Tag - Andre Roberson

Thunder Grades: Josh Huestis

In the 2018 edition of the Thunder Grades, we’re going to break down what we think went well and went poorly for players and coaches. We’re going to avoid players who barely play. So, Nick Collison, Kyle Singler, Daniel Hamilton and PJ Dozier won’t be graded.

We’ll do it in there ways: The Good, the bad and the conclusion. We’ll release two a day, hopefully flying through all of these.

Previous grades: Billy Donovan, Terrance Ferguson

Next up:

Josh Huestis

The Good

Huestis in his first season with quality minutes wasn’t what everyone expected. He has super shining moments where we sat back and were thinking “wow, this guy is going to make another team a good player on a decent contract.”

He appeared in 69 games, started in 10. He only averaged 2.3 points per game and it felt he was underutilized. Ignore his abhorrent shooting splits. It felt as when Huestis was in the game, the Thunder were feeling it. That’s why the eye test and numbers don’t always align with each other.

“It’s not linear,” Huestis said. “It’s going to be ups and downs and all that. Anybody who thinks that it’s always going to be sunshine is kind of crazy.”

Huestis defensive growth is a huge reason why the Thunder see something in the Stanford alumnus. His ability is almost like Andre Roberson but not as elite. He’s growing and you can tell he’s raw. He’s a dominate G League player and trying to move that offensive ability to the NBA game.

The Bad

It’s unknown what real value he brings to the Thunder. When you look at his shooting splits, he has some god awful numbers. To the point, you may not want someone on their team. As we said, difference between eye test and stat lines.

“If you compare this year to the last few years, it’s a huge step forward for me in terms of working my way into the rotation, being a guy that sees minutes in big games,” Huestis said. “That was a huge step forward.”

In his 10 starts, Huestis never scored more than six points in any of the starts. He shot only 31.5 percent from three in those starts. He provided little to no real offensive threat when on the court. It was to the point towards the end of the season, he was left open when he shot a three. Teams really weren’t worried about his deep threat.

The real difference is the 69 games played. HIs minutes per game were about the same as last season but his production was way down. There are numerous reasons why. The difference in minutes. Starting along three lethal scorers takes the ball out of his hands. Shooting inefficiencies are why as well. We’re not even talking about his 30 percent free throw percentage. It was almost more worth to foul him than to let him make a bucket.

The Conclusion

Huestis future probably isn’t in Oklahoma City. If any indication of how this season went, it’s probably for the best. He’s probably going to find the right scenario, like Jeremy Lamb did. Sometimes a change of scenery will be the best for any team and player. For Huestis, that may be what’s best.

“Obviously I’d like to stay in Oklahoma,” Huestis said. “It’s the only place I’ve known. I’ve made a home here, and I love the city, love the team, the organization”

We’ve mentioned a couple of times, numbers don’t tell the story. That’s the same with Huestis. He was able to make an imprint on the game with his movement and defensive play. Despite his offensive woes, he was a solid defender and that led to him finding playoff time against someone like Donovan Mitchell.

For whatever happens with Huestis, he’s a bit of an underachiever and that’s not really all his fault. Donovan’s weird issues with him and finding minutes for him is awkward. It’s like Huestis was forced upon and he just had to plug him in at his own cringing.

We hope Huestis has a solid career wherever he goes. He’s an intelligent player and an even nicer player.

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 Grades: Terrance Ferguson

In the 2018 edition of the Thunder Grades, we’re going to break down what we think went well and went poorly for players and coaches. We’re going to avoid players who barely play. So, Nick Collison, Kyle Singler, Daniel Hamilton and PJ Dozier won’t be graded.

We’ll do it in there ways: The Good, the bad and the conclusion. We’ll release two a day, hopefully flying through all of these.

Previous grades: Billy Donovan

Next up: Terrance Ferguson

Terrance Ferguson

The Good

The rookie taken 21st in the 2017 NBA Draft was expected to learn behind Victor Oladipo and Co. However, things change. Dipo’ was shipped off to Indiana and the void left at the two-spot forced Ferguson into some action that frankly he wasn’t ready for. However, he used his length and athleticism to try and carve out a role for himself. He didn’t play with the G League much, stuck with the senior team for all but three games.

“I think I had the best rookie season,” Ferguson said. “Just a lot of people around to help me with my game.”

There are some serious bright spots. He’s three-point barrage in a win over the Lakers in early January showcased what he could really do.

Coming from a prep academy that was purely about basketball and then going overseas, his adjustment at each increased level has been tough but Ferguson has taken it in stride.

“I think a lot of guys you look at, and you notice they have that ‘it’ factor,” Paul George said. “Terrance has that ‘it’ factor. As a young rookie in this league, he’s not afraid, he’s not scared of the moment. That stands out, and that goes a long ways.”

For all his of faults, Ferguson wasn’t afraid to get dirty. He’d do whatever was asked of him and did it without complaint. Instead of being a spot up shooter, Oklahoma City would benefit by using him slashing to the rim, ala Andre Roberson.

The Bad

Where to start? His experienced showed on both sides of the ball. He constantly was beat off the dribble and often left his teammates to cover his tracks, which left them in compromising positions. His shot didn’t look broken but absolutely was. Outside of the Lakers victory, Ferguson was really a non-factor. It’s really surprising, especially for being a first round selection.

“The biggest challenge? It was probably at the beginning of the season, just coming in, not playing a lot, and then having to go right into starting,” Ferguson said

Which is a bit surprising given his lack of play in the Australian league. You think he’d be used to it by now.

His splits were bad. He had some really rough defensive games and that led to him being yanked out the second he made a mistake, the Billy Donovan rookie special.

The inexperience at the professional level was obviously exacerbated this season as he was forced into starting games when he wasn’t ready. Ferguson could’ve used a year in the G League, honing his craft. Instead, he was forced to guard James Harden and getting cooked.

The Conclusion

Ferguson definitely had more negatives than positives this season. The kid is not even 20 years old yet. So, there’s plenty of room for growth and improvements. We’ve seen it in players like Reggie Jackson. Sometimes it takes a year or two to adjust to the speed and the NBA game.

“I just want to come back a totally different player, working on my skillset,” Ferguson said. ”This offseason I definitely want to be able to make my own shot.”

That’s what Oklahoma City will need from Ferguson if he’s going to fit into the rotation of a contending team. Presti’s draft picks lately haven’t been the best. Ferguson can buck the trend by improving and getting better, avoiding the Cameron Payne way of the NBA.

In his limited minutes, Ferguson had thunderous dunks and hit some big threes. He’s 6-7 and has some real length and that goes along way in this game. He’s shown the ability to hit threes and get to the rim. He needs to put on some muscle, weighing only 184 lbs, if he’s going to play the two and three positions.

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 Grades: Billy Donovan

In the first edition of the Thunder Grades, we’re going to break down what we think went well and went poorly for players and coaches. We’re going to avoid players who barely play. So, Nick Collison, Kyle Singler, Daniel Hamilton and PJ Dozier won’t be graded.

We’ll do it in there ways: The Good, the bad and the conclusion. We’ll release two a day, hopefully flying through all of these.

First up: Billy Donovan

Billy Donovan

This man here. For the most part, there isn’t really a middle ground on Donovan. You either think Donovan should be fired or you think he’s the right man for the job. However, in reality, it’s in the middle. Oklahoma City’s head man was dealt a weird hand. It started with a bunch of new players and then the loss of Andre Roberson forced him to pivot. He didn’t do that particularly well but many forget how well Oklahoma City was playing when Dre hit the court.

The Good

Donovan had to integrate Paul George and Carmelo Anthony. Sure, Anthony said some choice words at his exit interview. However, let’s give both Donovan and Anthony credit, both did their parts in trying their best. It just wasn’t the right fit.

“Every year as a coach you’re always trying to evaluate areas where your team can get better and improve,” Donovan said. “I feel a strong sense of always wanting to improve and get better individually.”

The offense struggled for the first 20 games of the year and that goes on more of Russell Westbrook not doing Westbrook-like things than on Donovan. The defense remained on point until the loss of Roberson.

“We have a great group of guys that want to be successful that want to win and want to do the right things,” Westbrook said. “The biggest thing for us is being more and more consistent throughout the season. Figuring out what works and what doesn’t.”

Like Anthony trying to play the four and not complaining throughout the season, that’s a credit of two things: Donovan trying to appease his players and providing a good locker room chemistry that no one was publicly complaining.

The Bad

Many want to bash the offense but as we’ve covered it wasn’t that bad. The real negative was his rotations. Questionable decisions on keeping Anthony on the court when Jerami Grant was obviously the better choice. We saw him change that up. We did see Anthony baby his way back into the Game 5 where Oklahoma City fought back from down a billion.

There are other times with many thinking Westbrook played too few minutes. When in fact he played the most minutes of his career by almost a full minute more a game. His decision making to maybe let Westbrook sit in certain situation when games may have gotten away from the Thunder is a question mark.

“From start to finish they were constantly trying to work on things to help us be a better team,” Donovan said.

While the Thunder got better as the season progressed, it really was the loss of Roberson who sealed Oklahoma City’s fate. George wasn’t as good. Neither was Anthony. Oklahoma City’s stats slipped considerably across the board. Donovan failed to adjust the identity of this team after that point. It resembled last season’s “let Westbrook, be Westbrook” season. Which is all fine and dandy but with two other really solid offensive players, there could’ve been more variety at times, but it was a revert to bad habits.

The Conclusion

Donovan gets a  

He wasn’t overtly spectacular this season and he didn’t deserve to be fired. I also didn’t think Scott Brooks deserved to be fired. There is a growing sentiment General Manager Sam Presti has his hand in the cookie jar more than the franchise will lead you to believe.

The constant roster changing and injuries are tough. He’s still a growing coach learning from his mistakes. In a state where football is still king and a single loss could be the end of everything, Thunder fans still hold the coach to this weird pedestal.

“I thought Billy did an excellent job,” Presti said.

For the record, Donovan still has two years, $12 million left on his contract.

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Thunder Playoff Game Day No. 6: at Utah Jazz

Utah leads series 3-2

Wednesday, April 27 :: 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: 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 6½-point underdogs. The over/under is 207.
Online StreamFS OK | WWLS Sports Animal | Live Stats | Twitter | Facebook
Game Notes: Thunder: here | Jazz: here

SETTING THE SCENE

  • With a historic comeback in Game 5, the Oklahoma City Thunder set their sights on leveling the series tonight.
  • With a victory, Oklahoma City will force the fourth Game 7 in franchise history. Their last Game 7 came against the Golden State Warriors in the 2016 Western Conference Finals.
  • There were a lot of Thunder digits on the Game 5 victory
  • Oklahoma City is 5-4 all-time in Game 6s. When Game 6 is on the road, the Thunder are 4-1.
  • It’s the first time the Thunder have reached a Game 6 after trailing 3-1.
  • Utah is 2-2 in Game 6s since 2001, including blowing a 3-2 lead last season to the LA Clippers.

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.

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

Second Quarter

Utah has outscored the Thunder by six, 12 and 13 points in three Jazz victories. Oklahoma City outscored Utah by six in their lone win. While this seems arbitrary, the point differentials mean a halftime lead in every single game. The team who leads at halftime is 4-0 in this series. That’s on par with regular season numbers. Utah was 11-26 when trailing at half and the Thunder were 11-21. Thunder were 36-10 and Utah was 35-8 when leading at the break, respectively.

Second chance scoring

This might as well be rebounding, too. They go hand-in-hand. The Thunder are only averaging 8.4 offensive rebounds per game in this series. That would put them 28th in the NBA in the regular season. They averaged 12.5 offensive rebounds per game in the regular season, first in the NBA. Something has to change. In wins, Oklahoma City is averaging 19.5 second chance points and only 9.7 second chance points per game in losses.

Big Three

When your season comes down to one game, it’s up to your “superstars” to figure it out. There hasn’t been a game where everyone is on the same page. There hasn’t been a moment where you were just overwhelmed with their ability because they were just dominating, even in Game 1. Two of the three exploded in Game 5. Is there another opportunity to do it in Game 6? Oklahoma City needs all three to step up and perform the way they can.

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. 5: vs. Utah Jazz

Utah leads series 3-1

Wednesday, April 25 :: 8:30 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 2½-point favorites. 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’s season comes down to this, trailing 3-1 to the fifth-seeded Utah Jazz, the Thunder have to get a victory to keep their season alive.
  • Oklahoma City is 0-4 all-time in Game 5s when they trail a series 3-1. They’ve lost one of those Game 5s at home, a 2013 series loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. (the Westbrook knee injury playoff years).
  • The Jazz beat the Thunder 113-96 on Monday night, outscoring Oklahoma CIty 86-59 over the final 33:35 of the game.
  • Russell Westbrook was fined $10,000 and given a technical foul for his part in the altercation with Rudy Gobert.

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 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

Second Quarter

Utah has outscored the Thunder by six, 12 and 13 points in three Jazz victories. Oklahoma City outscored Utah by six in their lone win. While this seems arbitrary, the point differentials mean a halftime lead in every single game. The team who leads at halftime is 4-0 in this series. That’s on par with regular season numbers. Utah was 11-26 when trailing at half and the Thunder were 11-21. Thunder were 36-10 and Utah was 35-8 when leading at the break, respectively.

Second chance scoring

This might as well be rebounding, too. They go hand-in-hand. The Thunder are only averaging 9.0 offensive rebounds per game in this series. That would put them 27th in the NBA in the regular season. They averaged 12.5 offensive rebounds per game in the regular season, first in the NBA. Something has to change. In their only win, Oklahoma City scored 19 second chance points. They scored 21 in their three losses.

Big Three

When your season comes down to one game, it’s up to your “superstars” to figure it out. There hasn’t been a game where everyone is on the same page. There hasn’t been a moment where you were just overwhelmed with their ability because they were just dominating, even in Game 1. Oklahoma City needs all three to step up and perform the way they can. They need to “flip the switch.” Which is their favorite saying.

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. 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.

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!

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.

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: 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.

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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.

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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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