Season series: 4-0 Houston Rockets
The Jazz are underrated. They suffered shaky start due to a Rudy Gobert injury, Gordon Hayward’s departure, and a rookie, Donovan Mitchell leading the team in usage rate. However, Utah has now won 22 of its last 27.
The Jazz lead the West in defensive rating at 102.0. Gobert is a monster in the paint and can single-handedly destroy an offense. Mitchell, a Rookie of the Year candidate, is one of the most enjoyable young scorers in the game.
Nevertheless, the Rockets swept Utah fairly easily this season. Each of their four contests were decided by double-digits. Utah’s defense will give them a chance in any game. However, the Rockets’ are just too deep, they can beat you in too many ways. Depending on a rookie to get the bulk of your points in a playoff series is a tall order. Especially when you’re trying to take down a juggernaut.