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Thunder vs Jazz preview: OKC must hold off Jazz minus Steven Adams

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Steven Adams is still in the league’s concussion protocol and will miss 3rd straight game.

NBA: Utah Jazz at Oklahoma City Thunder Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Oklahoma City Thunder will be without Steven Adams for a 3rd straight game in their match-up with the Utah Jazz at Chesapeake Energy Arena, tonight at 7 pm cst.

The Thunder reached the .500 mark in a triple overtime win against the Philadelphia 76’ers but lost Steven Adams as a result of a concussion suffered in the second OT. Minus their defensive anchor, the Thunder took a pounding at the hands of the New York Knicks the next night, but rebounded in a home win against the Denver Nuggets Monday night.

Adams posted a monster game the last time these teams met holding 7’1” Rudy Gobert to just 5 points and 6 TRB’s while pitching in 20 pts and grabbing 6 offensive boards on the other end. Dakari Johnson has filled in admirably in Adam’s absence and won’t have to find out how he stacks up against Gobert who will not play. An MRI done on Gobert’s left knee Saturday revealed a sprained PCL and a bone bruise. Derrick Favors, listed as favorable for Wednesday night’s game, will attempt to take up the slack for Gobert.

Rookie SG Donovan Mitchell is also on Utah’s questionable list tonight.

The Thunder still struggle to put together complete games and their win against the Nuggets Monday was no exception.

http://popcornmachine.net/gf?date=20171218&game=DENOKC

Another third quarter swoon led to the loss of a nice halftime lead and the Thunder didn’t turn the game back in their favor until Russell Westbrook re-entered the game with 9:40 remaining. With the Thunder trailing by 10, Westbrook regained his MVP form and turned a double-digit deficit into a one point win with a 15 point, 7 of 12 scoring explosion.

Westbrook’s on tonight’s game against the Jazz:

At times, Westbrook has struggled this season.

His FG% and FT% sit at career lows and an unusual number of lay-ups that have come up short have put Russell’s conditioning in question and his “no comment” reply to a simple question about the obvious marks left by cupping may lend credence to those concerns.

From Webmd.com:

Cupping therapy is an ancient form of alternative medicine in which a therapist puts special cups on your skin for a few minutes to create suction. People get it for many purposes, including to help with pain, inflammation, blood flow, relaxation and well-being, and as a type of deep-tissue massage.

Fortunately for Westbrook, the Thunders, and their fans, a 52 minute run against the Sixers and the 15 point 4th quarter explosion against the Nuggets are indications that Russ is getting back to MVP form. If so, the third quarter Thunder meltdowns should begin to diminish.

Minus Gobert in the Jazz rotation, tonight’s game would be an excellent time to see Westbrook’s resurgence continue as Utah coach Quin Snyder is apt to play more multi-wing line-ups than usual.

Poll

Who do you think will win tonight?

This poll is closed

  • 74%
    Thunder
    (571 votes)
  • 25%
    Mavericks
    (199 votes)
770 votes total Vote Now