After previewing the Cavs vs. the Pacers [VIDEO] and the Rockets vs. the Timberwolves [VIDEO], here is one of the most closely-contested playoff match-ups between the Jazz and the Thunder.

It took a while for the Thunder's new big three of Russell Westbrook, Paul George, and Carmelo Anthony to gel, but a couple of long winning streaks in the second half of the season helped them secure home court advantage in the first round of the postseason.

Westbrook putting up MVP numbers

Westbrook has played more like the reigning MVP over the past two months with 27.6 points, 10.2 rebounds and 9.3 assists per game in March, and 24.6 points, 15.2 rebounds, and 12.2 assists per game in April.

Paul George has had an up-and-down season, but he also had a fantastic April with 27.6 points per game and 5.8 rebounds.

While Westbrook and PG13 can be trusted to come up big in the postseason, I'm not sure the Thunder can count on Carmelo Anthony to turn it on in the playoffs. Melo finished the year with the worst true shooting percentage of his career, and he's been awful on defense this season, ranking 77th out of 91 power forwards in defensive real plus-minus. Expect Quinn Snyder to draw up plays that attack Melo early and often.

While most of the focus will be on those three superstars, the most intriguing match-up in this series may be at the center position. Rudy Gobert is a favorite to be named the Defensive Player of the Year this season, but Steven Adams will make his life difficult all series long.

Adams and Gobert have put up nearly identical numbers on the offensive end this year, but Gobert is averaging 1.3 more blocks per game and he ranks number one in the league in defensive real plus-minus. Adams will need to keep Gobert occupied in the post to keep him from affecting the shots of Wesbtrook and Paul George when they drive to the hoop.

The Donovan Mitchell factor

The biggest question for Utah will be whether rookie Donovan Mitchell can continue to lead them on the offensive end in a playoff setting. Mitchell has been incredible all year long, but coaches will have extra time to prepare for him in the postseason to find his weaknesses and what types of schemes he struggles against. Mitchell could also be tasked with defending Russell Westbrook at different points in this series, which will certainly affect his energy on the offensive end. If Mitchell can play at the same level he has all season, the Jazz have a great chance of pulling the upset in this series.

While I think the Jazz may be a slightly better team than the Thunder, home court advantage will ultimately give Oklahoma City the edge in a seven-game series. #Utah Jazz #Oklahoma City Thunder #NBA