It’s a good thing we can’t really draw conclusions from the first game of the preseason because the Utah Jazz did not look good. Coming into this season, many experts and fans expect the inexperienced Jazz to have a hard time winning games this year. But if the Jazz play like they did Sunday in Toronto, it is going to be an even longer season than expected for Utah fans.
Give credit to the Raptors in this game. They have become a team that is always hard to play with their core of Pacal Siakam, Scottie Barnes and Fred Van Fleet. Who knows what the upcoming season will hold for this team, but if they play anything like they did tonight then they could become a dark horse team to watch in the Eastern Conference. An eye popping 18 players saw the floor for the Raptors tonight and they turned in a balanced performance as a team with everyone that played registering a positive +/-. The Raptors bench turned in the most important performance tonight with a dominant 3rd quarter to put the game away for good.
The Jazz were only trailing by 1 point at halftime but the Raptors opened up the third quarter on a 10-0 runs and the game was never close again after that. Even though it is only preseason and new coach Will Hardy may have been experimenting with what is almost a whole different team, it is hard to see this Jazz team winning more than 20-25 games this year. Lauri Markkanen was a bright spot tonight with 20 points to lead Utah. No player on either team played more than 25 minutes tonight and the Jazz managed to get a look at 15 different players. There was definitely some experimenting going on and it is exciting to think about who is going to emerge and become a leader on this team.
Although this game might have brought a sense of hopelessness to Jazz fans, lets remember that it means nothing(yet) and this season still has the potential to be exciting even if it’s just because their isn’t as much drama as there has been in recent seasons. Let’s just hope that the Jazz can bounce back and get the win against Portland on Tuesday.