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Utah Jazz vs Oklahoma City Thunder: Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

How to Watch

What: Utah Jazz at Oklahoma City Thunder

Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, OK

When: Friday, February 22nd at 9:30 PM EST

How (TV/Radio): ESPN, Fox Sports Oklahoma, AT&T Sportsnet – Rocky Mountain | 97.5 FM | 1280 AM The Zone, WWLS 98.1FM OKC / 930AM (ESP).

Utah Jazz (Away)

Head Coach: Quin Snyder {All-Time 209-176 | UTA}

The Utah Jazz are precariously hanging on to sixth place in the Western Conference with a record of 32-25. While they started off with some difficulty, the Jazz are sure primed to challenge for the top four of the West’s table.

In their ten games before the all-star break, the Utah Jazz were 6-4 in their last ten games. Unfortunately the Jazz were unable to compete with some of the best of the West, losing to the Warriors, Rockets, and Trail Blazers in that time.

The Jazz take another one of the West’s top teams when they take on the Oklahoma City Thunder. They are rife with talented options in George, Westbrook, and Adams, while their bench have really come on a the right time.

Oklahoma City Thunder (Home)

Head Coach: Billy Donovan {All-Time 187-116 | OKC}

The Oklahoma City Thunder remain near the top of the Western Conference at third, with a record of 37-20. They have a comfortable lead over the Blazers in fourth but are a solid run away from overtaking the Nuggets in second.

The Thunder were on an impressive run prior to the All-Star Break, posting a record of 8-2 over their last 10. They Excellent wins over the Blazers, Rockets, and Bucks, and showed that they have the defensive ability to be a true contender.

The Utah Jazz are a hungry team and are one of the few left that have an inside presence to challenge Steven Adams. Gobert is coming off of the disappointment of an All-Star snub and is sure to give it his all in this matchup.

What’s At Stake?

The Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder have maintained a one-sided history. In the all-time series, the Oklahoma City Thunder lead the Utah Jazz 29-12.

A win for the Thunder will bring them to 1.5 games back of the Denver Nuggets who are in second place.

A win for the Utah Jazz would bring them within half a game of the Houston Rockets in fifth place.

Questions to answer

Is the Jazz’s answer at point already home?

What does Markieff Morris bring to the Thunder?

We are going to compare the Utah Jazz and the Oklahoma City Thunder in an attempt to see who has the advantage in this matchup.

Dante Exum May Be the Key for the Jazz

It is no secret that the Utah Jazz looked to upgrade their point guard position before the trade deadline. While the rumours of a Mike Conley acquisition were heating up, the Jazz ultimately fell short and are now in a state of point guard limbo.

How do you ask a point guard to improve after telling him he doesn’t have it to lead the team and search for a replacement? You really don’t, but the Jazz will certainly look toward a combined effort from Ricky Rubio and backup guard Dante Exum.

Before turning his ankle and missing a number of games, Exum was shooting 48% from the field and 38% from three. He was not only able to spell Ricky Rubio but their ability to play together was fantastic on both ends of the court. Searching for answers to build a contender, Head Coach Quin Snyder will surely look to encourage the success of his already talented roster.

Markieff Morris Fits the Thunder’s Culture

Rumored to be headed to and from every contender in the NBA, Markieff Morris eventually settled with the Oklahoma City Thunder and the fit could not be better at all. Morris is a rough-and-tumble defender with the ability to finish inside and hit from three.

What the Thunder are getting in Morris is exactly what they wanted when they initially signed Patrick Patterson. A switchable 3-and-D power forward with no limitations on the defensive glass. Where Patterson has struggled, Morris will be there to assert his basketball skills.

On the downside Morris does not know much of the offence at this point. He is a capable spot up option but outside of clearing out for Westbrook and George he will have to be more involved. Expect some big rebounding games from Morris to get points on the board, until he is more versed in the Thunder game plan.

Utah Jazz Roster Notes

C Tony Bradley – 5 Feb 2019 – Out (Knee) – The Jazz announced that Bradley will be re-evaluated after the All-Star break.

G Dante Exum – 12 Feb 2019 – Out (Ankle) – Exum will be out at least until after the All-Star break.

Oklahoma City Thunder Roster Notes

F Jerami Grant – 13 Feb 2019 – Out (Ankle) – Grant has been ruled OUT for Thursday’s (Feb 14) game against the Pelicans.

G-F Andre Roberson – 14 Feb 2019 – Out (Knee) – Roberson has yet to do any on-court work, however head coach Billy Donovan hasn’t given up hope that he could make a return this season.

G Dennis Schroeder – 14 Feb 2019 – Out (Personal) – Schroder is listed as OUT for Thursday’s (Feb. 14) game against the Pelicans.

Head-to-Head: Rudy Gobert (UTA) vs Steven Adams (OKC)

Rudy Gobert

Center | 7-1, 245lb (216cm, 111kg) | Cholet/France | Exp. 5 Years

15.2 PPG | 2.2 APG | 12.9 RPG | 0.9 SPG | 2.1 BPG | 1.6 TOV | .654 FG% | – 3P%

Steven Adams

Center | 7-0, 265lb (213cm, 120kg) | Pittsburgh | Exp. 5 Years

14.7 PPG | 1.7 APG | 9.5 RPG | 1.6 SPG | 0.8 BPG | 1.6 TOV | .607 FG% | – 3P%

Two of the NBA’s best centers and interior enforcers face off when Rudy Gobert and Steven Adams take to the court. A defensive marvel, Gobert is motivated to perform after what he believes to be an all-star snub. On the other side, the always cool Adams is sure to be every bit the defensive force he’s been all season.

They don’t call him the Stifle Tower for nothing. Frenchman Rudy Gobert was at first saddened and then motivated by his exclusion from the NBA All-Star team. Already averaging a remarkable 2.1 blocks per game, Gobert is one of the few players that can challenge the likes of Westbrook and George at the rim. If the Jazz perimeter players can hold the line, it will be open season for Gobert on shots at the rim.

In a way you could say Adams initiates the offence as much as George or Westbrook. Every Adams screen creates a play due to the sheer size and strength of the New Zealander. While his offensive game is limited to rim runs and deep post ups, Adams is sure to contribute against an opponent who wants to stifle his team.

Utah Jazz at Oklahoma City Thunder Predictions and Odds

The odds makers have the Oklahoma City Thunder favoured over the Utah Jazz by 3.5, with an over/under of 110.

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AUTHOR

Christian Jope

912 Articles

Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.

Email: [email protected]

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