The NBA is set up with a solid day of action on Saturday. Five games will be up on the board throughout August 1. One of these matchups will be a game between the Utah Jazz and the Oklahoma City Thunder. These two teams have earned solid places in the West, which should lead to a good game. This matchup will tip off at around 3:30 PM Eastern time.
The Jazz have earned a record of 42-23 so far this season, which has them sitting in fourth place of the Western Conference. Utah has game and a half lead on the Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets. The Jazz are also only one game back on the Denver Nuggets. Utah was able to win their first seeding game and will look to take that momentum into this one.
Oklahoma City posted a record of 40-24 throughout the season before the pause. The Thunder are currently tied for fifth place in the West with the Houston Rockets. Oklahoma City has a game and half lead on the Dallas Mavericks as well, who are trying to sneak their way up the standings. The Thunder had won seven of their last nine before the halt and will look to keep it rolling.
These two teams were question marks coming into the season, but both had solid runs to help get them into the playoffs. Now they will battle it out in these important seeding games as they try and move up in the standings before the playoffs begin. The Jazz played on opening night, while this will be the Thunders first game of the season restart.
The first game of the season series between these two teams was back on October 23 in Utah to open up the new season. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander dropped 26 points, while Chris Paul and Danilo Gallinari both had over 20 points. It was not enough though as Donovan Mitchell dropped 32 points. Bojan Bogdanovic had another 16 points as the Jazz pulled away with a 100-95 win.
The second game of the season series stayed in Utah on December 9. Donovan Mitchell had another strong outing, posting 26 points. Rudy Gobert added 19 points and 17 rebounds, but it was not enough. Dennis Schroder put up 27 points off the bench. Oklahoma City’s starting lineup combined for 59 as the Thunder bounced back with a 104-90 win.
These two teams had two solid matchups this season, with each team taking one of them. The Thunder were able to win the most recent game of the season series, while Utah started out the season with a win. Both teams were around .500 the last time they met, which shows how much they have changed. This should lead to an exciting and intense matchup on Saturday.
Field Goal Shooting
The Jazz posted a strong 47.4 percent shooting percentage from the field, which is good for fourth best in the NBA. Utah has made 38.1 percent of their shots from deep, which is second best in the league. The Jazz have also made around 53.8 percent of their shots inside the arc, which is the fifth best percentage in the NBA.
Oklahoma City had the fifth best shooting percentage from the field this season. The Thunder were able to make 47.3 percent of their shots from the field. Oklahoma City made 35.5 percent of their shots from behind the arc, which was around middle of the league. The Thunder made 53.6 percent of their shots from in close this season as well.
These two teams have very similar shooting percentages from around the field this season. The Thunder had the fifth best three point defense this season though and will look to use that to throw off Utah’s game. The Jazz did not shoot great from deep in their first matchup against the Pelicans and will look to turn that around in this one.
Donovan Mitchell has had a nice season, averaging 24 points per game throughout the season. Jordan Clarkson is averaging 16 points per game off the bench with the Jazz. Rudy Gobert averaged 15 points and 13.5 rebounds per game this season. Mike Conley helped round out the lineup, averaging 14 points per game, while Joe Ingles averaged 10 points.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has had a nice season in his first season with the Thunder. He has averaged around 19.5 points per game. Danilo Gallinari and Dennis Schroder are both averaging around 19 points per game as well. Chris Paul was averaging around 17.5 points and 7 assists per game. Steven Adams has averaged around 11 points and 9.5 rebounds per game.
Both teams have some nice depth to them, but the Jazz are without Bojan Bogdanovic this time around. Bogdanovic was having a great season before the halt and decided to have season ending surgery on his wrist with no restart date close. The Jazz will look to have some players step up, while the Thunder will look to take advantage of his absence in this one.
These two teams are really close in the standing with each other, which should add another level of excitement to this one. The Thunder are playing their first game since the season restarted, so they might come out a bit shaky, but they looked good in their exhibition. If the Thunder can guard closely on the perimeter and force Utah out of their comfort zone, it could bode well for Oklahoma City.
BetOnline has the Thunder listed as -2 against the spread for this matchup. I believe that this is a good line for Oklahoma City. The Jazz looked really shaky at times in their game against the Pelicans and without Bogdanovic, I think they will have a tough time knocking off the Thunder. I believe that Oklahoma City will come out hot and put up a nice win in this matchup.