When Houston puts their mind to it, they can be a very good basketball team, as Utah found out, losing at home by 21 and 13 points in the last two contests? Is the series over after Game 5?
After a Game 2 loss, we and many others raised the questioned about Houston’s commitment to excellence. Were the Rockets really ready to put in the effort and attention to detail to beat an inferior opponent? Or were they just satisfied to presumably win and believe they turn up the intensity for Golden State?
Credit Mike D’Antoni for convincing his team to play to its capabilities in Salt Lake City with a pair of double-digit wins and covers. Next, the Rockets look to take care of their business and wrap up the series.
According to the latest NBA odds, Houston is like a standard box of donuts, favored by an even dozen points with a total of 208. What are either team’s chances of beating the spread?
Ricky Rubio is hardly a prolific scorer at 14 points a game. But add that number to seven assists, which makes him accountable for at least 28 Jazz points a contest (not including possible free throws made by teammates) and you can understand why Utah has been well below their season average in three of four games in this series.
Other than Donovan Mitchell, the rest Utah players need someone to get them the ball to take their favorite shots and without an injured Rubio, that is not happening. Derrick Favors, Jae Crowder, Rudy Gobert and even Joe Ingles lack the variety and explosiveness to create on their own consistently when Houston players have a defensive mindset. This is a tough spot for the Jazz.