In the Jazz’s first home game of the preseason, they’ll take on the New Orleans Pelicans minus Zion Williamson who is recovering from a surgery he had on his foot. That leaves the Pelicans with Brandon Ingram who has actually been a Jazz killer in the past. This will be a good test for the Jazz to see if they can slow him down.
After two preseason games, where the Utah Jazz have gone 0-2, there are some things to take from the first two losses. Considering the Jazz have rested most of their rotation players for both games, the losses don’t really matter. With the Jazz not playing their main rotation players, we’ve seen them try some interesting lineups, something they definitely should keep doing. The most interesting was seeing Eric Paschall start at center for a Jazz small-ball lineup that did surprisingly well against Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks.
Probably the biggest story for the Jazz this preseason has been the play of Jared Butler. In two preseason games, Butler is averaging 19 points which ties him for 11th in the league. In fact, let’s look at that chart of players.
Jared Butler is tied in PPG with Damian Lillard and Jayson Tatum. Is he as good as those players already? I’m not saying that, but I’m not ... not saying that either.
Regardless if Jared Butler is a top ten player and future hall of famer or not, his play in preseason has been very impressive and the Jazz should be excited about what he can do. The 19 ppg is exciting considering he’s done that as the main scoring option when he’s been on the floor, but it’s also the assists he’s been creating as well. In 25 minutes per game he’s averaging 3 assists. Another good sign is the 1 steal per game as a rookie. Now, it’s easy to get excited, and honestly, we should, but things are only going to ramp up with better talent. If he keeps this up against starting level guys, the Jazz have to figure out how to get him on the floor. If Quin Snyder isn’t willing to make tough decisions to make that happen, the front office will have to.
In this game, it’s a chance for Snyder to get him on the floor guilt-free. Think of this as a diet soda of games, you can do whatever you want and there’s no issue. With only Rudy Gay missing the game because of the recovery on his foot, the Jazz will likely be playing their starters at least the first half. The best thing in this game would be for more minutes given to Butler. The Jazz need to figure out lineups with him on the floor. If they don't do it now, when will they? Not experimenting will just leave this team with a bunch of aspartame.
When: 7:00 PM MT - Oct 11, 2021
Where: Vivint Arena, Salt Lake City, UT
TV: NBA TV, AT&T SportsNet-Rocky Mountain (allegedly) - Pelicans.com
Jazz main rotation guys are still in alongside Eric Paschall and Elijah Hughes. It’s nice to see Hughes get some minutes alongside the strong rotation players
Jazz end the quarter up 95-65. Rudy Gobert has been completely dominant this game with 19 points and 19 rebounds.
The Jazz will likely pull the starters soon now that they’re up 30 in a preseason game. With Trent Forrest out with what looks like a concussion, it should be a lot of end-of-the-bench guys from here on out.
Gobert’s girlfriend Hannah Stocking appears to be at the game. Possibly the most famous of Jazz player girlfriends?
https://t.co/zF6bot0jf9 pic.twitter.com/pqhmMxheei— Laird (@lairddoman) October 12, 2021
Halftime: Jazz 63 - Pelicans 46
With Rudy Gobert on the floor things have ramped up for the Utah Jazz. It’s apparent that the Mike Conley/Rudy Gobert combo is big for the Jazz because it allows them easy points against 2nd units.
Josh Hart was ejected with two technicals. It provided Jazz fans with a great Joe Ingles moment
Joe Ingles is a treasure pic.twitter.com/ndHXzvQcJS— James Haunting Hansen (@hansenjames) October 12, 2021
The Jazz lead the Pelicans 28-22 after one quarter. The Offense looked strong to start but fizzled as the game went on. Considering the Pelicans are down their two best players, the Jazz would likely like to see the team dominated a little more.
It was also a mixed bag with new backup center Hassan Whiteside. Whether it’s his fault or not, the Jazz lead shrunk without Gobert.
The Jazz were minus seven in five non rudy minutes— Tony Jones (@Tjonesonthenba) October 12, 2021