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Utah Jazz vs Oklahoma City Thunder Game Preview: The Jazz really have to figure things out

What is this Utah Jazz team and how good are they?

Utah Jazz v Oklahoma City Thunder Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images

After what was the worst loss of the season against the New Orleans Pelicans, maybe even the decade, the Utah Jazz need to get back on track against the Oklahoma City Thunder. It’s a game that would normally be a little tricky, the Thunder have a lot of young, good talent, but it doesn’t appear the Thunder will have very much depth in this one.

Missing 8 players is literally more than half your team and that includes one of the best rookies this season, Josh Giddey, and Lu Dort, destroyer of humans.

The Thunder will still have Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Tre Mann. We all know what SGA can do, but Tre Mann is quietly having a really good rookie season. He’s also had some eye-catching performances of late. In his last 7 games he’s averaging 18 points while shooting 46% from the field and 37% from three (hat tip basketballreference.com). Having a set of young, athletic guards that can score like that makes this the definition of a trap game.

The Jazz could not have looked worse in their last game against the New Orleans Pelicans. Whether it was the lack of defense, offense, transition, you name it, the Jazz were terrible. Tonight is a chance to get things back on track and work out the kinks ... again. And that has really been the story of the season this year. Once it seems like the Jazz have finally figured things out and are ready to show up like we all expected, like going 9-1 in February, they’ll start off March by barely avoiding a collapse against the last place Rockets and getting annihilated by the New Orleans Pelicans. There’s so many kinks in this hose of a season you start to wonder if it’s a hose problem, and no something that will ever completely be right.

It appears the Jazz will be without Mike Conley tonight, but even with Conley resting, there is zero excuse for the Jazz to drop a game against a tanking Thunder team down 8 players. Zero. We’ll see if they’re able to do it or if things continue to sputter in March.


Odds for this game

The Utah Jazz are favored at -14 in this one and the best bet for this one is going all-in with the Jazz. Oklahoma City is likely going to have big games from SGA and Mann, but without much depth, the Jazz second unit should feast. The other interesting question for this game is, will the Jazz be better with Conley resting? Conley has been mediocre at best for the Jazz in the last month or two. He has been putting up respectable averages but the defense isn’t there because of the need to rest, and the numbers have been non-existent recently. Do the Jazz start Danuel House and add some size to the starting lineup? It could be a huge defensive/athletic upgrade that could help the Jazz route the the Thunder.


Game Info

When: 5:00 PM MT

Where: Paycom Center, Oklahoma City, OK

TV: AT&T Sportsnet RM


SITE UPDATE

You may have noticed this season that I have looked at the benefits of having a game thread separate from the game preview. Even though I think that provides some potential advantages, it hasn’t been enough of a benefit to keep doing it and we are going to go back to combining the game thread with the preview.

Keep being awesome in the comments. Remember to be good to each other and to be respectful. Go Jazz!

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