Date & Time: Saturday, 1st August 2020, 3:30 PM ET (Sunday 1:00 AM IST)
Venue: The Arena (WWOS), Orlando, FL
The first game on Saturday will be a battle between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Utah Jazz. The Utah Jazz are currently fourth in the Western Conference standings, while the Oklahoma City Thunder are in the fifth spot, just 2.5 games away.
Oklahoma City Thunder Preview
The Oklahoma City Thunder have had an excellent season. With a record of 40-24, they are comfortably qualifying for the playoffs. Despite the four month hiatus, the Oklahoma City Thunder have been in excellent form while in the NBA bubble. With three wins in the scrimmages, they have been among the most consistent teams so far.
During the scrimmages, the bench, led by Dennis Schröder, Darius Bazley and Hamidou Diallo, has been critical to their victories. With the bench players getting extended minutes, the Oklahoma City Thunder have all their players in top shape heading into this game.
The Oklahoma City Thunder have also been the dark horse this season. Staging some epic blowouts and miraculous comebacks, the Oklahoma City Thunder have amazed the league by performing at such a high level without a legitimate star on their roster apart from Chris Paul.
Key player - Shai Gilgeous-AlexanderShai Gilgeous-Alexander will be key for the Oklahoma City Thunder
The Oklahoma City Thunder will look to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to lead the way in the upcoming game against the Utah Jazz. He has averaged 19.3 points and 6.1 rebounds so far this season and in the previous two encounters with the Utah Jazz this season, he had 20-point games. He has looked dangerous during the scrimmages and if his form continues, he will be a major threat against the Utah Jazz.
Thunder predicted lineup
Chris Paul, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Luguentz Dort, Danilo Gallinari, Steven Adams
Utah Jazz Preview
The Utah Jazz have had an up and down time in the scrimmage after losing to the depleted Phoenix Suns. They have since turned things around with wins against the Miami Heat and the Brooklyn Nets. The also won their first seeding game against the New Orleans Pelicans.
During their scrimmages, the combined efforts of Rudy Gobert and Jordan Clarkson have led to their victories. Mike Conley also showed his form with consistent double digit scoring performances. It was Donovan Mitchell who seemed to be struggling to get the ball in the basket.
During the game against the Pelicans, Mitchell continued to struggle before finally finding his rhythm. Both Mitchell and Conley scored 20 points, while Jordan Clarkson had a 23-point game. Rudy Gobert had a moment of redemption as he sunk two free throws to win the game for the Utah Jazz after his press conference fiasco back in March.
Key player - Donovan Mitchell
The Utah Jazz will need Donovan Mitchell to hit the deck running their upcoming game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. While Mitchell has averaged 24.1 points a game this season, he has blown hot and cold so far in the NBA bubble. His record against the Thunder has been excellent this season, and he has scored over 25 points in both games. His form will be crucial to the Utah Jazz' chances in this game.
Jazz predicted lineup
Mike Conley, Donovan Mitchell, Joe Ingles, Royce O'Neal, Rudy Gobert
Thunder vs Jazz Match Prediction
The Utah Jazz, with their momentum, have the slight edge in this match-up. With Donovan Mitchell finding some form towards the end of the previous game, the Utah Jazz are in a great position to continue their winning streak against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
However, this will be a very close game since it is impossible to rule out the Oklahoma City Thunder in any situation, especially if they have Chris Paul out on the court.
Where to watch Thunder vs Jazz?
Local coverage of the match can be seen on AT&T SportsNet and FOX Sports Oklahoma. The same will be broadcast nationwide in the US on ESPN. You can also live stream the fixture via NBA League Pass.
Published 31 Jul 2020, 20:47 IST