The Utah Jazz are back and ready to build upon last season. They have now been to the playoffs for three straight years with two second round and one first round exit to show for it. They’ve made trades. They’ve signed players. Let’s go!
What does October have in store for the Jazz? Well, they have five preseason games and an equal amount of regular season games. The preseason will be fun but it’s the regular season that counts on their report card.
So what will these games give us? Some will likely be treats as there will be some good wins. However, we might be tricked early on to think maybe this team isn’t as good as people thought. It’s time to get out the pillow cases and go trick-or-treating Jazz style!
Preseason: Mini Treat
The preseason is cool and all but it’s not the same intensity. It is like the appetizer before the main course or the warm up before the race. In Halloween terms, these are smaller than fun size candy bars. They are like little Tootsie rolls that are better than the offseason but not as good as the regular season regular candy bars or Playoff King Size bars.
The Jazz open with an easier warm up game against the Adelaide 36ers. It’s always fun to play an Australian team as the Jazz have often done. It’s a good opportunity for the Aussie Jazz player Joe Ingles to play against guys he grew up with.
The Jazz then go on a two game preseason road to Milwaukee and New Orleans before heading back home to host Sacramento and Portland. This will be a fun opportunity to be introduced to the new players and get pumped for the real season.
You can’t go wrong with any of these choices whether you go on the preseason road trip or go to a home game, where tickets are usually a lot cheaper.
Thunder: King Size Treat
This is a Jazz Symphony Bar that will taste better than Rudy Gobert’s Encore Jazz album cover looks. The Thunder are now without two of their stars last year. Westbrook and Paul George are now replaced by Chris Paul. He is a good player but is also a grizzled vet playing with a bunch of inexperienced guys. It will be different for him to play on a losing team. Expect him to show up but his team won’t.
Final Score Prediction: Utah 127 OKC 113
Jazz at Lakers: Peanut Butter M and M’s
This will be a tough one. It will be nationally televised on ESPN and there are high expectations for both teams that made great offseason acquisitions. It will be as appetizing as the best kind of M and M’s but in the end the Lakers might just get this win in front of their own crowd. As good as the Jazz starting five is, LeBron and Anthony Davis are still a two headed monster that will be difficult to stop.
Final Score Prediction: Utah Jazz 121 Lakers 120 in Double OT
Kings at Jazz: Snickers Satisfies
You’re not you when you haven’t made the playoffs in over a decade. That’s why it’s hard being a Sacramento Kings fan.
This will be a good game to go to especially if you want to participate in a special BYU fan night. Expect the new-look Jazz to beat this talented young Kings team that is coached by former Jazz assistant Igor Kokoškov.
Final Score Prediction: Jazz 114 Kings 105
Jazz at Suns: Fiesta Time!
It will be a party when Ricky Rubio faces his former team for the first time. He will at least be in the friendly confines of Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix. The Suns have a lot of young guys and have some work to do after firing the aforementioned Jazz assistant Igor, who was their coach for just one season. Expect a valiant fight for the first couple minutes before the Jazz pull away.
Final Score Prediction: Jazz 120 Phoenix 90
Clippers at Jazz: Western Conference Finals Appetizer?
The Jazz saw the Clippers pick up two stars and didn’t blink. Now the Jazz have the All-Snub team as you can make the argument that every Jazz starter this year has been worthy of at least one All-Star Game. Ok, maybe Headband Joe is in a category of his own, but Conley, Mitchell, Bogdanovic and Gobert have all put up great numbers and performances that just didn’t get the respect they deserved in this talented league.
Kawhi will look to win this third NBA title with his third team while the Utah Jazz are primed to make their 3rd ever NBA Finals in the next few years. He joins fellow All-Star Paul George and a great coach with an already great defense that pushed the defending champion Golden State Warriors to six games in the first round. Keep in mind that they did this as an 8 seed. This team won’t back down from anyone.
Final Score Prediction: Clippers 110 Jazz 97
Bottom line: Expect the Jazz to start the season out on a good note but don’t expect them to come out of October undefeated in either the preseason or regular season. They have a lot of candy in their pillowcase but they’re just missing one King Size Larry O’Brien Trophy. One great season could just end in that.