The score looked closer than it actually was. The Thunder were ahead by double digits for a good portion of the fourth quarter. The Jazz simply didn’t look like the comeback team they were in the regular season because they weren’t as talented or experienced offensively.
Relax Chicken Little. The sky isn’t falling. Here is why what happened in Game 1 won’t happen in Game 2:
1. The Thunder shot better from 3: Most statistics were dead even between the Jazz and Thunder. They both made 41 field goals and grabbed 9 offensive rebounds. The Jazz even had 3 less turnovers. The difference? The Thunder made three more threes and five more free throws than the Jazz. In a game where it’s easy to trade bucket for bucket it’s vital to get a couple of extra points at the charity stripe and from downtown which is what the Jazz will need to do in Game 2 to win.
2. Some guy they call Playoff P showed up: Honestly PG-13 sounds so much cooler. Playoff P sounds like fans who go to the bathroom during the Playoffs when they drink to much Diet Coke. A Playoff P must be quick especially in the last minute of a game.
Seriously though, Paul George won’t play like this every game at least not offensively. He won’t score 36 points in game two because he simply won’t make eight three point shots. The Jazz have a great defense but just need to get used to that playoff pace. They now know what that pace is like so they will be ready.
3. Russell Westbrook flirted with a triple double: By the end of last game Russell Westbrook was looking for some assists to keep his triple double numbers up in the playoffs. The Jazz need to dare him to go for triple doubles because if he’s focused on his stats then he won’t be focused about winning. Seriously Jae Crowder, whisper in his ear “No triple double tonight.” And watch what happens. Russ will do everything to prove you wrong but you’ll come up with the W.
These were a couple of keys to the Thunder winning Game 1. Hopefully the Jazz will take their keys away and come up with their own game plan in Game 2.