The Utah Jazz are 4-2, and the Oklahoma City Thunder are 2-4. One of these two are expected to be title contentions, and many national writers have felt like the Jazz will be the worst team in the Conference. Injuries, expectations, and short term goals account for the difference in preseason record. Utah has been playing well, despite whatever excuse one could make to downgrade their 4 wins. Oklahoma City, well, not as much. They've lost to the Denver Nuggets, New Orleans Pelicans, Toronto Raptors, and Minnesota Timberwolves so far, and outside of the Raptors, lost to four lotto teams. Within those losses, each has been a blow out.
But I get it. OKC is injured right now and have nothing to play for. So the other teams, the hungrier teams, will play more normal rotations and attempt to get some sort of 'flow' going. And that's the difference between the Jazz and OKC right now. It's more important for our team to get going than their team. And with the injury disparity (Kevin Durant, Kendrick Perkins, Nick Collison (maybe), Reggie Jackson (maybe), Jeremy Lamb), it's easy to the Thunder to embrace coasting right now when the games do not matter.
Tonight may be more of the same, but you'd think that losing isn't something the Thunder want to develop a habit for. One guy who may have something to say about this is Russell Westbrook. For the preseason he has been relatively insulated by playing in only 21.3 mpg so far in 5 of 6 games. Within his short time on the court Westbrook is averaging 11.6 ppg, 5.2 apg (4.6 turn overs tho), 3.0 rpg, and 1.8 spg. He is shooting 11.1% from downtown as well. If there was ever a night to try to get into 'season' shape it would be tonight against Dante Exum, Ian Clark, Toure' Murry, and maybe Trey Burke (no word on my end on if he needs to play).
If you like to watch a guy scowl at his team mates and jack up shots, this could be your night -- you know, if he plays more than half the game.
It's likely to be close because of the disproportionate injuries between these two squads. And it's more data with which to use to help identify who these two teams are. But at the end of the day, it's more important for the Jazz than the Thunder. Or at least, that's what I would have thought back when Utah was up 22 over the Lakers.
|1||Dante Exum||PG||Russell Westbrook|
|2||Alec Burks||SG||Andre Roberson|
|3||Gordon Hayward||SF||Perry Jones III|
|4||Enes Kanter||PF||Serge Ibaka|
|5||Derrick Favors||C||Steven Adams|
|6||Ian Clark||PG||Sebastian Telfair|
|7||Rodney Hood||SG||Anthony Morrow|
|8||Dahntay Jones||SF||Josh Huestis|
|9||Steve Novak||PF||Grant Jerrett|
|10||Rudy Gobert||C||bruh . . .|
|INJ||Trevor Booker||x||Kevin Durant|
|Trey Burke (not Inj)||x||Reggie Jackson|
GO JAZZ GO!
Who is going to win tonight?
This poll is closed
The Utah Jazz (4-2)
The Oklahoma City Thunder (2-4)