UTAH JAZZ

Jazz Center Rudy Gobert Shows Off Footwork, Dunks On Thunder

Apr 6, 2022, 7:31 PM
Rudy Gobert - Utah Jazz - Washington Wizards...
Rudy Gobert #27 of the Utah Jazz dunks during a game against the Washington Wizards at Vivint Smart Home Arena on February 28, 2020 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Jazz center Rudy Gobert showed off his footwork before rising up for a slam dunk during Utah’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Jazz hosted the Thunder at Vivint Arena on Wednesday, April 6.

With 7:53 remaining in the opening quarter, Gobert danced in the paint to shake an OKC defender. After the fancy footwork, Gobert rose up and threw down a two-handed dunk.

The Frenchman’s jam tied the game at 12-12.

This season, Gobert is averaging 15.4 points per game on 70.8 percent shooting.

Thunder vs. Jazz

After a season filled with more tumultuousness than expected, the Jazz can finally take a sigh of relief when they host the Thunder tonight.

On Tuesday the Jazz clinched a spot in the top-six of the Western Conference playoffs, guaranteeing themselves a seven-game opening-round series, and avoiding the play-in tournament.

The team’s focus can now shift to health, harmony, and their preferred first-round opponent over the final five days of the regular season.

Jazz Don’t Need Win Over Thunder

The Jazz enter the evening no longer needing wins to lock up a spot in the top-six in the West and in a potentially advantageous spot to finish the regular season.

With three games left to play in the regular season, the Jazz and the Denver Nuggets have an equal win total of 47 games.

Denver needs to win one of their two final games to guarantee themselves a place in the top six of the West. The Jazz own the tiebreaker between the two teams this season and would own the higher seed in the playoffs if the two teams finish with an equal record.

Understanding that they’re nearly guaranteed to face either the Golden State Warriors or the Dallas Mavericks in the opening round, the Jazz have a good opportunity to align their preferred first-round matchup before the playoffs begin.

Should the Jazz lose out, they’re nearly guaranteed to finish in the sixth seed, matching up against whichever team finishes in the third seed. Should the Jazz prefer to finish in the fifth seed, they’ll need to beat at least one of the Thunder, the Phoenix Suns, or the Portland Trail Blazers before the end of the season.

Either way, the Jazz control their own destiny with three games left in the regular season, and that is a welcome development amid an otherwise difficult season.

Thunder Not Tanking Well

While the Jazz face no urgency to win games, the Thunder should be motivated to lose.

Oklahoma City owns the fourth-worst record in the league which puts them just outside the top-tier of teams most likely to win the top overall pick in the NBA Draft.

The Thunder could pull back into the top tier by losing the remainder of their games, and getting jumped by the Detroit Pistons who would overtake them in the standings with two wins.

Oklahoma City has not helped its lottery odds over their recent stretch of games having won four of their last seven contests, including three of their last five, and two straight before facing the Jazz.

Utah’s game against Oklahoma City is broadcast on AT&T SportsNet, NBA League Pass, and The Zone Sports Network.

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