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Preview 2 of 82: Thunder @ Jazz

Preview 2 of 82: Thunder @ Jazz

TV: Fox Sports Oklahoma

Radio: WWLS (98.1 FM OKC / 97.1 FM Tulsa)

Game Notes: Thunder / Jazz

Fresh off a 21 point victory on opening night, the Oklahoma City Thunder (1-0) is in Salt Lake City for a Northwest Division match-up with the Utah Jazz (1-1). The “OK3” combined for 71 points in the opener versus the Knicks, and looking to build on a performance that previewed the potential — and some of the growing pains — associated with the new-look roster.

The Jazz enter tonight with a 1-1 record after beating the Denver Nuggets in the season opener, but dropped their second contest to the Minnesota Timberwolves. After the departure of George Hill and Gordon Hayward over the offseason, it’s a team that is still looking for its identity in the early going of this new campaign.

Let’s dive into some notes.

Injury Report


  • N/A


  • Danté Exum: OUT (left shoulder)
  • Rodney Hood: OUT (mild left lower leg strain)

Starting Five


  • After receiving only seven minutes in the season opener, newcomer Patrick Patterson is expected to get more run tonight in Salt Lake City. Billy Donovan said on Friday, “I think it’s important that we get him acclimated and get him in there playing.
  • If Patterson indeed logs more minutes tonight in Utah, look for that to come at the expense of Jerami Grant — who played 20 minutes against New York, and saw the majority of the backup center minutes.
  • Utah is currently led in scoring by Derrick Favors at 15 PPG. As he’s a 6’10”, 265 pound big man, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Thunder give Carmelo Anthony a break by throwing a variety of looks at Favors defensively.
  • The “OK3” combined for 71 points on opening night, shooting 24/55 from the field. How quickly the three men get rolling offensively early in the game will dictate the pace — particularly Russell Westbrook. He was passive in the early going against New York, but the team responded when he pushed the tempo.
  • Alex Abrines (24) saw more playing time than Andre Roberson (21) against New York, and that was expected to change tonight in Utah. The Jazz have a sharpshooter at shooting guard in Rodney Hood, but as he’s out with a leg strain, the perimeter defense should be less challenged. Thabo Sefolosha and Donovan Mitchell are expected to get more run in his place, the latter of which may require more Roberson. Worth monitoring.
  • Steven Adams was extremely impressive on Enes Kanter in the opener, but will be tested even further tonight. Rudy Gobert is one of the better big men in the game, and is averaging 14 points and 11.5 rebounds through two games. Adams will have his hands full on both ends.

Some shooting today after practice. Carmelo Anthony is having a great time thus far. (Via Royce Young)

Speaking of fun, Paul George and Russell Westbrook are also having it. “That’s the man giving me easy looks. Whatever makes him happy, I’m happy.” (via Erik Horne)