The Utah Jazz come up against possibly the only team in the West not looking for a playoff berth in the OKC Thunder. Interestingly, the Thunder enter this tie on the back of a win while the Jazz need to put their campaign back on track after their first loss of the season.
Fixture: Utah Jazz vs OKC Thunder | NBA Season 2020-21
Date & Time: Monday, December 28th, 8 PM ET (Tuesday, 6:30 AM IST)
Venue: Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK
Utah Jazz Preview
The Utah Jazz haven't shot the ball well to start the season. Their two main scorers in Donovan Mitchell and Bojan Bogdanovic are only scoring at 30.8% and 26.7% respectively. The ball movement needs to get better quickly as well to make their offense more fluid.
Luckily for the Utah Jazz, they have enough depth and experience to keep them in the run despite a lack of rhythm going forward. Rudy Gobert and Royce O'Neale have done a good job defensively and maintained authority inside the paint. Jordan Clarkson, meanwhile, is in the running for Sixth Man of the Year honors.
Key Player - Rudy Gobert
Rudy Gobert has been exceptional after committing his future to the Utah Jazz. He's averaging 19 points and 17 rebounds to start the season and remains as authoritative as ever underneath the basket. He'll be hoping to set the tone against an OKC Thunder side that likes to drive to the cup.
Utah Jazz Predicted Lineup
G Mike Conley, G Donovan Mitchell, F Bojan Bogdanovic, F Royce O'Neale, C Rudy Gobert
OKC Thunder Preview
For a team looking to rebuild, the OKC Thunder are too good to tank right now. They have the franchise cornerstone in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who's set to have a breakout year. Two of their sophomores in Luguentz Dort and Darius Bazley already look like massively improved players.
The veterans led the way for OKC Thunder in their season opener. George Hill shot lights out from downtown while Al Horford dominated the boards. Credit has to be given to new head coach Mark Daigneault for allowing youngsters such as Aleksej Pokusevski and Theo Maledon some game time as well.
Key Player - Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
He didn't shot the ball exceptionally against Charlotte but Shai Gilgeous-Alexander looks ready to lead this OKC Thunder side. He managed 24 points, nine assists, and seven rebounds while knocking down the game-winner. More importantly, he's actively looking to get everyone involved in the team offense. He'll be looking to do more of the same against the Utah Jazz.
OKC Thunder Predicted Lineup
G George Hill, G Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, F Luguentz Dort, F Darius Bazley, C Al Horford
Jazz vs Thunder Match Prediction
It's fairly straightforward when you have two teams with two entirely different goals this season. The Utah Jazz want to win and push for a high seed in the West. The OKC Thunder want to grow their players and land a high draft pick. Expect Donovan Mitchell and co. to take this one.
Where to watch Jazz vs Thunder?
Local coverage of the game will be available on AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain and FOX Sports Oklahoma. You can also live stream the same via NBA League Pass.
Also read: Top 5 NBA teams with no championship winsPublished 28 Dec 2020, 08:19 IST