“See you next year.”
Those were Donovan Mitchell’s words to the Oklahoma City Thunder fans heckling him and the Utah Jazz while they exited the court. The Jazz while disappointed snd frustrated by their very public and humiliating collapse in Oklahoma City had already begun looking to Game 6 at home. Donovan wasn’t mincing words. He wasn’t coming back to Oklahoma. Not this season.
That’s the backdrop of tonight’s big Game 6 in Utah. If Utah holds serve at home, they have earned themselves a ticket to the second round and a match with the Houston Rockets. Lose and they go back to a very hostile crowd in OKC with little momentum left for an emotional Game 7.
This is Oklahoma City’s elimination game. They got to be ready for anything. Russell Westbrook exploded with an MVP like performance last game, but it should be noted that that it required a cheat code to accomplish it, Rudy Gobert’s foul trouble last game opened the door for Westbrook’s Thanos-like massacre.
When: April 27th, 2018
Where: Vivint Arena • Salt Lake City, Utah
TV: ESPN, AT&T Sports Net - Rocky Mountain
Radio: 1280 AM/97.5 FM The Zone
Thabo Sefolosha - knee - out for season
Oklahoma City Thunder:
Andre Roberson - knee - out for season
What to expect
The reckoning of Westbrook
The Utah Jazz have to be ready for Westbrook’s full fury. He is going to be amped up and ready to roll. The absence of Rudy played into his hands. Look for Billy Donovan to play him as many minutes as humanly possible to take advantage of Gobert-less stretches. Gobert has to be ready to play long minutes tonight because tonight is going to require it.
The reckoning of Gobert
Likewise Gobert is not going to get phantom calls called on him forever. Rudy is going to be home and feeding on the crowd. This is going to be really close game, but with Rudy, the Jazz can close this out.