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Rudy Gobert says Jazz has been “a little too nice” vs. Rockets

Rudy Gobert, Jazz, Rockets

The Utah Jazz is in trouble. Already the underdogs in their first round match-up against the Houston Rockets, they find themselves quickly down two games to none. Utah will need a strong showing at home just to tie the series.

Both teams are very talented. But center Rudy Gobert thinks Houston’s success goes far beyond just talent. Via Andy Larsen of The Salt Lake Tribune:

“They’re playing more aggressive than we are. We’re a little too nice. If you’re going to be nice, you’re going to get your ass kicked every night,” Rudy Gobert said. “It’s just mental. We can say whatever we want, but if we’re too nice, they’re not going to respect us. They’re going to kick our ass.”

The Jazz haven’t been able to contain the Rockets, and perhaps they need to play more aggressive to do so. Neither of their first two games have been even close, as Utah lost 122-90 in Game 1 and 118-98 in Game 2. Very little has gone right for the team, on both offense and defense. Hopefully a return home for Games 3 and 4 can kickstart the Jazz and help them pull off the upset.

Gobert, however, has been perhaps the team’s lone bright spot. The 26-year-old has totaled 33 points, 22 rebounds, and 2 assists in 65 minutes between the two games.

Houston and Utah earned the fourth and fifth seeds in the Western Conference, respectively. But the Rockets finished a full three games ahead of the Jazz and are widely regarded as the stronger team. Game 3 is an absolute must-win for Utah. The two teams will meet on Saturday night at 10:30 P.M. EST.