In light of the schedule release yesterday, here are the top 5 "can't miss" games from the 2015-2016 Utah Jazz season. Also, LISTS!
Why watch? Something crazy always seems to happen on this road trip. They make some version of it every year, and it seems to set the tone for the rest of the season. The Heat will be a good early test for the Jazz's road game mettle. In the Magic, the Jazz will play a team on somewhat of a similar trajectory to themselves. Finally, the Hawks is always fun (think of all the overtimes!) as the Jazz face their former teammates.
11/23: The Thunder come to Salt Lake City
Why watch? The Thunder will be completely healthy, to start the season, for the first time in a couple of years. Maybe feelings will have calmed in regards to their former teammate (time tends to do that, ya know?), but last time Kanter rolled into town like a bull in a china shop (Bolerism) the Jazz got up for it. This time, the Jazz should want to prove to the Thunder that they can challenge for the Western Conference.
12/30: The Pesky Wolves
Why watch? The Jazz get their first look at number one draft pick Karl Anthony-Towns, as they make the trip to the Twin Cities. The Wolves probably won't be very good this year, but when has that ever stopped them from handing the Jazz a L?
Bonus: Who doesn't want to see more of this?
2/19: Celtics @ Jazz. Yes, the Hayward against his old coach storyline will continue to play, right up until it changes to Hayward reunites with his old coach. But the real intrigue in this game is because it is the first game after the All-Star break, and probably the Trade Deadline. The Celtics and the Jazz could both see some shakeups, depending on how their season is going up to that point.
Extra sauce? It's a national TV game (ESPN)
4/11: Mavericks make their only trip to SLC.
Why watch? Deron Williams returns to the Western Conference, with his hometown Mavericks. Besides the obvious lingering feelings toward Williams (do we still have those?), this could be an important game for both teams as they fight for the last playoff berth or better seeding.
11/28: Jazz host the Pelicans
Why watch? By all estimations, the Jazz will be in a 4 way race with the Suns, Mavericks, and Pelicans for the final 2 playoff spots in the Western Conference. The path to dominance by Anthony Davis and the offseason roster changes made by the Pelicans will make this an important benchmark game for both youthful teams.
3/14: Cavs at Jazz