The Utah Jazz were unable to notch their fourth straight victory over the weekend, losing by one point to the Memphis Grizzlies.
They were knocked off by a Jaren Jackson Jr. three-pointer that sailed in with five seconds remaining in regulation, which stung any Jazz moneyline backers who bet online.
The Jazz are hoping to get back on the right track on Wednesday night when they go up against the rebuilding Oklahoma City Thunder, a team that has lost three straight.
Why the Jazz Can Win
Donovan Mitchell did miss the game-winning shot against Memphis but that shouldn’t take away from the stellar season he’s having.
He leads the team with 24.4 points per game and is one of the most consistent scorers in the NBA. Rudy Gobert is, yet again, a terrific rim protector and rebounder, averaging 1.8 blocks and 15.1 rebounds to spearhead the defense.
And the team has solid depth with Jordan Clarkson serving as the Sixth Man of the Year candidate, Royce O’Neal giving incredible energy and Joe Ingles being the three-point specialist.
This team is just 11-6, though, which is surprising to those who bet on NBA. The Jazz started 7-1 but have dropped five of their last nine. This looks like a spot where they can snap out of that lull.
Why the Thunder Can Win
The Thunder are filled with young talent but they are still developing the roster. Their athleticism and potential is through the roof, but they’re still inexperienced, so it’s hard to gauge what to expect.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is probably the “oldest” and most reliable of their young core right now but he’s only 23. He’s also battling an injury, making him questionable to play in this one.
If he does get the green light, he will be adding 20.4 points, 5.1 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game to the Thunder.
Other bright young stars like the lockdown defender Lu Dort and the rising rookie Josh Giddey will be available to help give them an edge.
Oklahoma City has lost three straight and five of its last six. On top of that, Gilgeous-Alexander is a question mark to suit up. The latest news suggest that he’s likely out, which puts a dent in the Thunder’s chances.
SGA missed Monday’s game against the Atlanta Hawks and the Thunder lost by 12. And prior to that, when he played but was hampered by the ankle injury, the Thunder struggled.
For now, it’s tough to back this team with him out. Go with Utah here.