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Mike D’Antoni prepared for Game 2 vs. Jazz, says Rockets learned from 2018 playoffs

Mike D'Antoni, Rockets

In their playoff matchup last year, the Houston Rockets also won Game 1 against the Utah Jazz before losing the following match. Now, heading to their second playoff game this year against the same team, Mike D’Antoni and Co. are now more cautious.

Even though the Rockets absolutely trampled the Jazz the last time out, D’Antoni fully understands how potent Utah can be at times. He also expects their fifth-seeded opponents to go all out to win Game 2 and take the game at home on equal footing.

“The series doesn’t start until somebody else wins on somebody’s floor,” D’Antoni recently told Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. “They did the same thing last year; they lose the first one and come back. I think we have enough experience where we know how important this is and how much energy we have to come out with.”

“They know from past experience. We still have to have the killer instinct and the mindset, the appropriate fear entering this game. I think we have that.”

Although Mike D’Antoni and the Rockets won’t be complacent, they are still considered as one of the hottest teams in the entire NBA. After finishing the 2018-19 regular season as the fourth seed in the Western Conference standings, Houston could potentially face the Golden State Warriors in the conference semifinals — if they can surpass the Jazz, that is.

On the other hand, the Jazz finished the regular season as the fifth seed in the Western Conference while stringing together an impressive 50 wins to coincide with the Rockets’ 53 victories.