The Oklahoma City Thunder travel to Salt Lake City to face the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena on Monday. The Thunder (10-12) have been playing competitive basketball all season long but it hasn’t necessarily led to a lot of success. This is a club that’s been hovering below .500 all season long and it’s a wonder if they’ll ever crack that threshold. They have plenty of talent to do just that, with veterans like Steven Adams, Danilo Gallinari and Chris Paul running the show. That doesn’t even take into consideration Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who’s in the midst of a breakout season himself. That puts this team in a strange purgatory and one has to wonder whether they’ll ride this team for the reso of the season or sell off their veterans for young pieces in order to rebuild. The next few weeks will determine that and it definitely makes this a team to watch over the coming months. The Jazz (12-10) have been one of the biggest disappointments in the NBA this season and much of it has come recently. In fact, Utah comes into this matchup losing five of their last seven games, with many of those losses coming in blowout fashion. That’s unacceptable from a title contender like this and it’s really no surprise with most of that damage coming on the road. This is a team that’s been dominant at home over recent years and that’s the case again here with Utah posting a 9-2 home record this year. They’re also playing elite defense yet again but it’s not making up for their inept offense. The Jazz currently sits 23rd in points scored and 27th in assists which is truly hard to understand from such a talented roster. The good news is that they can only get better and it’s scary to think how good this team can be when they’re eventually clicking on both ends of the floor. Utan won the first meeting between these teams, 100-95, on October 23. Prior to that, Oklahoma City won their previous seven games over the Jazz dating back three years.
December 10, 2019