Two Western Conference upstarts clash for the first time this season. It’s also a battle between two squads who are going in and out of the play-in spots.

Catch the game tomorrow at  9:00 AM, Manila time.

AWAY: Utah Jazz (22-21, 7-15 AWAY)

Projected starting five:

  • Kris Dunn
  • Collin Sexton
  • Simone Fontecchio
  • Lauri Markkanen
  • Walker Kessler

The Jazz just got their six-game winning streak snapped on Friday by the Oklahoma City Thunder. But, it’s still all good and confidence should remain high as it was only their third loss in 15 games. They also have the best record (12-3) and number one scoring offense (125.9 PPG) in the league since December 21st.

Talent is all across the Jazz locker room, as led by Lauri Markkanen (24.1 PPG), Jordan Clarkson (17.9 PPG), and shot-blocking extraordinaire Walker Kessler (8.6 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 2.6 BPG), who are collective anchors on offense and defense. 

The sudden return to form of Collin Sexton (22.3 PPG, 4.8 APG in his last 21) is also key on offense. Beyond all the aforementioned guys are a handful of veterans and young guys who also contribute well, namely John Collins (13.9 PPG) and rookie Keyonte George (11.1 PPG). 


HOME: Houston Rockets (19-21, 15-6 HOME)

Projected starting five:

  • Fred VanVleet
  • Jalen Green
  • Dillon Brooks
  • Jabari Smith Jr.
  • Alperen Sengun

The Rockets are happy to be back home. They are on a three-game skid, finishing just 1-5 on the six-game road trip with a -11 net rating (also just 4-9 in their last 13). Thursday’s 109-94 loss to the New York Knicks was also their third-lowest scoring output of the season. 

This is one of the few times in that game where they had energy:

Offensively, more of the same should be expected from the group: Alperen Sengun (21.5 PPG) leading the attack, Fred VanVleet (17.2 PPG, 8.6 APG) manning the point, and Jalen Green (17.9 PPG) and Jabari Smith Jr. (13.4 PPG) taking turns on being that second scorer. Then, sprinkled in all that are serviceable contributions from the second unit.

The effort on defense, however, looks different. There is an obvious deterioration in the department, as evidenced in the substantial difference in points across a considerable stretch. They face a confident offensive unit tomorrow so it’s pretty interesting – either they continue to get smoked or it becomes a tool to wake them up to show-off their defensive abilities.


Handicap: The Jazz (+2) win.

Over/Under: The total goes under 235.5