The 2-Man Game: The Jazz have no answer for James Harden

Rockets Rundown

The 2-Man Game: The Jazz have no answer for James Harden
The Rockets will look to take a 2-0 series lead tonight against the Jazz. Courtesy photo

The Rockets were in total control against the Jazz in Game 1, and it looks like they're really focused and playing well. Utah doesn't have a plan to slow down James Harden, and this series could be over in four or five games. The one thing the Rockets can focus on as they prepare for the Warriors next round is guarding for the full 24-second shot clock. Keep an eye on that during the rest of the series.

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Can Hunter Brown and Ronel Blanco lead the way? Composite Getty Image.

The Houston Astros are coming off a big series win over the Tigers, as they head to Chicago to take on the White Sox Tuesday night. Unfortunately for Houston, even with the series win, they still lost ground to the division leading Mariners.

With the Astros nine games behind Seattle, and seven games behind the Twins in the Wild Card standings, time is running out for the club if they want to make a push before the All Star break and trade deadline.

Basically, the entire season is riding on this next stretch of games. But it won't come easy, even against weaker opponents. Justin Verlander is dealing with neck discomfort, missing his last start over the weekend, and Spencer Arrighetti was rocked by the Tigers on Saturday.

With no starting pitching ready to make the jump from Sugar Land to the big league club, Houston's five starting pitchers have no room for error.

And while the offense has been inconsistent this season, especially with runners on base, they do sport the sixth-best OPS in baseball.

If they're going to get back into this thing, a healthy Kyle Tucker and Verlander will have to be part of the equation. Tucker is still recovering from a bruised shin, and will have to make some rehab starts in the minors before returning.

Verlander, however, may return as soon as this week against the White Sox or Orioles. If JV returns and Blanco and Brown continue dealing, hopefully the club can fight their way back to .500.

But keep in mind, some key players are showing regression. Jake Meyers, Jeremy Pena, and Jon Singleton are not swinging the bats well right now. And Chas McCormick hasn't gotten going all season.

At some point, the club needs to give Joey Loperfido a chance to prove himself in the big leagues.

What do they have to lose?

Be sure to check out the video above as we discuss this critical stretch of games on the horizon for Houston, and much more!

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