The Utah Jazz are in a similar position to the Houston Rockets of the mid-2010s. They enjoyed great success in the regular season, but couldn’t find a way to break through the bump and enter the final rounds of the playoffs. of the NBA.

With the West wide open again this year, Utah is aiming for a playoff series. In terms of talent, they have a bona fide star in Donovan Mitchell, a great rim protector in Rudy Gobert, and a cast of perimeter players who play in their supporting roles. They brought in Hassan Whiteside to give them more depth in the center as Jared Butler was drafted from Baylor.

Utah is 3-0 in the young season with a decisive victory over the Kings in Sacramento and a difficult home victory over the Denver Nuggets (Nikola Jokic left the game after 15 minutes). Still, these are the types of games that Utah haven’t always closed in the past, so these are good wins for them.

The Rockets found the rhythm that I guess most fans wanted them to find: competitive games that end in losses. Too often last season, the Rockets’ games were over at halftime (sometimes much earlier), resulting in general apathy on the part of fans. Texas fans know what I’m talking about. It is not only important for these young Rockets to improve and be competitive, but to hold the attention of an audience. Tonight’s game is not a World Series game, so it would be nice to see Houston face off against a team that won the regular season title in the West in 2020-21 and looks set. to retry the experiment.

Tipping is at 7 p.m. CT on AT&T SportsNet Southwest

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