Post Up: Thunder @ Jazz
Quick Thoughts on OKC/Utah
The Jazz won this one 109–89 against a short-handed Thunder. That’s the problem — OKC is missing just one player in Oladipo, but he’s one of the few play makers on the roster. It makes such an incredible difference.
The first-half was all Utah. The Jazz took a 55–41 lead into halftime, but it was a lineup swap to start the third quarter that provided a bit of a spark for the Thunder. Anthony Morrow and Nick Collison started the second-half for Domantas Sabonis and Jerami Grant. Hair Jordan would play big minutes for Oklahoma City down the stretch and provided a glimpse of stability the team hasn’t had.
Emotions began to spark late between Rodney Hood, Enes Kanter and what seemed like the entire state of Utah. Kanter heard the boo-birds all night in Vivint Smart Home Arena, from fans of a team that traded him. It was nice to see emotion late, but a 20-point loss the night after a 19-point loss is a bit upsetting.
Onto the quick thoughts.
- The Utah fans hate Enes Kanter. I know he’s said some things in the past since he was traded… but dude… he was traded. Let’s get over it.
- Trust me, Utah, there are worse ways for a guy to leave your team. Boo them when they leave for the Dark Side *cough* Golden State *cough*.
- I honestly forgot about any of the Kanter/Utah stuff until the crowd started booing him every time he touched the ball.
- Russell Westbrook’s emotions were much more in check tonight, although you can tell he’s frustrated.
- You can’t blame Russ for being frustrated. His game goes down the toilet surrounded with a lineup that can’t shoot.
- I do love the stability of lineups Billy Donovan likes to use, but as Royce Young pointed out on Twitter, sometimes you may just need to let Russ go do Russ things and forego rest.
- Highlight of the night: Semaj Christon hits a three-quarter court shot to end the first quarter.
- Nick Collison might just need more minutes… at times. In Utah he was a big part of giving the Thunder any chance.
- In 30 years, I picture the Thunder bringing in rookies and showing them old game film of Collison’s fundamentals.
- Weird moment between Rodney Hood and Enes Kanter. Kanter slightly nudged Hood, which result in Hood throwing a jab at Kanter.
- Dante Exum inexplicably ended up with a Technical after all of that. He wasn’t involved in the disagreement at all.
- The Rudy Gay rumors popped up yet again recently. It sounds like there may be something there. I’ve gone back and forth on the idea of Gay in OKC, but games like Blazers & Jazz remind me how much the Thunder needs something.
- This game was so bad that KFOR was having us make some strange preparations for the cold weather coming this weekend.
- NEXT UP: The Thunder have 2 days of rest before a 4 PM CT tip-off against the Suns on Saturday. Would really like to see Victor Oladipo back.
- Thunder Up.