Houston Rockets vs Utah Jazz Preview

By Michael Ma

Nov 2, 2013; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Houston Rockets power forward Terrence Jones (6) and shooting guard James Harden (13) box out Utah Jazz small forward Mike Harris (33) during the second half at EnergySolutions Arena. Houston won 104-93. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Keys for the Houston Rockets Monday night against the Utah Jazz.

Keep The Momentum

The Rockets are currently riding a 5 game winning streak, and are coming off their biggest win of the season in San Antonio. Making their 2nd appearance at Energy Solutions Arena in the past month, the Rockets trailed by 19 points in the first half in the first meeting before coming back and holding on to a 104-93 win.

With Omer Asik and Dwight Howard starting in that game, the Rockets looked completely out of sync offensively to start the game(as they did for most of the games in which the two centers started). But with Terrence Jones in the starting lineup, the Rockets are 8-2 and averaging over 30 points in the first quarter.

The Jazz also played without Rookie of the Year candidate Trey Burke in the first meeting, as he went for 20 points and 6 rebounds in their last game(112-104 win at Phoenix). Patrick Beverley will have his hands full on the defensive end, an area where he is no stranger to.

Bring The Track Shoes

At 3-15, the Jazz are off to their worst start in decades, and are at the bottom of the NBA in points scored per game, at 90.5. The Rockets should have a clear advantage with their depth, as Aaron Brooks, Omri Casspi, and Francisco Garcia have been lighting it up from beyond the arc during the 5 game winning streak. Look for the Rockets to run every chance they get.

The Jazz also shoot an abysmal 30 percent from behind the 3-point line, and give up over 100 points a game.

Battle On The Boards

One of the lone bright spots for the Jazz is their work on the offensive glass, as they average over 12 offensive rebounds a game, which puts them in the top 10 of the NBA. In the first meeting, the Rockets gave up 15 offensive rebounds, most of which came from the frountcourt tandem of Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter. Favors will have a clear weight advantage against Jones, so the 2nd year forward will need to box out and limit the Jazz players from crashing the boards.