- When: Sunday, 24 November 2013 at 6:00 PM CST
- Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK
Trap game. This game has that written all over it. With only 3 games in 7 nights, this is the middle of the three, and probably, the least to look forward to. The Thunder beat the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday, and have a prime time match-up with the San Antonio Spurs coming up on Wednesday. This will be a Sunday night game against the worst team, record-wise, in the league, with a crowd that will probably small and subdued due to the weather outside.
The Thunder faced the Jazz in Utah for the first game of the season. At that time, the Thunder were still trying to get used to life without Russell Westbrook, and struggled from start to finish. The still pulled out a 101-98 victory, but needed 42 points from Kevin Durant to do it. Surprisingly, after coming back in the 3rd game of the season, the Thunder organization has chosen this game for Russell Westbrook to rest. Hopefully the rest of the Thunder players will be a little bit more up to the task in this game and won’t need nearly 40 minutes each from Durant and Serge Ibaka to pull out the game.
1-13. That’s all you really need to know about the Utah Jazz. They are 29th in the league in points per game at 89.6. And they give up an average of 100.6 ppg. Plain and simple, this is a bad team, but also a very young team. Rookie Trey Burke will make his first start of the season after coming back from a broken finger. He’ll be flanked in the back court by Gordon Hayward and Richard Jefferson. Up front, the Jazz have a good young tandem in Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors. Off the bench, the Jazz use young, athletic players like Alec Burks, Marvin Williams, Jeremy Evans, Diante Garrett, and Rudy Gobert.
Probable Starting Lineups
- PG – Trey Burke
- SG – Gordon Hayward
- SF – Richard Jefferson
- PF – Derrick Favors
- C – Enes Kanter
Oklahoma City Thunder
- PG – Reggie Jackson
- SG – Thabo Sefolosha
- SF – Kevin Durant
- PF – Serge Ibaka
- C – Kendrick Perkins
3 Keys to the Game
1. Don’t give them a chance – Young, bad teams live off of chances. The longer you allow them to linger, the more the probability that they will go YOLO and actually win the game. If you get them down by 10, step on the gas and keep going.
2. Rebounds – Kanter and Favors are big bodied active bigs that can carve out space and gobble up rebounds. Those two plus Rudy Gobert combined for 26 rebounds in the previous game against the Thunder. Control the boards and you control the game.
3. Reggie Jackson – In the first game of the season, it seemed like Jackson was struggling between being a spark-plug combo guard and being a true, pass-first point guard. Hopefully, 11 games in , he’s a bit more confident in himself and can let the game come to him. Plus, he’s a veteran that battling a rookie stating in his first game tonight.