Tonight we see the stallwart Utah Jazz (15-10), winners of 8 of their last 10, attempt to keep on rolling before Christmas. They will be facing the Oklahoma City Thunder (15-10) tonight. The Jazz have been off for three nights since their beatdown of the Sacramento Kings (104-84). And in that time they've gotten some good injury news -- Rodney Hood, Gordon, Hayward, and Derrick Favors are all back for the foreseeable future. Dante Exum, who missed practice is also back. So Utah is rested and deeper now. What about OKC?
They are hanging in there, winning 7 of their last 10. They played last night and lost to the Portland Trail Blazers (114-95), and tonight will be the second night of a back to back and their third night in four games. They are without Victor Oladipo and backup guard Cameron Payne. But pretty much about as tough as they can be. And motivate now after the drubbing they took last night.
OKC plays fast (6th fastest) and puts up 106.2 ppg (9th best). They are not terribly efficient on offense, but make up for it with effort. They are, surprisingly, 7th best in DRTG. The 5th best DRTG team in the NBA is UTA. Utah plays at the slowest pace in the league but are efficient on offense.It's a contrast of styles when it comes to speeds, but both teams take pride in stopping the other team.
Both teams have 15 wins. OKC is 5-5 on the road (man, only 10 road games?) so far and UTA is 8-5 at home. Gotta protect home court, especially against a team that you'll be fighting against for playoff seeding. It's a four-game series against OKC this year, and last year the Jazz got swept 0-4. Utah is 50-38 as the home team against Seattle / OKC. But overall they are 76-100. It's not going to be easy to win against a team built to beat you.
But I believe in our guys.
Beware the bandwagon!
- PG: Russel Westbrook vs. Dante Exum
- SG: Andre Roberson vs. Rodney Hood
- SF: Jerami Grant vs. Gordon Hayward
- PF: Domantas Sabonis vs. Boris Diaw
- C: Steven Adams vs. Rudy Gobert
Of course, this means Enes Kanter vs. Derrick Favors off the bench.
Injuries / Absences:
- PG: George Hill (OUT), Cameron Payne (OUT)
- SG: Victor Oladipo (OUT), Alec Burks (OUT)
Wow? That's it? Just two guards each? I'm cautiously excited.
GO JAZZ GO!
Who's going to win tonight?
This poll is closed
Utah by 11+ points
Utah by 6-10 points
Utah by 1-5 points
OKC by 1-5 points
OKC by 6-10 points
OKC by 11+ points