Oklahoma City Thunder (5-4, 2-1 road) at Utah Jazz (7-3, 2-1 home)
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 107.2 (12th), Jazz – 106.7 (15th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 111.6 (28th), Jazz – 105.5 (10th)
Pace: Thunder – 93.7 (16th), Jazz – 92.7 (18th)
View from the enemy: Salt City Hoops
I’m holding my breath here. I feel like if you have something you need to do at around 10 p.m. CT, you’re going to have the time to do it. Because I’m not sure this game tonight will be worth watching at that point. At least that’s the fear. But this Thunder team has surprised us before, so who knows.
Utah coming in: The Jazz have won five straight, including a road trip where they basically obliterated the Eastern Conference. They are well rested, last playing in Charlotte Saturday.
It’s again the mis-match for OKC on the interior. Paul Millsap owned the Thunder in the last meeting, pulled down 16 boards while putting up 30 points. Al Jefferson is always tough for OKC to handle as well, so Jeff Green, Nenad Krstic and Serge Ibaka will have their hands full. Nick Collison played just 11 minutes last night so we’ll see if he’s ready for a little extra time because he could be a big help in this one.
Again, Andrei Kirilenko is a good defender that matches up well with Kevin Durant. Kirilenko did nice work the last time around, but KD has some confidence and has been shooting the ball better. The shots were there for Durant the last time, but they just didn’t go down.
With the way OKC’s perimeter defense has played lately, it’s not hard to see C.J. Miles hitting five or six 3s in this one. The Jazz have shooters and the kickout will likely be there for them all night.
Russell Westbrook against Deron Williams is a marquee matchups of two of the most physical, tough and talented point guard in the league. It’s one of those matchups that’s hard to take your eye off of, even when neither has the ball in their hands. More than likely whoever gets the better of the other in this head-to-head will see his club win.
The Jazz manhandled OKC the last time the teams met. The Jazz offense was a beautiful thing whole OKC’s was tough to watch. It’s hard not to see a .500 record in our future, but again, this team has a way of showing up randomly so far this year.
Tip at 8:00 CT. Go Big Surprise.