Rockets News

Houston Rockets: Players to watch against the Jazz

By Michael Brown
James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets celebrates during the game against the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images)
James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets celebrates during the game against the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Rockets fans, it is time to RUN AS ONE! The 2018-2019 playoffs have arrived, and the Houston Rockets will be playing the Utah Jazz in the 1st round.

For the Houston Rockets, the season has been filled with everything from an 11-14 start, to having James Harden putting up arguably the greatest offensive season in NBA History.  However, none of that matters and a new season is set to begin.

The Rockets and the Jazz split the regular season series, by each winning 2 games. Each team showed the ability to win at home, and on the other team’s home court. One quick thing to note is that the Jazz’s 2 wins came before the start of 2019, and you could argue these wins came before the Rockets got their act together.

My three players to watch for the Jazz are Shooting Guard Donovan Mitchell, Center Rudy Gobert, and Small Forward Joe Ingles. Their entire offense runs through Donovan Mitchell, who is quickly becoming one of the best young players in the league. He is averaging 23.8 points per game, along with 4.1 rebounds per game and 4.2 assists. Rudy Gobert is a true force on the inside and has the ability to completely take over a game on any given night. He is averaging 15.9 points per game and a staggering 12.9 rebounds per game. Joe Ingles is a fantastic facilitator on the offensive end, and he is a true threat from behind the 3 point line (averaging 39.1% on 3-point attempts).

The two Houston Rockets to keep a close eye on are: Shooting Guard James Harden, and Center Clint Capela. Per ESPN, James is averaging 33.5 points per game, and 4.8 assists per game against the Jazz for this season. His importance to the success of the team is well known, and the team will go as far as he allows us too. Clint Capela is going to have to bring his A+ game every night if the Rockets are going to be successful. His regular season averages of 16.6 points and 12.7 rebounds per game will go a long way in helping us win the series.

Quick look at first round matchup against Jazz. Next

This is going to be a very physical, entertaining series. Per a tweet from Rockets away game play-by-play announcer, Craig Ackerman.

“In Houston and Utah, you’ll have 2 of the 3 hottest teams in the NBA since the All-Star Break. 2 of the 4 top offenses… the 2 best defenses and the top 2 in net rating. It will be a fun and fascinating series.”

With that being said, the Houston Rockets offense will be too much for the Jazz, and they will win the series in 5 games. Go Rockets!

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