same season. Dok has some incredible physical tools and athleticism to match a nice inside skillset and it would be fun to see him get some run. The Jazz have put a lot of belief into him and it would be nice to see him get some extended run against a Rockets team who doesn’t want any part of a win in this game.