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Jae Crowder #99 of the Utah Jazz steals the ball from James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets in the first half at Toyota Center on October 24, (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
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Jazz Notes Predicts Jazz-Rockets Will Go Seven Games

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Just when it looked like the Utah Jazz were going to be facing the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round of the playoffs, they ended up drawing the Houston Rockets.

“It’s just fate, it’s what the basketball gods wanted,” said KSL Sports’ Jeremiah Jensen on the Jazz Notes podcast.

To set up the Jazz’s first round matchup, a number of things had to go perfectly right (or wrong, depending on perspective). Most importantly, the Trail Blazers had to mount an improbable comeback from being down 28 to the Sacrament Kings while playing without Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. Also, the Denver Nuggets had to defeat the Minnesota Timberwolves, who led most of the game. Both events came to fruition despite long odds.

After a crazy final night of the regular season in the NBA, the Jazz find themselves headed to Houston for Games 1 and 2 of the first round of the playoffs.

Utah faced Houston in the second round of the playoffs last year and was eliminated by the Rockets in five games.

Jensen’s Jazz Notes co-host Cleon Wall thinks that that memory will be on the Jazz’s mind going into this year’s matchup.

Wall feels it’ll be a good measuring stick for Utah to see how far they’ve come in a year’s time.

“Hey, why not? Let’s just play this team, see how we are, see if we’re better, see if they’re any worse. Let’s see how we do against this team that eliminated us from the playoffs last season,” said Wall.

Jensen, however, is apprehensive about Utah’s chances against Houston.

One thing that Wall thinks will give Utah an edge against the Rockets is that without Trevor Ariza on the team this season, the Rockets will struggle to defend Donovan Mitchell.

Though each host had varying levels of belief in how the Jazz would fare against Houston, both Wall and Jensen agreed that the series would last seven games.

It all starts in Houston on Sunday at 7:30 p.m. Game 1 will be televised on TNT.

The Jazz Notes podcast is powered by KSLSports.com. Daily episodes will be available throughout the Jazz’s playoff run. Listening is available on KSLSports.com