Monday, December 2, 2013
Jazz look to ground Rockets tonight!
The Utah Jazz come in to tonight's game feeling good after securing their first road win of the season. Time to temper your excitement, the Houston Rockets are in town and they are riding a 6 game winning streak! The Rockets are hot and will be a difficult match-up for the Jazz. The Rockets come in averaging 111.6 pts a game, 51.2% from the field and 44.1% from three, with a league leading True Shooting percentage of 59.4%. This will be a huge test for the Jazz team defense and defensive rebounding, as the Rockets are 2nd in the league in offensive rebounding. Lets take a look at tonight's match-up....
Defensively- Number one, is going to be the defensive glass. This is not something that should be left to the Jazz bigs. This will need to be a team effort. Trey Burke has been really good on the boards, considering size and position. Again, goes to show rebounding is about effort. If the Jazz are getting beat on the boards early, it could be a long night. If you look at Houston's road shot chart, http://stats.nba.com/teamStats.html?TeamID=1610612745&SeasonType=Regular%20Season, they shoot two shots, the 3 or in the paint. This team does not take any long twos, and they don't take that many corner threes. They actually have more makes from the 3 from the wings and the top of the key than they do attempts on the corner 3. The Jazz wings must run the Rockets shooters off the 3 point line and the big's will need to stay home and clog the lane. Easier said than done....The majority of Houston's offense comes out of the draw and kick. They will run some pick and roll with Harden and Howard. The Jazz bigs don't need to worry about the pick an pop game with Houston as they don't really have player that is capable or consistent enough to cause problems. Houston is full of shooters, this one will be tough for the Jazz, although the first match-up of the season the Jazz dominated the first half and were right there in the 3rd quarter, Jazz will be looking for redemption.
Offensively- Trey Burke is really emerging as a leader and good point guard on this Jazz team. I think the offense will go as Trey goes. He has been playing really well the last 3 games. He is not afraid of the big moment and is showing some toughness that the Jazz had been lacking. I also feel that the offense is transitioning a bit with the bigs getting more post-ups and shots in the paint. This could be do to the fact that Hayward is still struggling mightily with his shot. I think this is a good strategy for now and the future. Teams have to double Favors and Kanter and that is creating open shots for Marvin, Jefferson and Hayward. Houston will be a little different as they can match-up Howard with Favors/Kanter. Houston has been starting Terrence Jones at the power forward, so the Jazz could have an advantage there if the run 2 bigs. Also Marvin is quicker than Jones and should be able to get to the basket. Against Phoenix, I felt Ty did a great job with his rotations and situationals. There will need to be more of that tonight from the staff.
Jazz will need to win the 3 critical categories (free-throws, rebounds, turnovers) if they want to give themselves a shot at their first 2 game winning streak. Effort and toughness are a must for tonight. Bring it.....GO JAZZ!