The NBA is set up with a total of six games on the board for Monday night. One of the games is between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Utah Jazz. These two teams have both earned playoff positions to this point in the season. They are both competitive in the Western Conference right now, which should lead to a tight contest. This game is set to start at around 9:00 PM Eastern time.
Oklahoma City has put up a record of 40-26 so far this season. The Thunder are currently tied for the fourth place spot in the Western Conference standings with the Portland Trail Blazers. Oklahoma City has been struggling as of late, losing six of their last eight games. The Thunder will look to bounce back with a win against Utah on Monday night.
The Jazz are currently sitting in the sixth spot of the Western Conference with a record of 37-28 this season. Utah has been able to win five of their last seven games, but are coming off a loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. The Jazz will look to put up a bounce-back performance against Oklahoma City.
Monday night’s matchup will be the fourth and final game of the season series. These two teams are coming off losses in their last game and will look to earn a win on Monday night. These two teams are in the middle of a tight playoff positioning race in the Western Conference, which makes every win crucial for their seeding.
The first game of this season’s series was hosted by Oklahoma City on December 10. Donovan Mitchell dropped 19 points. Jae Crowder and Rudy Gobert each put up 13 points for the Jazz, but it was not enough. Paul George dropped 31 points for the Thunder. Dennis Schroder had 23 points off the bench, while Steven Adams had 22 points. Oklahoma City was able to earn a tough 122-113 win at home.
The Jazz hosted the second game of the season series on December 22. Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert each had 20 point nights for the Jazz. Utah’s starting lineup combined for 81 points, but it was not enough. Paul George put up 43 points and 14 rebounds to help lead the Thunder to victory. Oklahoma City was able to finish with a 107-106 win on the road.
The Thunder hosted the third game of the season series on February 22. Donovan Mitchell put up a 38 point performance, while Rudy Gobert had 26 points and 17 rebounds. Derrick Favors added another 24 points, but it still was not enough. Paul George finished with 45 points. Russell Westbrook had 43 points and 15 rebounds. Oklahoma City finished with a 148-147 win in double overtime.
Oklahoma City has won the first three games of the season series. The Jazz took down the Thunder in the first round of last season’s series and Oklahoma City has been playing with a lot of passion in their games against Utah this season. The Jazz are still a strong team and I do not believe they will get swept by the Thunder in this season’s series.
Two Point Shooting
Oklahoma City has struggled at times at shooting from inside the arc this season. The Thunder have made around 51.4 percent of their two-point shots this season. Oklahoma City has not been doing great at defending the two-point shot either. The Thunder have allowed their opponents to make around 51.7 percent of their shots from inside the arc. Both percentages are around the league average.
The Jazz’s two-point shooting and two-point defense have been doing well this season. Utah has been able to make around 53.5 percent of their two-point shots this season, which is top ten in the league. The Jazz have held their opponents to a two-point percentage of 48.9 percent, which is third best in the NBA this season.
Utah has been doing really at shooting and defending the two-point shot this season, which the Thunder have been closer to average. If the Jazz can use this to their advantage, I believe that Utah could pull off the upset against Oklahoma City. Utah’s defense will definitely need to play better if they want to earn their first win against the Thunder this season.
Paul George has been one of the leaders for the Thunder this season. George is averaging around 28.5 points per game this season with 8 rebounds. Russell Westbrook has been off to another impressive season as he is averaging 23 points, 11 rebounds and 10.5 assists per game. Dennis Schroder is averaging 15.5 points per game off the bench. Steven Adams has been holding down the Center spot, averaging 14.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. Jerami Grant has averaged around 13.5 points per game.
Donovan Mitchell has been doing well this season, averaging 23.5 points per game. Rudy Gobert has continued to be a monster in the paint for the Jazz. He is averaging 15.5 points and 13 rebounds per game. Ricky Rubio is averaging 13 points per game at the Point Guard spot. Jae Crowder and Joe Ingles are both averaging 12 points per game. Derrick Favors helps round out the starting lineup with an average of 11.5 points per game.
Mitchell will go up against George a decent amount in this game, which will be a really pivotal matchup. Rubio and Westbrook will both play a good matchup as well, which should play a key role. Gobert and Adams will battle at the Center role, which I believe will go in favor of Gobert. Overall these two teams match up really well with each other, which should lead to a good game.
There are a lot of good matchups between these two teams, but all three went in favor of the Thunder so far this season. I believe that Utah will avoid the sweep with a win in front of their home fans on Monday night. The Jazz have been much better at shooting inside the arc, which could help them a lot. Their defense just needs to find a way to slow down Paul George.
BetOnline has the Jazz listed as a -3.5 against the spread. Utah is at home, which gives them a nice edge on Monday night. These two teams match up well with each other, which could go in favor for either team. I believe that the Jazz come out quick to avoid falling 0-4 in the season series. I am taking Utah against the spread.