Two months from right now I will be in Energy Solutions Arena along with fellow season ticket holder and staff writer Roury McDermott in the upperbowl (what you think I get paid for this?) row 6 near the center of the court. I will be wearing my Enes Kanter jersey and Roury his Derrick Favors jersey. We have been waiting for the day these two start since Enes got drafted! I couldn’t be more excited.
What else makes that opening night other than the new jumbo tron and new starting line up is the opponent: The Oklahoma City Thunder. Every year I get excited to play these guys more than most teams because it has been intense every game in Utah. Two years ago Gordon Hayward shut down Kevin Durant (as much as one can) in limiting him to 6-22 shooting and only one of three games under 20 points all season (Jazz had another one too).
Last year was the best though because Kevin Durant was getting heckled from the fans and saying they were being ruthless. He said after the game on his twitter before deleting it
I love playing in Utah, just upset at how the fans treated us behind our bench….we don’t deserve that..but I’m movin on”.
Fans that were behind the bench called in to 1280 and said it wasn’t different than any other game just clean funny heckling. Nothing that was “out of line” said the guy on the phone call. He was just bitter I think because they had lost the game 97-90 and he got the crowd riled up after he lowered his shoulder into Burks. In the game after that in OKC DeMarre Carroll put his shoulder into KD causing OKC’s crowd to get up and yell.
What I’m getting at is this first game will be even better than most first games as the Jazz will be looking to catch OKC off-guard since they won’t know what to expect from the young guys. Expect the Jazz arena to be louder than any game last year as Jazz fans finally get what they want. This is OKC vs the new OKC plan entitled the Utah Jazz.
OKC: Westbrook, Sefolosha, Durant, Ibaka, Perkins
Jazz: Burke, Burks, Hayward, Favors, Kanter