OKC Thunder – Utah Jazz Series: Battle of the backcourts

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - APRIL 15: Russell Westbrook
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - APRIL 15: Russell Westbrook /
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OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – APRIL 15: Alex Abrines
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – APRIL 15: Alex Abrines /

What to look for going forward

More Alex Abrines for the OKC Thunder and more Alec Burks for the Utah Jazz. It is common in the playoffs for teams to find an unexpected hot hand and ride it for as long as possible. The playoffs are too long and strenuous to just ride your stars the entire way.

I would expect Ricky Rubio to remain aggressive on offense, but look for his teammates more than himself moving forward. As for OKC’s Corey Brewer, we will likely continue to see underwhelming lines in the box score. His intangibles however can shift the momentum of a game, so the Thunder should look for him in transition to keep him engaged.

Donovan Mitchell underwent an MRI on his left foot that showed a “contusion” after tweaking his toe in the game. His status is currently TBD, which obviously has major series implications. His willingness to play in the first game indicates that he will go.

There is not any advice for Russ that he does not already know. He will be aggressive, push the ball, find teammates, dunk hard, stomp around, and so on. The Rubio/Mitchell tandem makes the backcourt matchup interesting, but there is only one Russell Westbrook.

Statistics from ESPN

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