Rockets News

Houston Rockets vs. Utah Jazz first-round series detailed preview

James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets handles the ball against the Utah Jazz (Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images)
James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets handles the ball against the Utah Jazz (Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images)
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SALT LAKE CITY, UT – FEBRUARY 2: James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets shoots the ball against the Utah Jazz on February 2, 2019 at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY, UT – FEBRUARY 2: James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets shoots the ball against the Utah Jazz on February 2, 2019 at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Houston Rockets are the No. 4 seed in the stacked Western Conference and will take on the Utah Jazz starting tonight. What does the series have in store and how do these two teams match up?

It all begins tonight. After a crazy end to the regular season and uncertainty about the exact playoff seeding, we get to see the Houston Rockets back in postseason with a chance at redemption from the disappointing ending last year against the Warriors.

Going into the last night of the season, the Rockets could have finished as high as No. 2 in the West despite the slow start. Unfortunately, they had some tough breaks go their way (along with blowing a lead against the Thunder the night before) and ended up going down to the No. 4 spot.

They will face off against a Utah Jazz team that has been sizzling hot in the second half of the season. Thankfully, the Rockets have been pretty great, too. The two squads have been the best teams in the league since the All-Star break.

Let’s take a look at this matchup as it is one of the more intriguing ones in the first round of the playoffs.

Schedule

First, here’s an overview at the schedule of the series. It’s looking like most of the games will be in the 8:30/9:30 time slots, unfortunately. Also, sorry to you Game of Thrones fans out there, as a couple of the games (1 and 7 if necessary) would collide with the show on Sunday nights.

Game 1 (in HOU): Tonight at 8:30 p.m. CT

Game 2 (in HOU): Wednesday 4/17 at 8:30 p.m. CT

Game 3 (@ UTA): Saturday 4/20 at 9:30 p.m. CT

Game 4 (@ UTA): Monday 4/22 at 9:30 p.m. CT

Game 5 (If necessary in HOU): Wednesday 4/24 TBA

Game 6 (If necessary @ UTA): Friday 4/26 TBA

Game 7 (If necessary in HOU): Sunday 4/28 TBA

It’s a pretty basic schedule for the first round of the playoffs. The lack of a day off after travel between games 5 and 6 and between 6 and 7 is pretty interesting, I suppose.

Next: Team ratings

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