The 2017-18 NBA schedule was released today, in all it’s glory. We now know every single matchup of the coming NBA season, and there looks to be some fun ones for the Utah Jazz. You can view the full schedule here, so pull it up and lets go through some initial thoughts.
17 National TV Appearances
The Utah Jazz will play in 17 nationally-televised games during the 2017-18 NBA season. Eight games on ESPN, three on TNT, and six on NBATV (yes, these count). The Jazz are fun again, and the NBA knows it. They know that people want to watch Donovan Mitchell. Most of these national TV games are the late matchups (8:30 PM MST), which makes for great late-night fun. This exposure is a great sign for the Jazz and the direction this basketball team is headed.
Gordon Hayward’s Return
Jazz fans have been waiting for this one. After Hayward’s gruesome injury on opening night last season, we’ve been forced to wait almost 18 months to see Gordon Hayward as an opponent vs the Utah Jazz. The time will finally come on November 9th, on a Friday night on ESPN for the world to see. Don’t expect Jazz fans to go easy on Hayward because he sat out last season. We all want to see Hayward back healthy and playing basketball again, but that doesn’t change things. If there was one night where you want the Jazz to win, it’s November 9th. The fans are gonna bring it on that autumn night, let’s hope the Jazz players do too.
Battle for the Future
The Jazz will host the Philadelphia 76ers and Ben Simmons on December 27th on TNT. This game will feature a battle of the Sophomores (what do we even call Ben Simmons, really?) in Donovan Mitchell and Ben Simmons, two of the brightest young stars in the NBA. You can bet there will be plenty of good signs and chants from Jazz Nation which will be sure to get the exposure it deserves on TNT. If you’ve been waiting for Donovan Mitchell to get revenge on his rightfully-deserved Rookie of the Year award, this might be the night for you.
The Jazz play four games vs the re-industrialized “Showtime Lakers” this season, and three of them are on national TV. I don’t know about you, but I am actually really excited to see what comes to pass with this Lakers squad this season. It will be fun to see how the Jazz match up with LeBron on his new squad, with 3⁄4 of these matchups coming on the national stage.
End of November Road Games
We all remember how brutal last December was for the Utah Jazz. The road trips combined with the quality of opponents was a tough draw for the Jazz, and it showed in their December record. This year’s version of December looks to be towards the end of November, when the Jazz will play a stretch of 10 out of 12 games on the road, including games in Philadelphia, Boston, Indiana and Los Angeles. The schedule gets a little easier heading in to December, but remains pretty tough through the end of the year. The Jazz will need to find that same road rhythm they ended the regular season with last year, and hope to survive that tough upcoming stretch.
This is old news by now, but still so much fun to talk about. The Jazz will take part in three NBA Specials this season, including a game part of NBA Opening Week (Home opener vs Golden State 10/19 on ESPN), a game in Mexico City (vs Orlando on 12/15) and a game on Christmas Day (Portland on ESPN). These specials are exciting games that the Jazz will be a part of, and it’s going to be fun to see how they play on these different types of national stages.
Comment below on your first reactions to the Utah Jazz 2018-19 schedule!