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Thunder vs Jazz preview and game thread: OKC looks to start strong against the new look Jazz.

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We’re back, we’re back, we’re back

NBA: Preseason-Memphis Grizzlies at Oklahoma City Thunder Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

Game: Oklahoma City Thunder at Utah Jazz

Time: 8:00PM CST

Location: Vivint Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City

Broadcast: FSOK

Counterpart: SLC Dunk

I hope everyone has on their footy pajamas, because the real Christmas is here: the Thunder season opener.

Tonight at 8 central, the OKC Thunder are kicking off their season in Salt Lake City, facing the new and improved Utah Jazz.

The Jazz are charting course for the NBA Finals, provided their new newest roster additions take them to the top, mainly their new lead guard, Mike Conley. Utah is hoping Conley’s two-way excellence and veteran leadership will unlock and enhance the game of their budding superstar, Donovan Mitchell.

The Thunder find themselves heading into a peculiar season. Is this the rebuild? Is this the stop gap? We know no definitive answers. Despite an anticipated drop in regular season success, the Thunder are still an extremely intriguing team.

Here’s 4 key questions to guide your game watching experience:

  • How does Steven Adams’ game change without Russ? Like it or not, Adams lost rebounds to Russ (by design, of course). Thunder head coach Billy Donovan has said he will look to run parts of the offense through the post, and we’ve seen exactly that through the preseason. All signs point to Adams having a major breakout year, having the ball more, and being a primary offensive option.
  • How will Billy manage three very good point guards? I’m glad I’m not in Donovan’s position. Will Schroder, Paul, and SGA all play at the same time? Will one be moved to shooting guard? Who will play off-ball the most? Who will lead the offense the most? I have no idea. But this is one of the most exciting parts about this team.
  • What does the offense look like now? Without generational talents Paul George and Russell Westbrook winning games by talent aggregate alone, how will Billy Donovan implement a system that must require higher levels of teamwork, play-making, and organization? This is the year Donovan can show off his coaching pedigree. CP3 is one of the game’s greatest point guards, and few run an offense better than him. Donovan must be excited to install a new system with him at the helm.
  • What’s different with Chris Paul? Paul, by every measure, was better when he didn’t share the floor with James Harden. He’s back by himself now, and he says he’s better physically than he’s been in a long time. Will we see a small return to form for CP3? He’s never not been elite, but running his own offense again with a new body could boost his numbers a bit this year.

Who will win? What do you expect? How are you feeling? Let’s chat below.

Poll

Who wins tonight?

This poll is closed

  • 36%
    OKC
    (27 votes)
  • 63%
    Utah
    (46 votes)
73 votes total Vote Now