The Utah Jazz (27-28) will look to get back in the playoff picture tonight as they take on the Houston Rockets (28-28) at 7:00 PM at Vivint Smart Home Arena. The Jazz currently trail the Rockets by a half game for the 8th and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Jazz are coming off of a tough loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday while the Rockets beat the Phoenix Suns their last game out. Both teams come into the game with only 2 wins out of their last 5 games played. The Jazz will be looking to pick up their first win against the Rockets this season as the Rockets picked up wins in their first 2 meetings this season.
Here is Utah Jazz Head Coach Quin Snyder with the media after shoot around:
This is a game the Jazz must win if they want to help their playoff cause. They have to take advantage of their home court. The Jazz are 18-10 in Salt Lake City. The Rockets are 12-15 away from Houston. The Jazz will need to play better defensively tonight then they did on Sunday as the Rockets are averaging 105.2 points per game. The Jazz still are playing well defensively overall for the season as they only give up 96.8 points per game. The Jazz have an opportunity to put some points up on the board tonight as the Rockets struggle defensively as they give up 106.7 points per game. The Jazz will definitely need to score more than their average of 98.1 points tonight unless they can control the momentum and eliminate offensive rebounds by the Rockets. Something they weren’t able to do against the Blazers on Sunday. The Jazz tend to play much better at home so we will see how they do tonight. They have won 6 straight games at home.
Here is Rudy Gobert with the media following shoot around:
Gordon Hayward continues to play well as he continue to lead the team offensively in points (19.9) and assists (3.6). He even leads the teams in steals per game at 1.2. Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors continue to be solid defensively. Tonight will be another great test for those guys defensively. Gobert is pulling down 10.6 rebounds a game as well as blocking 2.51 shots a game. Favors is second on the team in both of those categories as he is averaging 8.4 rebounds per game and blocking 1.37 shots a game.
Here is Derrick Favors after shoot around with the media:
One player that stood out on Sunday was Shelvin Mack who made his debut for the Jazz after coming to the team via a trade from the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday. Mack finished with season highs of 16 points and six assists in 24 minutes of action, which was also a season high. He seemed confident and ready to go. He is definitely a nice option for head coach Quin Snyder. Hopefully his play will also help the play of the other point guards on the team in Trey Burke and Raul Neto. Competition for playing time could be a good thing for those guys. In one other Jazz note, the Jazz recalled Tibor Pleiss from the Idaho Stampede of the NBA Developmental League on Monday.
Here is Shelvin Mack after shoot around talking with the media:
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