The Utah Jazz and the Oklahoma City Thunder meet Wednesday for a Thanksgiving eve appetizer. The Jazz are looking to get the bad taste out of their mouth after self destructing in the last game against the Memphis Grizzlies and the Thunder are trying to rebound after a disappointing loss to the Atlanta Hawks.
The Thunder come into this game with a record of 6-11 and are on the fringes of play-in contention, which would be a surprise to most on the outside looking in. But this team has always had a winning culture and even without a household name on the team, the Thunder have several talented players that can go off in any given game. That team confidence stems from leading scorer Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who leads the team with 20.4 pts, 5.1 rebs and 4.4 assists per game. Gilgeous-Alexander’s status is questionable for this game but if he is not able to play then then rising star Josh Giddey will get more playing time as he looks to build on a promising rookie season so far.
The Jazz were understandably upset with themselves after letting a six point lead slip away in the final minute of their loss to the Grizzlies on Monday. There was no public finger pointing but the message from the coaching staff and the players was the same. “Our focus and our effort have got to be way better, especially on transition defense and defensive rebounds…….I can’t believe we’re talking about this again” said Utah F Bojan Bogdanovic. “We’re giving up way too many possessions via transition defense and defensive rebounding” added head coach Quin Snyder. Aside from transition defense and defensive rebounding, the elephant in the room for the Jazz is turnovers. The team has had a major problem with being careless with the ball this season so far and especially in late game situations. If they can clean that up for this game then they will make the game much easier on themselves overall.
It’s always a hard fought game when the Jazz and Thunder face each other and this game should be no different. We will see if the Jazz can keep the focus on defensive rebounding and transition defense and can stay focused for the full 48 minutes this time around.
Game Date/Time: Wednesday, November 24th, 2021, 6:00 PM MT
Location: Paycom Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
LOCAL TV: ATTSN-RM
RADIO: 97.5/1280 The Zone, or listen on the Utah Jazz app