Jazz (1-13, 0-8 road) vs. Thunder (8-3, 5-0 home)
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 106.4 (9th), Jazz– 96.6 (29th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 103.1 (10th), Jazz – 108.6 (30th)
Pace: Thunder – 97.1 (8th), Jazz – 92.7 (4th)
Two down in the six-game homestand, and a little break in the middle here against the Jazz. Or at least one would assume so. But as everyone knows, or at least Scott Brooks would have you believe, there are 29 quality teams in the league and that includes the Jazz. That’s the message he’s trying to tell his team today, even though we all really know that as long as the Thunder show up and play even remotely like themselves, they should be 9-3 heading in to their big showdown against the Spurs.
Three Big Things
1. Quick start. Bury the Jazz early. Reinforce the doubts that they have coming in to the game that they have no chance. The longer you let them hang around, the more hope you give them that this could be their chance to win something important and feel good about themselves for 24 hours or so.
2. Take care. Turnovers will be the equalizer here. If the Thunder get sloppy and give away the ball, especially live, they’ll bail the Jazz out. As long as the Thunder are getting shots up, they’ll be fine.
3. Remember what time the game starts. Taking a page from Chris Webber’s keys here, the Thunder really just need to arrive at the arena and remember they’re playing a basketball game.
Royce wrote this Pregame Primer before he left so I’m adding one more. – Mrs. DT
4. Russell Westbrook isn’t playing. The team is giving him the night off to rest (and dress to impress).
Tip at 6:00 CT. Go Show Up.