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2010-2011 Game 10 Preview: Oklahoma City at Utah; The Battle for the Northwest Continues

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This also counts as an open thread, so feel free to post your thoughts during the game here.

Records: The Oklahoma City Thunder (5-4) vs. The Utah Jazz (7-3)

Time: 8:00 PM Central Daylight Time

Place: EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City, Utah

TV: Fox Sports Net Oklahoma, Fox Sports Net Utah

Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1), 1320 KFAN

Enemy Blog(s): SLC Dunk, True Blue Jazz, Salt City Hoops

Previous Meeting(s): Oct. 31st

We may have lost last night, but the battle for the Northwest division continues, and there's no better way to get back on track than with a win against Utah. It would make us tied in the Jazz season series, and we would still have our 2-0 advantage over the Trailblazers. It would also put us at 6-4, which would put us a half wain away from taking back the division lead and being in control of our own destiny.

However, some might call what I just described a pipe dream. The last time we faced Utah it was a serious wake up call for our team, after we had barely slithered by Chicago and Detroit. Our defense was terrible, our role players hardly scored, and the game was pretty much over by the end of the first half.

How will this game go? It's hard to say. Utah is on a 5 game winning streak, beating the Clippers, Heat, Magic, Hawks, and Bobcats. Mehmet Okur is still out, but they don't have any other injuries to speak of. And they're still going to own us inside, especially considering we gave up playing big men at all yesterday in the fourth.

So, while all signs are pointing to a blowout, I think that if Green and Collison get into form, we could revert to last year in terms of success against the Jazz. Lots of offense and runs on both sides, with the team who can get the clutch plays at the right time able to win the game. But, given that it's the second night of a back to back and that both of those guys are still coming off of their injuries, I'm predicting a loss for the Thunder. But if a win does happen, don't call me Mr. Naysayer, because it can happen. It's just not likely.

Prediction: Utah 120, Oklahoma City 109