Jazz vs. Thunder Preview (Game 1)

utah jazz vs okc logo

  • When: Sunday, 15 April 2018 at 5:30 pm CST
  • Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK
  • Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1 FM, 640 AM, 930 AM (Spanish))
  • Line: OKC -4.0 | O/U – 204.5

Five Things For This Game

1. Injuries

According to various local media outlets, Corey Brewer participated in some contact parts of practice yesterday. He is still listed as being questionable for the game. Alex Abrines did some work on his own, but did not participate in any aspect of practice. As of yesterday, he was listed as being out for Game 1. Something to look out for with concussions, they are checked on a day to day basis. If Abrines is clear of any of the concussion protocol symptoms today, he could possibly be available for this game.

2. Experience

With how they’ve played this season, it’s easy to forget this will be Donovan Mitchell’s and Ricky Rubio’s first playoff game. Outside of possibly Terrance Ferguson, no one in the Thunder’s anticipated playoff rotation is a rookie neophyte.

3. Joe Ingles

Everyone knows what Mitchell and Rudy Gobert can do. But one X-factor for the Jazz is Joe Ingles’ 3-point shooting. If Ingles comes out hot and galvanizes the young Jazz players, it could be a momentum changer for Game 1.

4. Playoff P

We’ve caught glimpses of MVP-level Paul George throughout the season. The first Golden State game in Oracle. The consecutive games in December against Houston and Toronto. The final game of the season. This is what the Thunder traded for. Yes, George is one of the best two-way players in the game, but Playoff P is a game changer. He’s gone toe to toe with LeBron James and won some of those matchups in the playoffs. And that’s what the Thunder are banking on: that Playoff P will show up in 16 of possibly the next 28 games.

5. Steven Adams vs. Rudy Gobert

Gobert is the main cog in the Jazz’s defensive machine. To make him work, both Adams and Russell Westbrook have to put pressure on him. Adams has to make himself available on the lobs, but also the little “in paint” dump-offs that result in Adams’patented shot-put jump shot. Pressure from Adams offensively will make things easier for Westbrook on his drives to the basket.

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