OKC Thunder vs. Utah Jazz Preview: The Journey For A Ring Starts Now

Oct 20, 2013; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Utah Jazz point guard Alec Burks (10) handles the ball against Oklahoma City Thunder power forward Nick Collison (4) during the third quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Oct 20, 2013; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Utah Jazz point guard Alec Burks (10) handles the ball against Oklahoma City Thunder power forward Nick Collison (4) during the third quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Exactly 166 days ago, the Thunder were defeated by the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 5 of the playoffs last year to end the season.

Tomorrow, the Thunder gets another shot at a title opportunity as they kick off the regular season in Salt Lake City to face the Jazz.

Jazz coming into the game: Surprisingly, just last year, the Jazz missed the playoffs by only two games, finishing 43-39 on the season. Over the offseason, the Jazz lost Mo Williams(Trailblazers), Randy Foye(Nuggets), Al Jefferson(Bobcats) and Paul Milsap(Hawks).  So, you can kinda get an idea right there of what kind of team the Jazz are going to be this year. It looks as if Utah is headed towards the rebuilding stage. However,  Tyrone Corbin still has decent pieces in Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, Alec Burks, and Marvin Williams.  Here’s Bill and Jalen previewing the Jazz.

What to look for:  Not much. This should be a nice and easy blowout win for the Thunder to start the year. I just don’t really see anyone on Utah who could guard KD. I am still intrigued to see the rotation that Scott Brooks put together, and how the bench gels with each other(Adams, Collison, Lamb, and Fisher).

Notes and quotes:

KD talking about winning a championship: “But now, I’ve played in the All-Star Games; I’ve scored 30 points, 40 points before; had a triple-double before. I feel individually, like stats and stuff, I feel like I did my job with that and I established myself. But it’s about winning championships, and the first thing I got to get out of my head is ‘I.’ It’s like, ‘I want to win a championship.’ It’s not about that because one guy doesn’t win it, two guys don’t win it, three guys don’t win it. So it’s about the whole team, the whole organization winning a championship.”

Scott Brooks on the rotation and how many guys he will play: “I don’t know. That’s game to game. You’d like to play all 14, but you can’t. To get a good rhythm you have to play nine to 10 guys. But you have to have everybody ready. Foul trouble, there’s lots of things that can happen in a game and during the season. You just have to be ready.”

KD on opening night: “Of course everyone wants to play at home, especially at our arena. But it’s out of our control and Utah’s a great place to play. It’s going to be loud, especially since it’s opening night.”

Bold prediction: Thunder win by double digits (even maybe 20+), and KD goes for 30+, and a triple double. That would be a cool way to start the year, huh?

Topics: Oklahoma City Thunder, Utah Jazz

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