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Preview - Utah Jazz @ Denver Nuggets - 28 October 2009

"Let's get it started in here, let's get ...."

Wait, what Black Eyed Peas song are we using this year?

Regardless, it's Christmas in October and in Utah & Denver, the weather is obliging with an early winter.

Doesn't matter though because the teams will be toasty inside.

When we last saw the Jazz, they became a footnote for the Lakers on the way to LA's championship.  The team was getting blown out by nearly 20 in third quarter in game 5 of the series.  But then we saw a spark in the fourth quarter from Ronnie Price and the second unit that we hadn't seen the last 2-3 months of the season.  What was once a 19-point lead had dwindled down to 6 with just over three minutes to play.  The Jazz weren't able to complete the comeback, but everyone was wondering where this fire had been to close out the season.  If they had had half of that, they wouldn't have been stuck facing LA in the first round.

Ever since then I've been waiting to see if they could re-capture those ten minutes of competitiveness for this coming season. 

The Jazz finished the pre-season 5-2 and despite having some key players missing, they've looked pretty good.  Deron has been ready to go for a while now.  Boozer has been a monster.  Brewer has been his efficient self.   Everyone seems to be clicking.

Call it a bit of misplaced optimism, but there seems to be a different feel for the team this season.  Very good vibes.  Despite having the same personnel, I don't see the gloom that hung over the team to close out the season.

It's only the first game of the season, but what happens tonight could be a good indicator for the season.  How will the Jazz play on the road?  That's probably the biggest question right now.  How do they match up against division-rival Denver?  And finally, what kind of D are we going to see?  Has there been a change in their mentality?

I'm excited to finally find out.

Game thread coming at 8.