OKC Thunder: 3 keys to victory tonight vs. the Utah Jazz

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - DECEMBER 26: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the Oklahoma City Thunder reacts following a go-ahead field goal during the fourth quarter of their game against the Charlotte Hornets at Spectrum Center on December 26, 2020 in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - DECEMBER 26: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the Oklahoma City Thunder reacts following a go-ahead field goal during the fourth quarter of their game against the Charlotte Hornets at Spectrum Center on December 26, 2020 in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
OKC Thunder Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports /

OKC Thunder key No. 3) Al Horford

Like we constantly are saying, we expect big things from Al Horford in 2020-21.

After a down 2019-20, the veteran is looking for a bounce-back season to help prove he’s worth the lucrative contract he signed last offseason and that he can still contribute at an efficient level in this league.

Tonight will be a prime opportunity for Horford to show that he can still be an effective asset, as he’ll be squaring off against Utah’s second All-Star stud in the Stifle Tower himself, Rudy Gobert.

Coming off of a career season, where he averaged 15 points, 13.5 rebounds, and two blocks on 69 percent shooting from the floor, the French-born big man is finding himself kicking off the new year right where he left off, as he is currently finding himself on a tear, posting 19 points and 17 rebounds on a whopping 75 percent shooting from the field.

Now, granted, this is only within a two-game span, but being he just signed a lucrative $205 million max extension, the man has motivation on his side to prove he’s worth his own contract.

Tonight, Horford has the chance to put water on the fire that has been Gobert, which will be huge for the Thunder’s chances to come away victorious

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