The OKC Thunder are set for their home opener against the Utah Jazz on Monday night. This is the first time since that dreadful day in March that the Thunder will return to Chesapeake Energy Arena for a regular-season contest. The Thunder are currently on a 17 game home winning streak against the Utah Jazz (Excluding playoffs) with the average margin of victory set at 13.8 points. OKC has the second-best home record since the 2010 NBA season.
The Thunder come into this game 1-0 and sitting alone at the top of the Western Conference while the Jazz stumbles in after a disappointing loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. However, in the Jazz season opener against the Portland Trailblazers, they showed just how good they can be with a dominating win on both sides of the floor.
The OKC Thunder will be without Ty Jerome in this contest who is still nursing a left ankle sprain, as well as Trevor Ariza who of course is still not with the team.
The OKC Thunder are in the first half of a back-to-back as they take on the Orlando Magic tomorrow night so watching how Mark Daigneault manages the minutes for veteran players will be important.
While it was nice for the Thunder to start their season with a win, they beat a below-average Hornets team that might be good enough to make the play-in in the Eastern Conference. This will be the first time we get to see OKC play a legitimate playoff team. A team that I expect to be in the top four of the Western Conference standings.
For what to watch for, keys to the game, and how you should bet on this game, check out the Locked on Thunder podcast anywhere you get your Podcasts!