Utah Jazz (9-7, 3-7 road) vs. OKC Thunder (12-4, 8-2 home)
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 112.3 (1st), Jazz– 106.3 (9th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 102.7 (9th), Jazz – 105.0 (17th)
Pace: Thunder – 92.7 (13th), Jazz – 91.1 (22nd)
View from the enemy: Salt City Hoops
It wasn’t expect prior to the season, but the Jazz appear to possibly be Thunder’s top competition in the Northwest. Obviously there’s still lots of time for the Nuggets and Wolves to pick it up, but as it stands now, the team chasing OKC closest is the Jazz.
Utah coming in: The Jazz last played Wednesday, handling the Hornets.
Three Big Things
1. Inside work. The Jazz focus a lot of their attention in the paint and on the glass. Perk will have his hands full with Al Jefferson on the block and Serge Ibaka will have to focus to keep Paul Millsap off the offensive glass.
2. No Marvin. The Jazz are without Marvin Williams who has a concussion, meaning they don’t really have anyone ideal to defend Kevin Durant. Gordon Hayward and DeMarre Carrol will get the bulk of the assignment. So good luck to them.
3. Roll on. The Thunder are in a pretty good groove, especially at home. That talk of lackluster energy and effort has slid away and the Thunder clearly are performing better at The Peake. There’s solid momentum for the team riding off the emotional Wednesday win so you don’t want to kill that now.
Tip at 7:00 CT. Go Hoops.