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NBA Preseason 2015: Utah Jazz vs. Oklahoma City Thunder - Game Preview

Gametime: 7:00 PM MT
TV: ROOT Sports
RADIO: 1280 AM / 97.5 FM

Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Tonight the Utah Jazz (2-3) face off against the Seattle Supersonics Oklahoma City Thunder (4-1) in the good guys' penultimate preseason game. I'm going to be pretty specific here, I don't think the preseason matters as much as how well the team is playing after the All-Star break. At that make or break period of the season you're there to work, and either you're putting in the work on the court, or you're looking at the lotto. Furthermore, preseason success is as useful as replacing your digital clock from your microwave and replacing it with a barometer. It's nice. I see you did something. I don't know if it is something good or meaningful in any way. But you did it. So hooray for you. Also, it's no replacement for grilling something up over an open fire like a caveman. We here in Jazzland like that unsubtle caveman stuff. Our players go hard in the paint. We fans like hard screens. And we've had two and a half generations growing up on playoff basketball in Utah.

What do the Thunder like? You know, besides stealing legendary NBA Franchises?

Apparently they like playoff basketball and defense too. Which probably explains why persona non grata Enes Kanter is sitting this game out, and as a benefit of not being active, is beyond the reach of media availability. (Missing piece of info: Kanter doesn't play defense, and defense is a key component of playoff basketball.)

The Thunder are expected to mop the floor with the rest of the North West division (not the kid related to Kim Kardashian). The Jazz may have something to say about that. As a result . . . I would expect this game to be one of those "no chill" preseason games. It's a pointless game that has no bearing on the regular season, but still could be one predicated by needless physicality and intensity. So, basically like any good Jazz / Sonics game should be.

They will be powered by Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, while Steven Adams, Serge Ibaka, Nick Collison and company make sure they have enough beef to go around inside. The Thunder will be playing without Kanter (rest), D.J. AUgustin (rest), and Mitch McGary (Concussion).They will still have DIon Waiters, Kyle Singler, and Anthony Morrow for our guards to chase around. Should be fun, hope Steve Novak gets some burn.

I expect the Jazz to be at "full strength" (no Dante Exum, but everyone else). Trey Burke will get a chance to see if his shot shooting was just a fluke while Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, and Rudy Gobert probably inch their way up to about 30 minutes.

Personally I would have rather had seen Enes Kanter out there. But we'll see him soon enough.