It’s finally here, Utah Jazz basketball is back!
After one of the most transformative offseasons in the history of the team, the Jazz will take on Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets with a completely different team than last year. And just to be clear, this team is not as good as last year. The question is how much worse will it be?
That’s the question that’s going to dictate everything for this team. The first 20 games for the Jazz this season have them facing the best in the league and it’s hard to imagine them winning a lot of those games. Maybe they’ll somehow surprise everyone and find a style and cohesion that can upset teams like the Nuggets, or maybe a team designed to have younger, developing players will find itself losing a lot of games by design. We’ll have a lot of answers on opening night.
The Jazz will come into this one mostly healthy, with the only scratch being Udoka Azubuike.
Udoka Azubuike is OUT for tomorrow's season opener vs. Denver due to right ankle surgery. Everyone else, including Malik Beasley, is available.— Andy Larsen (@andyblarsen) October 18, 2022
Having all their main rotation guys available is the ideal situation if the Jazz are looking to win the game, but it will also keep the Jazz from being able to play some of the young players they received in their blockbuster trades. Players like Walker Kessler and Ochai Agbaji need a chance to get on the floor. What’s the most likely scenario? The Jazz are probably going to allow Will Hardy to coach like he’s competing for the playoffs. If anything, this season is as much a chance for Hardy to develop as a coach as it is for the players. After a third of the season, if the losses have racked up, the Jazz will likely move some of the veterans to make sure the younger players get more minutes.
That said, nothing is certain, and we’ll find out a lot in game 1 who the Jazz are this season.
When: 7:00 PM MT
Where: Vivint Arena, Salt Lake City, UT
Radio: 97.5/1280 The Zone