Western Conference Semifinals: Houston Rockets vs. Utah Jazz

The playoff series between the Houston Rockets and the Utah Jazz shifts back to Houston for game 5. This will be an elimination game with the Houston Rockets just 1 win away from advancing to the Western Conference Finals. Houston led wire to wire in game 4 en route to a 100-87 victory.

It appeared that the Jazz were going to be a threat to the Rockets after winning game 2, but the Rockets have proved to be too much for them. The Jazz will now have to try and defeat the Rockets for a second time in Houston if they want to stay alive. The Rockets are -12.0 over the Jazz in game 5.

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Rockets Turn Up the Defense

Everyone knows that the Rockets are an outstanding offensive team, but they won game 4 with a terrific defensive effort. The player that set the tone for the Rockets was center, Clint Capela. Capela was all over the place in game 4 and finished with 6 blocks to go along with his 15 rebounds. Not only did Capela provide rim protection, but he was also able to switch on to smaller players on the perimeter.

While Capela provided the defense, it was Chris Paul that provided the offensive spark for the Rockets. The veteran poured in a team high 27 points while also grabbing 12 rebounds and dishing out 6 assists. Paul was able to slice up the Jazz defense and made his mark on mid range jumpers.

Jazz Must Find Their Offense

The Jazz are optimistic that Ricky Rubio will make his return for game 5, and his offense is desperately needed. The Jazz were limited to just 87 points in game 4, while shooting only 38% from the field. If the Jazz are going to keep their season alive, they must find a way to score more points in game 5.

Donovan Mitchell was solid in game 4, but the Jazz are asking too much of the rookie. The return of Rubio should help Mitchell, who will be able to focus on scoring instead of being a point guard. The Jazz also need a big game from Joe Ingles in game 5 if they are going to avoid elimination.

Houston Rolls to the Western Conference Finals

The Houston Rockets are the top seed in the Western Conference, and are playing like it against the Jazz. A game 5 win would put Chris Paul into the Conference Finals for the first time in his career. If the Rockets continue to defend at a high level, their offense will be enough to carry them to a game 5 win.

Rubio’s potential return gives the Jazz hope in game 5, but the Jazz aren’t on the same level as the Rockets. It has been an offensive struggle all series for the Jazz, and game 5 will be no different. The Rockets will blow out the Jazz, and set up a matchup with the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals. Bet the Houston Rockets -12.0 over the Utah Jazz in game 5.

  • Bet the Houston Rockets -12
  • Bet on the Utah Jazz +12
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