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2017-2018 Utah Jazz Schedule: Week by Week Breakdown

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Breaking down Utah’s schedule week by week.

The NBA has released the 2017-2018 NBA schedule, and, in an attempt to structure the NBA schedule in a better way, the NBA has separated the schedule into 26 weeks. Now instead of saying, “In November ... ,” the NBA is hoping fans will refer to how teams are faring in week 13. If anything this feels like a shot across the bow of the NFL. But for us it makes it easier to break down the schedule.

I’ll be breaking each week down based on # of +.500 matchups, if there is a back to back, road vs home games, the matchup of the week, and giving a weekly prediction.

So here’s your week by week breakdown of the Utah Jazz’s 2017-2018 schedule.

Week 1

Opponents: v. Nuggets 10/18, @ Timberwolves 10/20, v. Thunder 10/21
Possible +.500 Matchups: Denver Nuggets, Minnesota Timberwolves, Oklahoma City Thunder
B2B: 1
Road-Home: 1 Road, 2 Home
Matchup of the Week: Minnesota Timberwolves
Week Prediction: 1-2

Nothing says, “Welcome to the Thunderdome!” more than having to start out the season against the re-tooled Northwest Division. The Utah Jazz have to face the improved Nuggets, the Jimmy Butler-led T-Wolves, and the Russell Westbrook-Paul George experince all in the same week. Add on top of it the Minnesota and Oklahoma City games are on a back to back.

The matchup of the week is the Utah vs Minnesota game in Minnesota. Ricky Rubio makes his return to Minnesota early in the season. Ricky will most likely get a hero’s welcome. Hopefully the Utah Jazz can show Minnesota how they mismanaged Rubio’s potential and come out with a win.

Week 2

Opponents: @ LA Clippers 10/24, @ Phoenix Suns 10/25, 10/28 v. Los Angeles Lakers
Possible +.500 Matchups: 1
B2B: 1
Road Vs Home: 2 Road, 1 Home
Matchup of the Week: LA Clippers
Week W/L Prediction: 3-0
Total W/L Record: 4-2

This is where Utah can make up some ground. There will be whispers of what is wrong with Utah after their first week and many will be quick to point at Utah missing Gordon Hayward. But they will have a big bounce back week playing against Phoenix and Los Angeles in week 2. We will get to see Donovan Mitchell face off against rookie phenom Lonzo Ball.

The matchup of the week will be the rematch of last year’s round 1 playoff series between Los Angeles and Utah. These teams are very different from last year’s playoffs with both teams missing their star perimeter player. Utah beat the Clippers in a rougher atmosphere in the playoffs last year with some heroics from Joe Johnson. Should be a great rematch and a measuring test of who improved the most in the offseason under less than ideal circumstances.

Week 3

Opponents: v. Dallas Mavericks 10/30, v. Portland Trail Blazers 11/1, v. Toronto Raptors 11/3, @ Houston Rockets 11/5
Possible +.500 Matchups: 3
B2B: 0
Road Vs Home: 1 Road, 3 Home
Matchup of the Week: Houston Rockets
Week W/L Prediction: 2-2
Total W/L Record: 6-4

With 3 games at home this week including last week’s LA Lakers game, the Utah Jazz have their first long homestand of the season with 4 games in a row at home. They get the lottery bound Mavericks then have to face off against the daunted backcourt of Lillard and McCollum then face DeRozan, Ibaka, and Lowry of Toronto. At the end of the week the Jazz travel to face their rivals the Houston Rockets.

Matchup of the week is the Houston Rockets, for obvious reasons. They’re the Utah Jazz’s rivals and nothing would bring a bigger smile to my face then the Jazz once again upsetting the Houston Rockets at home. Utah’s big men inside and elite perimeter defenders could prove to be Houston’s kryptonite. I’m not counting on it though and I see a loss to Houston in this matchup.

Week 4

Opponents: v. Philadelphia 76ers 11/7, v. Miami Heat 11/10, v. Brooklyn Nets 11/11
Possible +.500 Matchups: 1
B2B: 1
Road Vs Home: 0 Road, 3 Home
Matchup of the Week: Philadelphia 76ers
Week W/L Prediction: 3-0
Total W/L Record: 9-4

The Utah Jazz start another homestand with 4 games at home, 3 of which are against Eastern Conference teams in week 4. I put that at least one of these three teams will have a +.500 record but there’s a chance none of them do, too. Jazz should dominate these matchups at home and by dominate, I mean win 82-79.

The matchup of the week is Utah vs Philadelphia. The Stifle Tower vs The Process. Fultz vs Mitchell. Reddick vs Hood. Should be a fun matchup.

Week 5

Opponents: v. Minnesota Timberwolves 11/13, @ New York Knicks 11/15, @ Brooklyn Nets 11/17, @Orlando Magic 11/18
Possible +.500 Matchups: 1
B2B: 1
Road Vs Home: 3 Road, 1 Home
Matchup of the Week: Minnesota Timberwolves
Week W/L Prediction: 3-1
Total W/L Record: 12-5

The Utah Jazz meet the Minnesota Timberwolves at home. I jotted Utah down for a loss against the Wolves but they could very well win that game. Utah goes on their first big road trip of the year as they travel to New York, Brooklyn, and Orlando. this week. The Knicks will most likely still have Carmelo Anthony. The Brooklyn Nets should be an easy win but could be a trap game for the Jazz. In what is an odd scheduling quirk the Utah Jazz will travel on a back to back from Brooklyn to Orlando for a B2B then travel back to Northeast to face off against the Philadelphia 76ers in week 6. This puts Utah in a very vulnerable trap game against the Magic.

The matchup of the week will once again be against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Rubio against his former team this time in his new home of Utah. If Utah loses against Minnesota at the beginning of the season this is their chance to get revenge. Should be an awesome game.

Week 6

Opponents: @ Philadelphia 76ers 11/20, v. Chicago Bulls 11/22, v. Milwaukee Bucks 11/25
Possible +.500 Matchups: 2
B2B: 0
Road Vs Home: 1 Road, 2 Home
Matchup of the Week: Milwaukee Bucks
Week W/L Prediction: 1-2
Total W/L Record: 13-7

The Utah Jazz finisht their 4 game roadtrip in Philadelphia against the Process. They then return home to face off against the hapless Bulls. I see the Utah Jazz struggling against the 76ers after a long road trip, beating the Bulls, then losing a close one against the Milwaukee Bucks. I really think the Bucks are going to be much improved next season.

Milwaukee vs Utah will be an awesome matchup once again. Utah now has someone on the wing who can give Giannis fits in Thabo Sefolosha. Rudy Gobert’s length witll be bothersome for the team as a whole, but the Bucks are young and ever improving. I see them winning this one in a close one as Utah is still figuring out how to play as a team.

Week 7

Opponents: v. Denver Nuggets (ESPN) 11/28, @ LA Clippers 11/30, v. New Orleans Pelicans 12/1
Possible +.500 Matchups: 2
B2B: 1
Road Vs Home: 1 Road, 2 Home
Matchup of the Week: Denver Nuggets
Week W/L Prediction: 1-2
Total W/L Record: 14-9

The Utah Jazz have a tall order this week as they face off against the improved Denver Nuggets at home on ESPN. Following that game they got LA followed by New Orleans. This is frontcourt matchup week: Millsap/Jokic, Griffin/Jordan, Cousins/Davis. Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert will have their hands full in each of these matchups. Most of these teams have the same issues as Utah though; all lack outside shooting and all possess defensive minded point guards.

The matchup of the week will be Denver. It’s still a shock to the system to see Millsap in a division rival’s jersey. Jokic vs Gobert is must watch television. This should be a fun one.

Week 8

Opponents: v. Washington Wizards 12/4, @ Oklahoma City Thunder 12/5, v. Houston Rockets 12/7 (TNT), @ Milwaukee Bucks 12/9
Possible +.500 Matchups: 4
B2B: 1
Road Vs Home: 2 Road, 2 Home
Matchup of the Week: Houston Rockets
Week W/L Prediction: 2-2
Total W/L Record: 16-11

What a nightmare of a week—get used to that in December. The basketball scheduling gods gave the Jazz a soft schedule to start the year and now Utah must pay for it. Washington and Oklahoma City in a B2B then return to play the Rockets in Utah then start the road trip against Milwaukee on Sunday. December is about survival for the Utah Jazz. I put the Jazz down for 2-2 and surprising us all, but the Utah Jazz could easily end this week 0-4 and still have 5 games remaining on their road trip.

Any one of these games could be the game of the week but I settled on the Jazz’s biggest rivals, the Houston Rockets, at home before they start their nightmarish road trip. This would be a statement game if they win this. Something to show the league they’re still a team to be reckoned with even without Hayward.

Week 9

Opponents: @ Chicago Bulls 12/13, @ Boston Celtics 12/15, @ Cleveland Cavaliers 12/16
Possible +.500 Matchups: 2
B2B: 1
Road Vs Home: 3 Road, 0 Home
Matchup of the Week: Boston Celtics
Week W/L Prediction: 1-2
Total W/L Record: 17-13

The 6 game road trip continues in week 9 with games against Chicago, Boston, and Cleveland. I have the Utah Jazz only winning one game in this stretch. The back to back against Boston and Cleveland is bad but not too bad once you give it context; these would be hard games to win anyway. With the league choosing to make this a back to back, the Utah Jazz aren’t having the difficulty turned up in a winnable game against a lottery team.

Boston vs Utah will, of course, have all of Utah hoping that Utah can get its revenge against the player that left them, Gordon Hayward. It most likely won’t happen in this game as Utah will be on their third game in a road trip against a top Eastern Conference team.

Week 10

Opponents: @ Houston Rockets 12/18, @ Oklahoma City Thunder 12/20, v. San Antonio Spurs 12/21 (TNT), v. Oklahoma City Thunder 12/23
Possible +.500 Matchups: 4
B2B: 1
Road Vs Home: 2 Road, 2 Home
Matchup of the Week: Oklahoma City Thunder
Week W/L Prediction: 1-3
Total W/L Record: 18-16

Once again a nightmarish week. I have the Utah Jazz going 1-3 and could very well go 0-4. That would offset Utah’s hot start to the season and bring them close to .500. Games on the road against OKC and Houston are awful, and these two occur on the end of a road trip. Then the San Antonio Spurs are waiting for Utah at home after the Jazz have a back to back. That’s one brutal scheduling quirk. A 6 game road trip ends with a back to back and not on the road.

Matchup of the Week is OKC. Utah plays them twice in one week. They’re the Jazz’s only hope for a win in this week and it’s a tall order. Have we mention December is the worst?

Week 11

Opponents: @ Denver Nuggets 12/26, @ Golden State Warriors 12/27 (NBATV), v. Cleveland Cavaliers 12/30
Possible +.500 Matchups: 3
B2B: 1
Road Vs Home: 2 Road, 1 Home
Matchup of the Week: Cleveland Cavaliers
Week W/L Prediction: 1-2
Total W/L Record: 19-18

Utah gets coal again for winter. Day after Christmas the Utah Jazz go on the road to Denver then has to play the following night against Golden State. BRU-TAL. This will be Utah’s first crack at Golden State, but they could be worn out. It will be fascinating to watch Utah’s defensive squad face off against the Death Lineup. A good thing about this B2B is Golden State would have rocked Utah on any other night anyway, so the B2B is being used on what would have amounted to a loss. I have the Jazz going 1-2 this week because they always beat the Cavs at home. It’s an annual tradition.

Matchup of the week is the Cleveland matchup. It will be weird that Hayward won’t be around for LeBron’s demise in Utah this year. Who will be the hero this time? Rubio? Mitchell? Joe Ingles?

After this week Utah is hanging on to .500 but the schedule is about to ease up.

Week 12

Opponents: v. New Orleans Pelicans 1/3, @ Denver Nuggets 1/5, @ Miami Heat 1/7
Possible +.500 Matchups: 2
B2B: 0
Road Vs Home: 2 Road, 1 Home
Matchup of the Week: Denver Nuggets
Week W/L Prediction: 3-0
Total W/L Record: 22-18

Utah gets 4 days off and attacks the schedule. Favors and Gobert will face two big backcourts this week, and Gobert will get to establish his dominance over Hasheem Thabeet Hassan Whiteside once again. By this point we should expect Donovan Mitchell to have gained major minutes.

The matchup of the week will be the Denver Nuggets. The Jazz are winning at least 2 games this week with Denver being the big hurdle. I see Utah winning this one due to urgency because of their brutal December bringing them down to .500.

Week 13

Opponents: @ Washington Wizards 1/10, @ Charlotte Hornets 1/12
Possible +.500 Matchups: 2
B2B: 0
Road Vs Home: 2 Road, 0 Home
Matchup of the Week: Washington Wizards
Week W/L Prediction: 1-1
Total W/L Record: 23-19

What? Only two games in one week? What are we going to do with ourselves? The Utah Jazz get a much needed breather in week 13. Utah gets 3 days off in between Miami and Washington, 2 days off between Washington and Charlotte, then 3 days between Charlotte and Indiana. I have Utah going 1-1 on this trip but I don’t really know who they’re going to lose to. I just know that they’ll beat the Wizards, feel like they’re on top of the world, and play a dud in Charlotte. Or they’ll lose to Washington and play with urgency in Charlotte, then win.

Matchup of the week is always John Wall. If you have the chance to pick John Wall you do it. Seeing Rubio face off against Wall will be a pleasure. Watching Mitchell guard Wall and Beal will be even better.

Week 14

Opponents: @ Indiana Pacers 1/15, @ Sacramento Kings 1/17, vs. New York Knicks 1/19 (ESPN), v. LA Clippers 1/20
Possible +.500 Matchups: 1
B2B: 1
Road Vs Home: 2 Road, 2 Home
Matchup of the Week: LA Clippers
Week W/L Prediction: 4-0
Total W/L Record: 27-19

It’s weird to have a game against the Pacers and not have the storyline of Gordon Hayward and Paul George and who should have been drafted first. This feels much like when Deron Williams was traded from Utah and Chris Paul was traded from New Orleans. A matchup that once had a lot of emotions tied to it is absolutely meaningless on both sides. I see Utah going 4-0 this week and building momentum. They could go 3-1 this week, not because they lose to the Clippers but because they lose to the Kings. They always inexplicably lose to the Kings.

LA Clippers get to visit Utah in the matchup of the week. Utah beats them handily and Joe Ingles and Joe Johnson remind Clippers’ fans nationwide why they’ll never name their kids Joseph.

Week 15

Opponents: @ Atlanta Hawks 1/22, @ Detroit Pistons 1/24, @ Toronto Raptors 1/26
Possible +.500 Matchups: 1
B2B: 0
Road Vs Home: 3 Road, 0 Home
Matchup of the Week: Toronto Raptors
Week W/L Prediction: 2-1
Total W/L Record: 29-20

Utah catches a break on this road trip as they face two rebuilding teams, one that knows it’s rebuilding and one that’s in denial, before they face the Toronto Raptors. Sefolosha gets a bit of reunion game with Atlanta in this week.

Toronto is the matchup of the week. Give me DeRozan vs Mitchell and feed it into my veins. Rodney Hood will have to show out in this matchup. I see Utah losing this one.

Week 16

Opponents: v. Golden State Warriors 1/30, @ Phoenix Suns 2/2, @ San Antonio Spurs 2/3
Possible +.500 Matchups: 2
B2B: 1
Road Vs Home: 2 Road, 1 Home
Matchup of the Week: Golden State Warriors
Week W/L Prediction: 1-2
Total W/L Record: 30-22

Utah gets its first real crack at Golden State at full strength. No weird scheduling quirk affecting the Utah Jazz in this matchup. Jazz will have 4 days to get ready for Golden State. Utah will also face San Antonio during the 2nd game of their 4 game road trip. By this point in the season, Utah will be heavy in the rumor mill with all of their non-guaranteed and expiring contracts.

Golden State vs Utah. Utah will lose this matchup but they’ll push the Warriors to their limit with all the different defensive lineups they have. Hood and Rubio have games to remember and Gobert puts up 25 and 18. But KD does what KD does and wins it in the end.

Week 17

Opponents: @ New Orleans Pelicans 2/5 (NBATV), @ Memphis Grizzlies 2/7, v. Charlotte Hornets 2/9, @ Portland Trail Blazers 2/11
Possible +.500 Matchups: 3
B2B: 0
Road Vs Home: 3 Road, 1 Home
Matchup of the Week: New Orleans Pelicans
Week W/L Prediction: 2-2
Total W/L Record: 32-24

4 games in 7 days with this week ending just a few days before the trade deadline. Utah will go 2-2 in this week just due to all the traveling and playing 3 possible above .500 teams. When Utah faces Portland, Portland could be swirling with trade rumors if they’re underperforming for the year. Even better, Utah playing in Portland could be the trade partner those rumors are about.

Matchup of the Week is Jazz vs Pellies. VIVA LOS BIGMEN! With the NBA going small Utah and New Orleans are bucking the trend with their talented frontlines. Should be a great matchup to watch.

Week 18

Opponents: v. San Antonio Spurs 2/12, v. Phoenix Suns 2/14
Possible +.500 Matchups: 1
B2B: 1
Road Vs Home: 0 Road, 2 Home
Matchup of the Week: San Antonio Spurs
Week W/L Prediction: 1-1
Total W/L Record: 33-25

Only two matchups before the trade deadline and at home. This puts Utah in a great position for any deals for the deadline. They make a deal at this point they have a few practice days before the break and few after to integrate new players. They actually play 6 straight games at home. TONS of practice time. The NBA Scheduling gods are begging Utah to make a deal at the deadline.

Matchup of the week is San Antonio but the Jazz will lose because it’s on the backend of a B2B and it’s the Spurs. Wah-wah.

Week 19

Opponents: v. Portland Trailblazers 2/23, v. Dallas Mavericks 2/24
Possible +.500 Matchups: 1
B2B: 1
Road Vs Home: 0 Road, 2 Home
Matchup of the Week: Portland Trailblazers
Week W/L Prediction: 2-0
Total W/L Record: 35-25

Two games in a week again. Jazz will start out the post-trade deadline going 2-0. Utah will be on fire after the trade deadline because of this home stretch and cupcake schedule.

Matchup of the week is against Portland. But depending on which direction Portland trends this week might be a dud, but it will result in two wins for Utah.

Week 20

Opponents: v. Houston Rockets 2/26, v. Minnesota Timberwolves 3/2 (ESPN), @ Sacramento Kings 3/3
Possible +.500 Matchups: 2
B2B: 1
Road Vs Home: 1 Road, 2 Home
Matchup of the Week: Minnesota Timberwolves
Week W/L Prediction: 2-1
Total W/L Record: 37-26

Houston and Minnesota roll into town. The Minnesota game is televised. I see Utah going 2-1 this week, but the Jazz aren’t losing to the Rockets or Timberpups. They lose to the Kings because when in doubt, the Jazz will lose to the bottom dwelling Kings.

Matchup of the week is Minnesota vs Utah. Rubio gets his revenge. Teague looks lost guarding Ricky, Gobert dominates KAT, and Ingles and Hood put on a show against Butler while Sefolosha disrupts Butler in his limited minutes. Exum goes nuts.

Week 21

Opponents: v. Orlando Magic 3/5, v. Indiana Pacers 3/7, v. Memphis Grizzlies 3/9, @ New Orleans Pelicans 3/11
Possible +.500 Matchups: 2
B2B: 0
Road Vs Home: 1 Road, 3 Home
Matchup of the Week: Memphis Grizzlies
Week W/L Prediction: 3-1
Total W/L Record: 40-27

The Jazz get more relief on the schedule. They get some bottom dwelling Eastern Conference teams to roll up at home. The Magic and Pacers will provide the Jazz will ample opportunities to start figuring out who needs to trim down the minutes on the Jazz squad as they begin to prepare for the playoffs.

The matchup of the week is against Memphis. Marc Gasol vs Rudy Gobert. Spain vs France. It’s medieval. Rubio vs Conley. Memphis and Utah are bizarro twins. The same team in different timelines. Utah’s ascending while Memphis is descending. Utah wins. Then ends the week with a loss against the Pellies.

Week 22

Opponents: v. Detroit Pistons 3/13, v. Phoenix Suns 3/15, v. Sacramento Kings 3/17
Possible +.500 Matchups: 0
B2B: 0
Road Vs Home: 0 Road, 3 Home
Matchup of the Week: Sacramento Kings
Week W/L Prediction: 3-0
Total W/L Record: 43-27

The Utah Jazz go 3-0. They are able to beat up on 3 lottery teams. The matchup of th week is against the Sacramento Kings because George Hill makes his return. There’s not much to say about this week other than 3 lottery teams, 3 wins for Utah.

Week 23

Opponents: v. Atlanta Hawks 3/20, @ Dallas Mavericks 3/22, @ San Antonio Spurs 3/23, @Golden State Warriors 3/25 (NBATV)
Possible +.500 Matchups: 2
B2B: 1
Road Vs Home: 1 Road, 3 Home
Matchup of the Week: Golden State Warriors
Week W/L Prediction: 1-3
Total W/L Record: 44-30

Back to reality falls Utah. With games against San Antonio and Golden State the Jazz will get welcome back to playing playoff teams in week 23. Utah will lose to Dallas as their rookie Dennis Smith Jr. goes ham as he is starting to get a handle of NBA life.

The matchup of the week is Golden State. Utah gets a shot to play them not terribly tired in Golden State. Utah has a chance of winning this one because Golden State is strategically still resting players because, of course, they are.

Week 24

Opponents: v. Boston Celtics 3/28 (ESPN ), v. Memphis Grizzlies 3/30, @ Minnesota Timberwolves 4/1
Possible +.500 Matchups: 2
B2B: 1
Road Vs Home: 1 Road, 2 Home
Matchup of the Week: Boston Celtics
Week W/L Prediction: 1-2
Total W/L Record: 45-32

Utah’s week 24 will be emotional. They play an ESPN game against Boston. Gordon Hayward returns to Utah. He will be booed out of the building. He was booed when he became a Jazzman, it’s only customary to boo him as he enters the building for the first time not as a Jazzman. This is the matchup of the year, easy. Utah will win this won but it’ll take everything. It’ll be emotional, hard-fought, and the team will be up to the challenge.

The game however will carry into the week. The Jazz will fall against the Grizzlies at home only a few days later and to the Timberwolves who are in full #PlayoffPush mode.

Week 25

Opponents: v. Los Angeles Lakers 4/3, v. LA Clippers 4/5, @ Los Angeles Lakers 4/8
Possible +.500 Matchups: 2
B2B: 1
Road Vs Home: 1 Road, 2 Home
Matchup of the Week: LA Clippers
Week W/L Prediction: 3-0
Total W/L Record: 48-32

Redemption will then come in the form of LA. Thanks, LA! The tanking Lakers will provide the Jazz with 2 wins and another chance to see Donovan Mitchell show that you don’t need a sideshow dad to be a Big Baller.

The matchup of the week is the Clippers because screw Lavar Ball. Jazz go 3-0 this week.

Week 26

Opponents: v. Golden State Warriors 4/10, @ Portland Trailblazers 4/11
Possible +.500 Matchups: 2
B2B: 1
Road Vs Home: 1 Road, 2 Home
Matchup of the Week: Golden State Warriors
Week W/L Prediction: 2-0
Total W/L Record: 50-32

The Utah Jazz get to 50 wins due to the Warriors resting all of their players and the Portland Trailblazers avoiding having anymore injuries due to being on the outside looking in for the playoffs. Utah is able to get that fabled win against Golden State. Quin Snyder is in Coach of the Year discussion due to the Jazz’s unexpected 50 win season.

Summary

There definitely is a path to 50 wins here for Utah. It’s going to depend on health and if Utah can capitalize on their easier early schedule. If they don’t, then once December and January hit this team could be going fire sale by the trade deadline. If they do take advantage of that heavy home schedule to start the season then Utah could be the surprise team of next season ... again.