Author - Chuck Chaney

Thunder Playoff Game Day No. 4: at Utah Jazz

Utah leads series 2-1

Monday, April 23 :: 9:30 p.m. CST ::Vivint Smart Home Arena (19,911)
TV Coverage: FS Oklahoma (DirectTV 675, Cox 37, HD 722, Tulsa Cox 27)
TV Coverage: TNT (245 DirecTV, 31 Cox, 730 HD 108 AT&T U-Verse, 138 Dish)
Radio Coverage: 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the enemyHere.
Line: The Oklahoma City Thunder are a 4-point underdog. The over/under is 209½.
Online StreamFS OK | WWLS Sports Animal | Live Stats | Twitter | Facebook
Game Notes: Thunder: here | Jazz: here

SETTING THE SCENE

  • Oklahoma City faces pretty much their entire season tonight. Oklahoma City is 0-4 all-time in Game 5s, so the Thunder need this game more than anything.
  • Utah used a 13-0 run to ice Game 2 on Saturday night. Oklahoma City once again struggled in the fourth quarter.
  • Oklahoma City is 6-4 in Game 4s when down 2-1 in a series.
  • Russell Westbrook fell one rebound shy of a triple-double, finishing with 14 points, 11 rebounds, nine assists and two steals, despite having one of his worst games in the playoffs in a long time.
  • Raymond Felton led the OKC reserves, who outscored the Jazz bench 34-17, with 14 points, shooting 4-of-5 from long range and 5-of-10 from the field.

FOLLOWING THE ACTION

  • You can catch the radio on Oklahoma City’s WWLS, 98.1 FM. Matt Pinto will be your play-by-play voice. If you’re in Tulsa, catch it on 1450 AM.
  • Brian Davis and Michael Cage call the game on the Thunder’s flagship station, Fox Sports Oklahoma. You can watch the game there, catch it on NBA League Pass, or use the Fox Sports App (If you’re in Oklahoma).
  • Tonight’s game is on TNT for the national broadcast. It’s unknown who the broadcast team will be.

THUNDER INJURY REPORT

  • Andre Roberson (ruptured patellar tendon) is out for the season.

JAZZ INJURY REPORT

  • Thabo Sefolosha (knee) is out.



Three Keys to the Game

Pace

Utah struggled keeping up with the pace in Game 1. The Jazz (25th in pace in the regular season) have done a better job of slowing the pace down. It was 100.2 in Game 1, 97.3 in Game 2, and 96.4 in Game 3. If it’s around 99-100-plus, that’s where Oklahoma City excels. When the Jazz keep it below 98, Utah thrives. It’s that simple.

Rebounding

Utah is 35-8 when they win the rebounding battle and they only allow 10.9 second chance points per game. The Jazz are also only 19-21 when allowing 11 or more second chance scoring. They’re 29-13 when they allow 10 or less. Oklahoma City MUST find a way to gobble up offensive boards and make the Jazz pay. This goes back to Steven Adams.

Share the ball

Oklahoma City continues their sharing ways, they’ll be good. Oklahoma City is 31-12 when Westbrook has at least 10 assists. he’s averaging 22.8 points, 11.3 rebounds and 10.0 assists in four games against Utah. If Westbrook could get to that 10 assist mark that means two things: 1) he’s trusting his teammates and 2) those said teammates are hitting their shots.

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Time to walk the walk

“I guarantee that.”

Russell Westbrook spoke with a lot of gusto after the Game 3 loss to Utah on Saturday night. Maybe it’s the elevation or just the sheer undiable ability to win but Westbrook’s guarantee is a big deal. Oklahoma City has spoke of being calm and “being able to flip a switch.” With a monumental game on the horizons on Monday night, it’s time for Oklahoma City to put up or shut up.

If Oklahoma City can, they probably should’ve already done that. Complaining to officials, instead of getting back on defense is getting tiresome. Poor efforts in playoff games make us cringe to the point those who are on the calm side of things are starting to freak out.

With the heart of Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City can come back and win this series. We’ve seen what his wild determination can do. He’s taken apart multiple teams by himself. He’s done it in the final minutes of the game. He’s done it in overtime and throughout four quarters. On Saturday night, he was a large reason why the Thunder struggled.

“You live by the Brodie, you die by the Brodie” an echoing statement that rang so true on Saturday. He’s also why Oklahoma City can even say they’re in a position to win the series. Another historic season coupled with some real talent finally helped the Thunder ascend to the ranks of contenders. No one knew how important Andre Roberson was until he went down and brought the Thunder down to potential pretenders.

Oklahoma City has won in hostile environments. They’ve won in the Oracle. They’ve won in Dallas when the Mavericks were really good. They went to the Staples Center and beat the Lakers. They’ve beaten San Antonio numerous times on the Riverwalk.

But… That was a different team. Only six players remain from that 2016 Western Conference run. Westbrook, Adams, Roberson, Singler, Huestis and Collison. So, it’s really three players. Collison still didn’t play very much that season, only averaging 11.8 minutes per game.

So, this Thunder team. The rebuilt post-KD team has yet to win a road playoff game (0-4). You can throw last season out and we’re left with Saturday night’s loss in an electric building.

It’s time for Oklahoma City to put up or shut up. The time for talk is over. Put the ball in Westbrook’s hands and as Matt Moore says, “Let Westbrook be Westbrook.”

In Brodie we trust.

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Thunder Playoff Digits: Whoops, here we go again

Oklahoma City couldn’t figure out the second half once again. Utah used an impressive 13-0 run to put the Thunder out to pasture with a 115-102 win in Game 3 on Saturday night. Oklahoma City will look to respond on Monday night in Utah. Here are some numbers that affected the win.

33

Oklahoma City only had 33 rebounds in the loss on Saturday night. The Thunder really need to figure out this rebounding things. It’s the second lowest rebound total of the season. That’s a recipe for disaster.

8

Total turnovers for Russell Westbrook

1

Ricky Rubio had his first career triple-double on Saturday night.

17

Total assists by the Thunder. While Westbrook had nine of them, it probably should’ve been a lot more if people had hit their shots.

38.9%

Thunder’s shooting percentage the final 31 minutes of the game.

66.7%

Oklahoma City’s shooting the first 17 minutes of the game.

50%

The Thunder shot 50 percent from three on Saturday night, which is really all for naught in the loss. It’s one of the few positive notes from the night.

23

Oklahoma City was called for 23 fouls, Utah called for 20. Two for Utah were in the final minutes, pointless finals. You could argue the officiating was inconsistent or the fact Oklahoma City was just sloppy and careless all night long.

6

Only six offensive boards for the Thunder. Oklahoma City has to do a better job on the offensive glass. It doesn’t help when Steven Adams was in foul trouble.

19

Utah had 19 second chance points, compared to Oklahoma City’s eight. That’s embarrassing.

3

Utah had three players score at least 20 points. Ricky Rubio (26), Donovan Mitchell (22), and Joe Ingles (21). Only Paul George scored more than 20 for the Thunder.

57.1%

Utah shot 57.1 percent from three (8-of-14) in the second half from three. Mitchell and Ingles combined for 6-of-8 from deep in the second half.

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Thunder shell shocked by Jazz

Oklahoma City couldn’t figure out the second half once again. Utah used an impressive 13-0 run to put the Thunder out to pasture with a 115-102 win in Game 3 on Saturday night.

Utah now leads the series 2-1. In NBA history, teams who are up 2-1, win the series 79.8 percent of the time according to whowins.com.

In a game where the Thunder led by 10, it really never felt like a big lead. The crowd was electric and the Thunder folded in times of adversity within this game.

It started with Russell Westbrook. His 5-of-17 performance was god awful and his decision making was even more questionable. Vivint Smart brings out either the best or worst in Westbrook. In two other games in this building, Westbrook was either mesmerizing as he was on Dec. 23 with a 27-point triple-double or as disappointing as he was on Oct. 21, a 2-of-11 for six points and a lot of turnovers. One was a double-digit win and the other was a double-digit loss.

Oklahoma City saw Utah take a 58-53 lead into halftime but it was a the comeback to start the second half that game Thunder fans hope. A Carmelo Anthony three put the Thunder up 63-60 with 9:57 left in the third. It appeared the Thunder had figured something out. It capped off a 10-0 run.

Then, Utah would respond with a 9-0 run of their own, retaking the lead for good.

The Jazz closed the third quarter on a 29-12 run, outscoring and defending like madmen. They took it to Oklahoma City. Hit them right in their mouth in a physical ability, that not many teams can match with what Oklahoma City does physically. Utah did and did it again. With the dust settled, they were up by 14 after three quarters.

The Thunder made a run, cut it to a seven-point deficit with 9:47 on a Raymond Felton jumper. Utah called a timeout and then destroyed the Thunder. Utah would open on a 13-0 run to go up by 20.

Paul George led the Thunder in scoring. Westbrook struggled. Anthony while being efficient was really a defensive liability. Utah made the Thunder pay in every way possible on Saturday night.

Game 4 is on Monday night at 9:30 p.m. That game will be on TNT and the Thunder need that game as they’ll face a 3-1 deficit with a loss. We’ll have your entire coverage on our social medias and right here on Thunder Digest.

Keys to the Game

Pace: D

Utah slowed it down and really played at their pace, which you could see in the way Oklahoma City played, they struggled with how slow it was. They tried to hurry things up, caused turnovers and bad shot selections. Oklahoma City cannot let the Jazz do this again. Oklahoma City has to up the tempo.

Rebounding: F

Oklahoma City only grabbed 33 rebounds. THIRTY-THREE. It’s their second lowest rebounding total of the season. (32 against Portland in back in November). Utah didn’t miss a lot of shots and when they did, Utah pulled down 13 offensive boards. It was a recipe for disaster.

Share the ball: F

Only 17 assists on 37 made buckets. Absurdly low ratio. Oklahoma City needs to share the ball a little bit more. We’re looking for 22-23 assists, that would be perfect for this team. That’s approximately 13 extra points. Not that it would’ve mattered with this game but would’ve made a big difference most games.

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Thunder Playoff Game Day: at Utah Jazz – Game 3

Series tied 1-1

Saturday, April 21 :: 9:00 p.m. CST ::Vivint Smart Home Arena (19,911)
TV Coverage: FS Oklahoma (DirectTV 675, Cox 37, HD 722, Tulsa Cox 27)
TV Coverage: ESPN (DirectTV 206, Cox 29, HD 1300, Tulsa Cox HD 1025)
Radio Coverage: 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the enemyHere.
Line: The Oklahoma City Thunder are a 4½-point underdog. The over/under is 207.
Online StreamFS OK | WWLS Sports Animal | Live Stats | Twitter | Facebook
Game Notes: Thunder: here | Jazz: here

SETTING THE SCENE

  • The Oklahoma City Thunder look to get back on top of a tight series with a win in Utah tonight. If the Thunder fall tonight, the series gets tough. If they win, they take a commanding 2-1 lead with a game back in Oklahoma City potentially close out the series.
  • Utah beat the Thunder 102-95 on Wednesday night in a game that saw Oklahoma City go on a 19-0 and then Utah respond with an 18-3 run of their own. Oklahoma City’s Big Three went 0-of-14 in the fourth quarter, a first this season.
  • The Thunder scored its 10,000th playoff point, one of just three teams to do so since the 2010 postseason (San Antonio, Miami).
  • Russell Westbrook fell one rebound shy of a triple-double with a team-leading 19 points, game-best 13 assists and nine rebounds along with a game-high four steals.
  • Paul George notched his third playoff double-double with 18 points and a team-leading 10 rebounds while blocking three shots.
  • Jerami Grant set new postseason career highs in both scoring and rebounding with a bench-leading 13 points and six rebounds while going 6-for-10 from the field.

FOLLOWING THE ACTION

  • You can catch the radio on Oklahoma City’s WWLS, 98.1 FM. Matt Pinto will be your play-by-play voice. If you’re in Tulsa, catch it on 1450 AM.
  • Brian Davis and Michael Cage call the game on the Thunder’s flagship station, Fox Sports Oklahoma. You can watch the game there, catch it on NBA League Pass, or use the Fox Sports App (If you’re in Oklahoma).
  • Tonight’s game is on ESPN for the national broadcast. It’s unknown who the broadcast team will be.

SCOUTING THE JAZZ

  • The Utah Jazz finished the regular season 48-34 on the season, fifth in the Western Conference.
  • Oklahoma City, New Orleans and Utah all finished with the same record. However, the Thunder’s best overall record between the three teams is what secured the Thunder the fourth seed.
  • Over their last 10 games, Utah is 7-3.
  • In their last 10 road games, the Jazz are 7-3.
  • All-time against Utah, the Thunder are 106-78.
  • Since relocation from Seattle, Oklahoma City is 27-12 against the Jazz.
  • When the games are played at the ‘Peake, the Thunder are dominant. They’ve won 14 straight against the Jazz.
  • Utah hasn’t won in Oklahoma City since the arena was named Oklahoma City Arena.
  • The Thunder are 17-2 against the Jazz in the OKC era at home.
  • In the regular season, Oklahoma City won the series, going 3-1 against Utah.
  • You really have to throw the season series out of the window as the last meeting happened on Dec. 23 and the Thunder are a much different team since the loss of Andre Roberson.
  • Oklahoma City is 10-2 against the Jazz dating back to the start of the 2015-16 season.
  • The Thunder’s largest margin of victory over Utah came on Dec. 20, 2017, where Oklahoma City prevailed by a score of 107-79 (28-point margin of victory).
  • Meanwhile, the Thunder’s largest margin of defeat (21 points) vs. Utah occurred during a 120-99 loss on Oct. 31, 2010

THUNDER INJURY REPORT

  • Andre Roberson (ruptured patellar tendon) is out for the season.

JAZZ INJURY REPORT

  • Thabo Sefolosha (knee) is out.

CONNECTIONS

  • Thabo Sefolosha spent six seasons with the Thunder.
  • Alec Burks Andre Roberson played together at Colorado (2010-11).
  • Jonas Jerebko and Kyle Singler were teammates in Detroit for three seasons (2012-15).
  • Jazz Head Coach Quin Snyder, Jazz Assistant Coach Antonio Lang and Singler all played at Duke.

WHAT’S IN A JAZZ NAME

  • No, Utah isn’t known for its Jazz. The team originated in New Orleans in 1974 and club officials decided to keep the name after relocating to Salt Lake City in 1979.
  • The Jazz nickname was originally chosen through a name-the-team contest, which produced seven other finalists: Dukes, Crescents, Pilots, Cajuns, Blues, Deltas, and Knights.
  • Deltas would’ve translated to Salt Lake City rather well (the airline of the same name has a hub there), while Cajuns may have been even worse than Jazz.



Three Keys to the Game

Pace

Utah struggled keeping up with the pace in Game 1. For some reason, the Jazz (25th in pace in the regular season) thought they could keep up with Oklahoma City in transition. It didn’t work. Oklahoma City really forced Utah into some compromising positions as a result. Oklahoma City has to talk them into doing it again. Push the pace. Get Utah uncomfortable.

Rebounding

Utah is 35-8 when they win the rebounding battle and they only allow 10.9 second chance points per game. The Jazz are also only 19-21 when allowing 11 or more second chance scoring. They’re 29-13 when they allow 10 or less. Oklahoma City MUST find a way to gobble up offensive boards and make the Jazz pay. This goes back to Steven Adams.

Share the ball

Oklahoma City continues their sharing ways, they’ll be good. Oklahoma City is 31-12 when Westbrook has at least 10 assists. he’s averaging 22.8 points, 11.3 rebounds and 10.0 assists in four games against Utah. If Westbrook could get to that 10 assist mark that means two things: 1) he’s trusting his teammates and 2) those said teammates are hitting their shots.

We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Don't forget to subsribe on Youtube! Our Podcast is on iTunes and on Stitcher. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!

Thunder Playoff Game Day No. 2: vs. Utah Jazz

Oklahoma City leads series 1-0

Wednesday, April 18 :: 7:00 p.m. CST :: Chesapeake Energy Arena (18,203)
TV Coverage: FS Oklahoma (DirectTV 675, Cox 37, HD 722, Tulsa Cox 27)
TV Coverage: NBATV
Radio Coverage: 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the enemyHere.
Line: The Oklahoma City Thunder are a 4-point favorite. The over/under is 207½.
Online StreamFS OK | WWLS Sports Animal | Live Stats | Twitter | Facebook
Game Notes: Thunder: here | Jazz: here

SETTING THE SCENE

  • The Oklahoma City Thunder took Game 1 by a commanding second half performance in which saw the Thunder push their lead out to as many as 18.
  • The Jazz held a 16-4 lead midway through the first quarter until 12 unanswered points from the Thunder tied the game with three minutes remaining. The two teams ended the frame knotted at 25 apiece. After OKC gained a 29-28 advantage in the first two minutes of the second quarter, Utah never held another lead.
  • Oklahoma City is 6-3 when they lead a series 1-0. On the flip side, the Jazz are 6-18 since 1980-81 when they trail a series 1-0. In fact, Utah has dropped six of their last seen when trailing 1-0.
  • Tonight is Oklahoma City’s first ever playoff game on NBATV. This is usually reserved for the least entertaining match up, usually an Eastern Conference team. They’re on it just once.

FOLLOWING THE ACTION

  • You can catch the radio on Oklahoma City’s WWLS, 98.1 FM. Matt Pinto will be your play-by-play voice. If you’re in Tulsa, catch it on 1450 AM.
  • Brian Davis and Michael Cage call the game on the Thunder’s flagship station, Fox Sports Oklahoma. You can watch the game there, catch it on NBA League Pass, or use the Fox Sports App (If you’re in Oklahoma).
  • Tonight’s game is on NBATV as well.

SCOUTING THE JAZZ

  • The Utah Jazz finished the regular season 48-34 on the season, fifth in the Western Conference.
  • Oklahoma City, New Orleans and Utah all finished with the same record. However, the Thunder’s best overall record between the three teams is what secured the Thunder the fourth seed.
  • Over their last 10 games, Utah is 7-3.
  • In their last 10 road games, the Jazz are 7-3.
  • All-time against Utah, the Thunder are 106-78.
  • Since relocation from Seattle, Oklahoma City is 27-12 against the Jazz.
  • When the games are played at the ‘Peake, the Thunder are dominant. They’ve won 14 straight against the Jazz.
  • Utah hasn’t won in Oklahoma City since the arena was named Oklahoma City Arena.
  • The Thunder are 17-2 against the Jazz in the OKC era at home.
  • In the regular season, Oklahoma City won the series, going 3-1 against Utah.
  • You really have to throw the season series out of the window as the last meeting happened on Dec. 23 and the Thunder are a much different team since the loss of Andre Roberson.
  • Oklahoma City is 10-2 against the Jazz dating back to the start of the 2015-16 season.
  • The Thunder’s largest margin of victory over Utah came on Dec. 20, 2017, where Oklahoma City prevailed by a score of 107-79 (28-point margin of victory).
  • Meanwhile, the Thunder’s largest margin of defeat (21 points) vs. Utah occurred during a 120-99 loss on Oct. 31, 2010

THUNDER INJURY REPORT

  • Andre Roberson (ruptured patellar tendon) is out for the season.

JAZZ INJURY REPORT

  • Thabo Sefolosha (knee) is out.
  • Donovan Mitchell (foot) is a game-time decision.

CONNECTIONS

  • Thabo Sefolosha spent six seasons with the Thunder.
  • Alec Burks Andre Roberson played together at Colorado (2010-11).
  • Jonas Jerebko and Kyle Singler were teammates in Detroit for three seasons (2012-15).
  • Jazz Head Coach Quin Snyder, Jazz Assistant Coach Antonio Lang and Singler all played at Duke.

WHAT’S IN A JAZZ NAME

  • No, Utah isn’t known for its Jazz. The team originated in New Orleans in 1974 and club officials decided to keep the name after relocating to Salt Lake City in 1979.
  • The Jazz nickname was originally chosen through a name-the-team contest, which produced seven other finalists: Dukes, Crescents, Pilots, Cajuns, Blues, Deltas, and Knights.
  • Deltas would’ve translated to Salt Lake City rather well (the airline of the same name has a hub there), while Cajuns may have been even worse than Jazz.



Three Keys to the Game

Paint scoring

Utah struggled keeping up with the pace in Game 1. For some reason, the Jazz (25th in pace in the regular season) thought they could keep up with Oklahoma City in transition. It didn’t work. Oklahoma City really forced Utah into some compromising positions as a result. Oklahoma City has to talk them into doing it again. Push the pace. Get Utah uncomfortable.

Rebounding

Utah is 35-8 when they win the rebounding battle and they only allow 10.9 second chance points per game. The Jazz are also only 19-21 when allowing 11 or more second chance scoring. They’re 29-13 when they allow 10 or less. Oklahoma City MUST find a way to gobble up offensive boards and make the Jazz pay. This goes back to Steven Adams.

Share the ball

Oklahoma City continues their sharing ways, they’ll be good. Oklahoma City is 31-12 when Westbrook has at least 10 assists. he’s averaging 22.8 points, 11.3 rebounds and 10.0 assists in four games against Utah. If Westbrook could get to that 10 assist mark that means two things: 1) he’s trusting his teammates and 2) those said teammates are hitting their shots.

We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Don't forget to subsribe on Youtube! Our Podcast is on iTunes and on Stitcher. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!

Game 2 Injury report

With Game 2 only hours away, the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Utah Jazz will throw down. If Oklahoma City wins, they take a commanding 2-0 series lead into Salt Lake City. If Utah wins, the series becomes even once again.

All of that aside, the most important thing is the injuries! Oklahoma City has a couple of issues and so does Utah. So, let’s examine them.

JAZZ

Donovan Mitchell

The rookie sensation hurt his toe in Game 1. He went back to the locker room in real pain. However, he returned, hit some shots, and made a run of it. The x-rays were negative for any fracture or break but there is still obvious pain.

“I’m real determined on playing but if my body can’t, I’m not going to push it now and not be available the rest of the series,” Mitchell said. “I think it’s a matter of being smart with it.”

With is career ahead of him and the constant misdiagnosing of team physicians, it’s not a complete surprise if Mitchell was to sit out today. He has his entire career ahead of him. A loss this season isn’t going ot kill any chance of them winning a ring. They weren’t winning one anyway, even if they beat Oklahoma City in this series.

Probability of playing: 90%

Thabo Sefolosha

The beloved former Thunder player has become a staple in the Jazz lineup before getting hurt. Sefolosha underwent surgery on his right MCL in mid-January, with this news being the first update on his recovery process. His timetable puts his return to full form sometime in the summer.

On top of the MCL injury, Sefolosha has been suspended for five games due to a violation of the NBA’s anti-drug program, according to Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports.

OUT

THUNDER

Andre Roberson

Roberson’s patellar tendon tore on January 27 and he’s been out ever since. There’s no hope of him coming back this season. Despite the photos of him taking set shots and all of that, he’s not coming back this season. He’s done. We do miss him though. Miss you Dre Dre

OUT

Corey Brewer

Brewer sprained his knee nailing a three over the very bad Memphis Grizzlies on April 11. There was hope it was only a sprain and not anything more serious. He played in Game 1, saying he was 80 percent. That’s good, as it’s been an entire week now since he sprained his knee. Plenty of time for Brewer to rest.

Probability of playing: 100 percent

Paul George

George was diagnosed with a hip contusion late in his nuclear performance in Game 1’s win over Utah. “Playoff P” had 36 points and powered Oklahoma City to victory. George, obviously hobbled by the hip, really hasn’t practiced and wasn’t made available to the media this afternoon for shoot around due to getting treatment. Don’t think that’s going to hold him out.

“It’s the playoffs, I don’t miss playoff games,” George said.

Probability of playing: 100 percent

 

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Utah Jazz Game 1 Meltdown 4.15.18

The Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Jazz after falling behind. Paul George exploded for 36 points and barely played in the fourth quarter. Oklahoma City’s win really brought out the “blame the refs” fans. Jazz fans were pretty chill for the most part. Blamed the refs. There was one comment where someone wanted Royce O’Neale to take out Adams’ knee caps but maybe said in jest? Either way, enjoy the meltdown

  • I’m excited. Really anxious to see how we respond after the Portland game.
  • the refs will dictate this series
  • Please stop with this nonsense.
  • Just put on the lucky Jazz Hoodie. Time for the Jazz to have the whole league Take Note!
  • The poor man’s superteam. OKC
  • Westbrook BS calls counter is up to 1
  • We’re straight up embarrassing OKC.
  • Stomp these ****ers into oblivion.
  • Ahh Crymelo throwing up a brick, takes me back. Lol this is a poor excuse for a super team.
  • Last year we broke up the Clippers. Let’s do the same to OKC!!!
  • Joe ingles and Paul George are not going to be friends after this series.
  • This lineup is ****ing trash. Is Quin high?
  • At least kick his knee cap out, Royce.
  • Jazz are staying in it but the worrisome part is they are playing at OKC’s tempo
  • Get Adams in foul trouble. Go at him. Every ****ing possession.
  • Looking at Westbrick ‘s face makes me feel like I have diarrhea
  • Of course loser George starts hitting all his threes.
  • I’m gonna have a really unhealthy hate for PG by the end of this series.
  • Paul George needs to start missing again… I don’t like this Paul George.
  • These shots will stop falling for the thunder. Our defense will wear them down
  • I’m beginning to become worried that they’re just better than us.
  • Pg13 is defending the **** out of ingles and then getting the better of him on the other end too.
  • Lucky ****ing bounce
  • That crowder shot: no no no you stupid mother fu…… Yes!!!
  • If they ride Adams to get fouls on Rudy, I don’ know how we win.
  • vintage melo. my boy. trade him to jazz okc.
  • They’ve kept one of Anthony, Westbrook, or George on the floor the entire half. Staggering minutes.
  • Our bench got ****ing smashed.
  • Utah needs more points. They can win this game if they score more points.
  • PG has to cool off, right?
  • PG playing better than anyone in the playoffs so far. **** me.
  • **** Paul George
  • Lol okc fans. What a sad bunch haven’t they been watching basketball for almost 10 years now? No excuses.
  • Bull ****! Call it on Westbrook then, his was intentional.
  • I expected the superstar treatment from the zebras and I was right. We all were.
  • We don’t win if Rudy is off the floor. Just not likely.
  • Jesus Adams is a bull
  • Guess the honeymoon is over.
  • Quite a shot by pg13
  • Would be a tie game if not for PG just unconscious.
  • WTF was Adams doing. Let’s **** someone in the 4th.
  • Holy **** George.
  • When did PG become the greatest jump shooter of all time?
  • The thunder arena with the stupid cop sound ever single time there is a foul is aids.
  • How are we not down 30+
  • **** pg13
  • Thunder make everything or get the rebound.
  • Westbrook passes up a wide open 5 footer so he can go for the triple double, lol.
  • “They can’t shoot this well all series long…” Famous last words.
  • Wish we had been at home. George was eating that **** up.
  • Home court’s not important.
  • Royce didn’t stop PG one time this game, so stop pretending like he displayed any form of defense.
  • I’m not an Adams fan at all but he is tougher than Gobert and Favors.
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Thunder Playoff Game Day: Game 1 vs. Utah Jazz

SERIES IS TIED 0-0

Sunday, April 15 :: 5:30 p.m. CST :: Chesapeake Energy Arena (18,203)
TV Coverage: TNT (245 DirecTV, 31 Cox, 730 HD 108 AT&T U-Verse, 138 Dish)
TV Coverage: FS Oklahoma (DirectTV 675, Cox 37, HD 722, Tulsa Cox 27)
Radio Coverage: 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the enemyHere.
Line: The Oklahoma City Thunder are a 3½-point favorite. The over/under is 206.
Online StreamFS OK | WWLS Sports Animal | Live Stats | Twitter | Facebook
Game Notes: Thunder: here | Jazz: here

SETTING THE SCENE

  • Welcome to the 2018 NBA Playoffs, the Thunder’s long time real season. Sure, those 82 games mean something but we all knows players like Russell Westbrook thrive in these moments. 51-point triple-double against Houston. 43-point barn burner against Miami in the NBA Finals. This is stage and he’s a rockstar.
  • The Oklahoma City Thunder host the Utah Jazz in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs. The two teams have never met in the playoffs. The two teams have never met while the Thunder have been in Oklahoma City.
  • Oklahoma City lost to the Houston Rockets in the first round last season 4-1, winning Game 3, losing the rest.
  • Last season was the first season in six seasons the Jazz made the playoffs. They beat the Clippers in the first round and were swept in the second round by the Warriors.

FOLLOWING THE ACTION

  • You can catch the radio on Oklahoma City’s WWLS, 98.1 FM. Matt Pinto will be your play-by-play voice. If you’re in Tulsa, catch it on 1450 AM.
  • Matt Pinto and Michael Cage call the game on the Thunder’s flagship station, Fox Sports Oklahoma. You can watch the game there, catch it on NBA League Pass, or use the Fox Sports App (If you’re in Oklahoma).
  • Tonight’s game is on TNT as well. Ian Eagle, Brent Barry and Dennis Scott have the call for Turner.

SCOUTING THE JAZZ

  • The Utah Jazz finished the regular season 48-34 on the season, fifth in the Western Conference.
  • Oklahoma City, New Orleans and Utah all finished with the same record. However, the Thunder’s best overall record between the three teams is what secured the Thunder the fourth seed.
  • Over their last 10 games, Utah is 7-3.
  • In their last 10 road games, the Jazz are 7-3.
  • All-time against Utah, the Thunder are 106-78.
  • Since relocation from Seattle, Oklahoma City is 27-12 against the Jazz.
  • When the games are played at the ‘Peake, the Thunder are dominant. They’ve won 14 straight against the Jazz.
  • Utah hasn’t won in Oklahoma City since the arena was named Oklahoma City Arena.
  • The Thunder are 17-2 against the Jazz in the OKC era at home.
  • In the regular season, Oklahoma City won the series, going 3-1 against Utah.
  • You really have to throw the season series out of the window as the last meeting happened on Dec. 23 and the Thunder are a much different team since the loss of Andre Roberson.
  • Oklahoma City is 10-2 against the Jazz dating back to the start of the 2015-16 season.
  • The Thunder’s largest margin of victory over Utah came on Dec. 20, 2017, where Oklahoma City prevailed by a score of 107-79 (28-point margin of victory).
  • Meanwhile, the Thunder’s largest margin of defeat (21 points) vs. Utah occurred during a 120-99 loss on Oct. 31, 2010

THUNDER INJURY REPORT

  • Andre Roberson (ruptured patellar tendon) is out for the season.
  • Alex Abrines (concussion) is probable as he went through practice the last couple of days.
  • Corey Brewer (knee sprain) is probably and expected to play after going through practice.

JAZZ INJURY REPORT

  • Thabo Sefolosha (knee) is out.

CONNECTIONS

  • Thabo Sefolosha spent six seasons with the Thunder.
  • Alec Burks Andre Roberson played together at Colorado (2010-11).
  • Jonas Jerebko and Kyle Singler were teammates in Detroit for three seasons (2012-15).
  • Jazz Head Coach Quin Snyder, Jazz Assistant Coach Antonio Lang and Singler all played at Duke.

WHAT’S IN A JAZZ NAME

  • No, Utah isn’t known for its Jazz. The team originated in New Orleans in 1974 and club officials decided to keep the name after relocating to Salt Lake City in 1979.
  • The Jazz nickname was originally chosen through a name-the-team contest, which produced seven other finalists: Dukes, Crescents, Pilots, Cajuns, Blues, Deltas, and Knights.
  • Deltas would’ve translated to Salt Lake City rather well (the airline of the same name has a hub there), while Cajuns may have been even worse than Jazz.



Three Keys to the Game

Paint scoring

Rudy Gobert is a monster and for that, Oklahoma City has to find a way to attack the paint and score. Utah is second best in the NBA in defending paint scoring, only allowing 41.8 points in the paint per game. Oklahoma City averages 43, so they need to find a way to beat their average.

Rebounding

Utah is 35-8 when they win the rebounding battle and they only allow 10.9 second chance points per game. The Jazz are also only 19-21 when allowing 11 or more second chance scoring. They’re 29-13 when they allow 10 or less. Oklahoma City MUST find a way to gobble up offensive boards and make the Jazz pay. This goes back to Steven Adams.

Share the ball

Oklahoma City continues their sharing ways, they’ll be good. Oklahoma City is 31-12 when Westbrook has at least 10 assists. he’s averaging 22.8 points, 11.3 rebounds and 10.0 assists in four games against Utah. If Westbrook could get to that 10 assist mark that means two things: 1) he’s trusting his teammates and 2) those said teammates are hitting their shots.

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Expert series predictions

The Thunder host the Jazz tomorrow and what are all of the “experts” saying on who’s going to win the series? We already know Five Thirty Eight said it is a relatively toss up. So, what are the other experts saying throughout the internet-sphere? Here are some of the more prominent ones:

ESPN

13 of the 22 pick Oklahoma City to top the Jazz in the first round. Unlike last season, where all 30 picked Oklahoma City to lose to Houston, Oklahoma City is the favorite. Home court has a lot to do with it, I’m sure. One thing is for sure, no one picked this series to go less than six games.

  • 8 have Oklahoma City winning in 7 games.
  • 5 have Oklahoma City winning in 6 games.
  • 3 have Utah winning in 7 games.
  • 6 have Utah winning in 6 games.

CBS Sports

Over at CBS, there are only six selectors and they’re split 3-3 on their choices. Every single person has the series going seven games, with three of them thinking Utah could win a Game 7 on the road in Oklahoma City.

  • Reid Forgave: Jazz in 7
  • Brad Botkin: Thunder in 7
  • James Herbert: Jazz in 7
  • Collin Ward-Henninger: Thunder in 7
  • Jack Maloney: Thunder in 7
  • Chris Barnwell: Jazz in 7

USA Today

Another national publication full of highly respected writers. They threw together their opinions, in hopes of our clicks. You’re welcome. We did it. Four journalists tried to reason with one another, giving well thought out reasons why they felt Utah was better than Oklahoma City. Two chose Utah, two chose Oklahoma City. Once again, the series that’s the most even splits the decisions.

  • Sam Amick: Thunder in 6
  • Jeff Zillgitt: Jazz in 6
  • Michael Singer: Thunder in 7
  • AJ Neuhart-Keusch: Jazz in 6

Sporting News

Sporting News might be full of clickbait throughout the season. They’re doing it again with all of the predictions here. Sure, we’re no worse than they are for this. In the past there have been multiple picks but for this, there’s only Sean Deveney.

  • Thunder in 7

There are a lot of sites who are doing previews, than predictions, unlike in the past. Oklahoma City is picked 19 of 33 times. Every single person picked the series to go at least six games. So, I hope you buckle up and getting ready for the long haul.

 

We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Don't forget to subsribe on Youtube! Our Podcast is on iTunes and on Stitcher. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!