This also counts as an open thread, so feel free to post your thoughts during the game here.
Time: 6:00 PM Central Daylight Time
Place: The New Myriad, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
TV: Fox Sports Net Oklahoma, Fox Sports Net Utah
Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1), 1320 KFAN
Previous Meeting(s): None.
Happy Halloween! In celebration of Halloween, here's this fantastic Halloween oriented video.
After Friday's sloppy game against Detroit, we're in for an excellent Northwest Division matchup against the Jazz. The Jazz have had some serious roster overturn, so it's worth a look to see how they've changed from last year.
Most notably, they lost Carlos Boozer and gained Al Jefferson. Stat-wise, they're both roughly of the same caliber, but in his first two games with the Jazz, Jefferson has averaged only 13 Points and 8 Rebounds, a significant downgrade from his 17 and 10 averages last year, and especially from his 23 and 11 averages two years ago. I don't think Al Jefferson has hit any sort of ceiling. Rather, his stock was inflated by playing for terrible Celtics and Timberwovles teams. As a result, what teams think is an All-Star Caliber player is really only a quality starter.
Below: More Jazz Info, How the Game will Go, Prediction!
And that hurts the Jazz this year. Adding to their woes is the injury of Mehmet Okur for the next month, thinning their front line and forcing them to use Francisco Elson and Kyrylo Fesenko, who are mostly useful as tall bodies. In all fairness though, they have made a couple of quality pickups. Raja Bell was found in Free Agency, adding to their defensive tenacity at SG. They also drafted Gordon Heyward, a decent looking paint-oriented Forward out of Butler, and Earl Watson, the consummate backup-PG.
So, after all this, how good are the Jazz? Well, they opened the season with a 22 Point Loss to the questionable team from Denver, and followed it up the next day with a 16 Point Loss to the Amare-less Suns. It's hard to point to a specific reason for their losses by just looking at the box scores, but I'd say the main problem with this team is its' lack of depth. The only player of real worth on their bench is C.J. Miles, and he's mainly a defender. With little to no scoring coming from the bench, and you starting lineup being mainly defensively-oriented, it's hard to have a good team.
Given the Jazz's previous two results, this should be an easy win for the Thunder. The Big three have been on top of their games, and generally a couple of role players have had good games to round out the Thunder pie.
Prediction: Oklahoma City 109, Utah 95.
How do you think the game will go? Vote in the Poll!
And, again, feel free to drop any comments you might have during, before, or after the game below. I'll be in the New Myriad cheering the team on, but I'll be back to write a recap later tonight. Go Thunder!