As much of a turning point as it was that Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors checked out of Game 5 with foul trouble, you’re not going to hear complaints from Quin Snyder.

There’s a good reason for this: Complaining about officiating draws fines from the NBA.

But on another level, the Jazz coach said he feels that it’s not particularly constructive to linger on missed calls. In this first-round series, they’ve gone against both teams: Oklahoma City has also been frustrated by calls in Games 2 and 3 that limited center Steven Adams’ impact. So Snyder has some advice for his players: Don’t have high expectations to get the calls you want.

“One of the things I’ve told our team the whole season and especially in the playoffs: You’re not going to be given anything,” he said. “Don’t ask for anything. Whatever the situation is, adjust and play through it.”

Aside from Games 1 and 5, Gobert has done well to stay out of foul trouble for much of the series. In Game 2, he had to sub out in the first quarter with foul trouble, but Favors picked up the slack with a strong stint at center.

The problem in Game 5 was both got off the floor at the same time. While the Jazz guards said they have to adjust better, Gobert said he wants to be smarter about making sure he’s keeping good form: staying completely vertical and keeping his hands high.

“Maybe I’m the tallest guy, so maybe I’m the one that’s the easiest to see,” he said. “I just gotta stay focused, stay in control and do my best to help our team.”

Snyder said the Jazz don’t “scout” the tendencies of referees, although players are informed before games what crew is in town. In the playoffs, crews are typically announced earlier than in the regular season, when they’re announced an hour or two before tipoff.

But even though Snyder isn’t afraid to get into a heated exchange with referees now and then, he said he has sympathy for them as well.

“It’s a difficult, difficult job,” he said. “I think our players respect that, and you understand that there is always a call or two that you look at and wish went the other way. That happens to both teams, over the course of the series, especially.”

Best of Westbrook?

After 45 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists in a Game 5 performance to stave off elimination, a question popped up: Is that the best game Russell Westbrook has ever played?

Westbrook has had games with higher scores (58 points), but perhaps in one of his most important games as the best player on Oklahoma City’s roster, he came up huge. Coach Billy Donovan held off from calling it his “best game,” but said it showed a lot of leadership from the 2017 MVP.

“Being around him for three years, I’ve certainly seen a lot of different things that he’s done at an extremely high level,” he said. “I thought the one thing that besides his performance that was impressive to the leadership question, we’re down 25 and he bangs down two 3s in a row, and it really gave our team to life.”


While the Thunder enjoyed their 25-point comeback in Game 5 with Carmelo Anthony on the bench, Donovan started Anthony as he has in the other five games of the series.