Rockets News

Rockets vs. Jazz Game 3 preview: Defense must improve

HOUSTON, TX - MAY 02: James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets defends Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz in the second half during Game Two of the Western Conference Semifinals of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center on May 2, 2018 in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - MAY 02: James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets defends Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz in the second half during Game Two of the Western Conference Semifinals of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center on May 2, 2018 in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
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As the series shifts to Utah, the Rockets must get refocused and look to improve their defense.

The Houston Rockets were defeated by the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night to even the series at 1-1. The Rockets will look to steal one or two games on the road as the series moves to Utah.

The defense for Houston was the downfall last time out. They allowed the Jazz to score whenever they wanted, even though Utah is not a particularly great offensive team.

For them to win tonight, they’ll have to be more sound defensively. That starts with not allowing Ingles, one of the best shooters in the league, to have open 3s. That’s just a recipe for disaster.

Let’s look at some injury news:

Injury Report

Ricky Rubio remains out for the Jazz, as he has for the first three games. He could possibly be back later in the series, but for now, he is too hurt to play.

There are no concerning injuries for the Rockets.

Projected Starting 5

Rockets

Chris Paul/James Harden/Trevor Ariza/P.J. Tucker/Clint Capela

Jazz

Donovan Mitchell/Royce O’Neale/Joe Ingles/Derrick Favors/Rudy Gobert

How the Rockets can win

Houston’s offense, along with their defense, could use some improving. They have had little to no production from their bench this series so far. Eric Gordon and/or Ryan Anderson need to step it up and hit some shots.

Clint Capela has done a pretty good job against Rudy Gobert. Arguably, he has outplayed him in the series. That will need to continue tonight in Utah.

The Rockets have all the ability in the world to outscore the Jazz. They need to recognize that and blow them away tonight. A blowout victory could be a real tide-turner in this series.

Let’s go out there and take a 2-1 series lead tonight, Houston! Tune in at 9:30 p.m. CT on ESPN!

Next: The Rockets defense in Game 2

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