No. 4 Oklahoma City Thunder (48-34) vs. No. 5 Utah Jazz (48-34)
Playoff series schedule
- Game 1 in Oklahoma City: Sunday, April 15, 6:30 p.m. ET, TNT
- Game 2 in Oklahoma City: Wednesday, April 18, 8 p.m. ET, NBA TV
- Game 3 in Utah: Saturday, April 21, 10 p.m. ET, ESPN
- Game 4 in Utah: Monday, April 23, 10:30 p.m. ET, TNT
- Game 5 in Oklahoma City: TBA (if necessary)
- Game 6 in Utah: TBA (if necessary)
- Game 7 in Oklahoma City: TBA (if necessary)
Season series: Thunder 3-1
The Jazz will win if?
If Rudy Gobert can punish Russell Westbrook on both sides of the floor the Jazz will have a decided advantage. Outside of the 76ers, the Jazz have been the hottest team, winning 17 of the last 21 games heading into the playoffs. Jae Crowder needs to have a big impact coming off the Jazz bench also.
The Thunder will win if?
Russell Westbrook needs to dominate and Paul George needs to average around 20 points a game during the series. If those two things both happen the Thunder will advance. They will have to get onto the offensive and defensive glass as well because they are not an outstanding rebounding team and this will eventually lead to the demise of the Thunder at some point in these playoffs.
Prediction: The Jazz will win a close series and in the end, the difference will be that they will own the paint and out-rebound the Thunder in a close series.
Jazz in 7