Instead... Yao is out with an injury (again). Alston is out for several games with an injury. The winning streak is history. McGrady is shooting a lot but not making much of anything. And Mutumbo is still getting calls from AARP about his pending membership status.
Meanwhile, the Jazz won their division and added an outside shooter at the trade deadline to finally balance out their offense a little bit. Oh, and Jerry Sloan may be the best coach left in the NBA right now.
This series should not be that interesting. The Rockets have home court advantage but the Jazz overcame that last year even with Yao in the line up.
The Jazz will most likely punish the Rockets early and often for their weakness at the point guard spot and at center. This could be the least interesting first round series in the West. I would love to be proven wrong by the Rockets. But they just don't look all that good going into this series. The Jazz should win game one handily in Alston's absence.