At long last, the NBA playoffs are finally upon us. One extremely competitive first round series should be between the Utah Jazz and the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Jazz entered the season with the hopes of potentially returning to the playoffs this season despite losing their best player, Gordon Hayward, in free agency. This season, the Jazz exceeded expectations and finished fifth in the Western Conference. Their opponents in this contest, the Thunder entered the season with hopes of dethroning the Warriors as Western Conference champions. However, the Thunder have underachieved this season and finished fourth in the Western Conference standings. With these teams seeded so closely to each other, one can expect an extremely competitive series as well as a really competitive game one in this series.
The Utah Jazz’s success are primarily due to their star rookie Donovan Mitchel. In his first NBA season, Mitchell has averaged 20.5 points per game along with 3.7 assists and 3.7 rebounds. However, despite his phenomenal rookie season, it is somewhat important to mention how he is not even favored to win the Rookie of the Year award thanks to Philadelphia 76ers’ player Ben Simmons. Either way, Mitchell will be matched up either against Russell Westbrook or Paul George in game one so he will have to play with some added intensity on the defensive end. If Utah plans on winning this contest, Mitchell will need to have a big game.
Oklahoma City’s success is due to its star point guard Russell Westbrook. Last season, Westbrook became the first player to average a triple-double in an NBA season since Oscar Robertson in 1962. This season, Westbrook has proven that last season was not a fluke as he once again averaged a triple-double for the second straight season. This season, Westbrook has averaged 25.4 points per game along with 10.1 rebounds and 10.3 assists per game. Despite the additions of Paul George and Carmelo Anthony this offseason, Westbrook is the heart and soul of this Thunder team. Expect him to have a huge game if the Thunder plan on winning this difficult playoff game.
As for my prediction, I have to side with the Thunder. Although the Jazz are an extremely talented team, this is still Mitchell’s first career playoff game so one has to be skeptical about how well he is going to play in this environment. Meanwhile, the Thunder are full of veterans and will likely use their added experience to beat the Jazz in game one of this series.
Jazz vs. Thunder: Game Time, TV Channel & Viewing Details
Event: Utah Jazz vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
Date: Sunday, April 15, 2018
Start Time: 6:30 P.M. EST
Location: Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, OK
How to Watch Jazz vs. Thunder On Your Tablet Or Mobile Device
You can live stream the game on the Watch TNT app.
How To Live Stream Jazz vs. Thunder Online Without Cable Subscription
You can also live stream the game through Sling TV free trial. Just click on the Sling website and click “Watch Now 7 Days Free” for the free trial. Choose the Sling Orange package, which costs $20 per month and comes with TNT, along with many other sports channels.