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Utah Jazz take on the New Zealand Breakers - Preseason Preview

Another chance for the Utah Jazz

Portland Trail Blazers v Utah Jazz Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

After a much better performance against the Portland Trail Blazers, the Utah Jazz will face off against the New Zealand Breakers.

After a change to the starting lineup, the Jazz looked much better on offense against the Blazers than they did against the Los Angeles Clippers. They get another chance to iron out some of their issues against a Breakers team that shouldn’t give them too much trouble, at least they shouldn’t if the Jazz want to become a high-level team this year.

It went well last game, so it’s likely that the Jazz go with the same starting lineup they did last game. Talen Horton-Tucker starting with Jordan Clarkson had the offense running at a high level and if it looks good again against the Breakers, we will likely see that lineup for the rest of the preseason. The question for the lineup will now be defense. It’s not a very good test against the Breakers but there are some things to pay attention to the main thing being the defense. Can the Jazz show some improvement on the defensive end this season? Having Walker Kessler play full-time obviously helps with the rim protection, but will the Jazz perimeter players be able to slow teams down enough to be an average-level defense this year? Utah was consistently in the bottom five defensively last year, and getting to an average level would actually be a huge win for this team.

Another thing to watch for is Walker Kessler and his three-point shooting. Already, we’ve started seeing Kessler take 1-2 threes a game. Having Kessler knock that shot down at a respectable level could take the Jazz’s offense to another level. The entire team is young and athletic, and having 5-out options on offense could make them incredibly difficult to guard.

Finally, how much time does Keyonte George get on the floor? Every time George is on the floor he’s doing more and more to show that he is a future star in the league. At what point does it start to look like he’s too good to come off the bench?

Game Info

When: 7:00 PM MT - 10/16/23

Where: Delta Center, Salt Lake City, UT

TV: KJZZ, Jazz+