10/21 Utah Jazz vs. Oklahoma City Thunder: Keys to the Game

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - FEBRUARY 28: Oklahoma City Thunder Center Steven Adams (12) and Utah Jazz Center Rudy Gobert (27) both try for position for a rebound on February 28, 2017, at the Chesapeake Energy Arena Oklahoma City, OK. (Photo by Torrey Purvey/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - FEBRUARY 28: Oklahoma City Thunder Center Steven Adams (12) and Utah Jazz Center Rudy Gobert (27) both try for position for a rebound on February 28, 2017, at the Chesapeake Energy Arena Oklahoma City, OK. (Photo by Torrey Purvey/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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OKLAHOMA CITY, OK- OCTOBER 19: Russell Westbrook (Photo by Layne Murdoch Sr./NBAE via Getty Images)
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK- OCTOBER 19: Russell Westbrook (Photo by Layne Murdoch Sr./NBAE via Getty Images) /

Prediction – Thunder 115, Jazz 102

The Jazz may very well be able to compete with the Thunder at some point this season, but unfortunately I don’t see tonight being that instance. Not only is it the second night of a back-to-back against a team that looked electrifying in their season opener, but the Jazz simply have a lot to figure out if they hope to truly stay among the top ranks in the Western Conference.

Between fatigue, the absence of Rodney Hood due to the left lower leg injury he suffered last night and Utah’s lack of guys that can truly match-up with the Thunder’s Big 3, I don’t see much reason to pin them as the victors in tonight’s contest.

Next: Utah Jazz: Northwest Division Rival Preview – Thunder Edition

Nevertheless, the Jazz have still shown several positive signs from their comeback victory over the Denver Nuggets to a near-win over a purportedly elite Minnesota Timberwolves team, so hopefully they’ll make me eat my words in a big way tonight and find a way to stifle a prolific OKC team.