Tomorrow (Tuesday, September 20th) marks one week from the official kickoff of training camp. From there, three weeks will pass in a blur before we’re into the regular season. Where did the time go?
This has been one of the more intense, “edge of your seat” offseasons the Utah Jazz have ever had. Trading two All-Stars, stock-piling picks, and landing numerous intriguing players to the roster gives the organization A LOT to talk about heading into the season.
Common topic when it comes to describing Coach Hardy: his #TakeNote https://t.co/G8ilArC6HO pic.twitter.com/d4J6reuval— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) September 14, 2022
With hope restored for the future and an exciting present, getting out to the arena will be an underrated good time this upcoming season.
Utah finalized a multi-year rebrand with new jerseys and court to match. While the outlook on the jerseys has been polarized at best, the arena and court look excellent and boast a promising aesthetic.
Utah Jazz is Get New Uniforms and a New Court Design pic.twitter.com/brHJIfTuf8— (@TreSportMaster) July 7, 2022
In the spirit of all that has changed with the team, we’re renewing for a second straight year our picks of games you’ll want to attend this season.
Last year we suggested 6 games, among them were thrilling finishes against Milwaukee Bucks and Houston Rockets, blowouts against the Golden State Warriors and Dallas Mavericks, and entertaining matchups with the Charlotte Hornets and Toronto Raptors.
Last year we focused on games with the most entertainment potential for the money. This year we’re looking for the best value so fans can get out to the arena often and make amazing memories with our new team.
Before we dive into our list, a quick disclaimer:
Ticket pricing listed is based on observations from 9/18 via Ticketmaster. SLC Dunk cannot guarantee ticket prices. Evaluation of value is the author’s opinion.
LA Clippers, November 22nd | January 18th
If you’re the type who looks for star-studded matchups and wants to see the league’s best on display, you’ll be hard pressed to find better value than the Clippers who travel to Utah twice this season.
Kawhi Leonard returns to action after a season off with an ACL injury and Paul George figures as healthy once again. LA has assembled arguably their deepest and most versatile roster ever and projects to be a Western Conference juggernaut.
With all stars, especially Leonard and George, there’s risk of “load management” keeping the stars on the bench. Afterall, both trips are the second nights of back-to-backs.
However, of the 12 B2B’s during the 2020-21 season, Kawhi played both games 6 times and suited up for a single game 4 times. For a mid-January game at this value, I’m willing to bet on Leonard suiting up and putting on a show.
Safe to say Kawhi Leonard was not messing around during the season he was forced to miss. pic.twitter.com/8W859cwNrU— Kawhi Leonard & Paul George History (@PG13KL2History) September 17, 2022
In November, the Clippers will be wrapping up a 2 game road trip while in January they’ll begin a 4 game trip against the Jazz.
Tickets start at just $16 in the upper bowl and $69 in the lower bowl. If you’re looking for upper bowl tickets, the best value is Jan 18th while Nov 22nd is best for a lower bowl experience. Don’t spend nausea inducing money for the Lakers when you can see similar stars on a far superior team with big savings.
Detroit Piston’s, November 23rd
If you’re the type who wants to hit up a lot of games, this is a great game to not break the bank and still ensure a great show.
This isn’t the Pistons you remember from a couple seasons ago. They’ve stock piled a handful of exciting young players in Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey (#5 pick rookie), Jalen Duren (#13 pick rookie), and Saddiq Bey.
You’ll see a lot of speed, athleticism, and passing in this one that’s likely to be an offensive spectacle. The 2022-23 Utah Jazz will likely mirror a similar style with less flashy names. This is a sure fire entertaining game for pennies.
Detroit will be on a back-to-back while Utah having a single day’s rest. Pistons will also be playing the 5th of a 6 game road trip.
Tickets start at $9 in the upper bowl and $47 in the lower bowl. It’s also one of the best games to get premium upper bowl seating (side view, rows 1-3 as low as $31). This is my favorite pick for a cheap game to see a high paced game full of rising stars, and maybe walk out of the arena with a “W”.
Memphis Grizzlies, October 31st
Last season the Memphis Grizzlies were must see TV. Between Desmond Bane breaking out as a rising star and perfect #3 to Jaren Jackson Jr. achieving his DPOY level upside, the Grizz were a league pass darling.
Oh, and not to mention the super-human highlights of one Ja Morant:
This block by Ja Morant is still insane pic.twitter.com/rGXqVooM69— NBA Memes (@NBAMemes) July 24, 2022
JJJ is recovering from injury and while he is progressing well, it’s unlikely he’ll suit up for this matchup (hence the great deal). But you’re still looking at a stout team with internal expectations to compete in the West.
They were, after all, the #2 team in the West who featured a breakout MVP candidate. You’ll be hard pressed to see an opponent this year with that kind of resume for these prices.
Memphis and Utah will both be at 1 days rest while Memphis will be on the 3rd game of a 4 stop road trip.
Tickets can be had as low as $11 in the upper bowl and $54 in the lower bowl...for last year’s #2 seed in the West. So long as you can stomach watching Desmond Bane, knowing full well he should be a Jazz man, this is one of the best values for one of the best teams.
New Orleans Pelicans, December 13th
Games against the Pelicans practically sell themselves at this point. Multiple All-Stars in Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram, capable vets in CJ McCollum and Jonas Valanciunas, highlight worthy defenders in Herb Jones and Jose Alvarado; it just doesn’t get better than that.
How has Zion Williamson been preparing for Year 4?— Will Guillory (@WillGuillory) September 19, 2022
He constructed a rigid 8-week plan with strength and conditioning coach Jasper Bibbs that Bibbs believes will have Zion looking as good as ever.
"He’s a better athlete now than he’s ever been.”https://t.co/sXdghj6sRw
Zion is box-office enough with what he can do. After missing last season all indications are he’s ready to resume his dominance in the paint. He’s all-in with a contract extension and in tremendous shape, by all reports.
Last time we saw Zion he was putting up 27.0 pts, 7.2 rbs, 3.7 ast on 65% TS. That’s...jaw dropping for a sophomore. What’s in store for his 3rd season? We could be looking at an MVP campaign.
The Pelicans will be on 1 day of rest to the Jazz 2 and on the first night of a 3 game road trip.
Tickets start at $12 in the upper bowl and $60 in the lower bowl. Few teams pose the combination of all-stars, highlight reels, and young players as New Orleans. You could very well be seeing a team bursting onto the scene as a West threat for what you spend at the movie theater.
Orlando Magic, January 13th
Another fantastic game with rising stars and young talent takes place against the Magic in mid-January. The game will feature #1 pick Paolo Banchero and last season’s #5 and #7 picks in Jalen Suggs and German National Team standout Franz Wagner.
Paolo is the prototypical franchise player archetype and is projected as an immediate contributor. Currently sporting the highest odds, you may witness a Rookie of the Year season in person.
The Orlando Magic are also a fascinating comparison team to Utah when they traded Nikola Vucevic and Aaron Gordon two trade deadlines ago to kick-off a rebuild. The future appears bright now with a mini-rebuild yielding hope for the franchise.
Both the Magic and Jazz will be on 2 days rest but Orlando will be on the 4th game of a 5 game road trip.
Tickets start at $18 in the upper bowl and $59 in the lower bowl. Be especially diligent to find the right tickets as this game has some unusual variance in prices. But if you score them at these prices, you’ll find yourself watching stars in the making and get a competitive feel throughout.
Visiting the arena to cheer on the Jazz is special and doing so knowing you snagged seats at incredible value is all the more sweet.
I know I’ll be hitting up a couple of the games mentioned above and hope to see you at the Viv. Drop a comment below or tagging @slcdunk on Twitter telling us which game you’re hoping to attend this season!