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League Pass Subscriber? Here’s Who You Should Watch

LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on against the Brooklyn Nets during their game at the Barclays Center on December 18, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Salt Lake City, Utah – The NBA season is nearly underway and fans are signing up for NBA League Pass, the streaming service that allows fans to watch every game throughout the season.

The subscription allows viewers to choose which broadcast team they prefer, and which they prefer to avoid – sorry Boston.

That much power in one person’s hand may make an NBA fan feel like they’ve acquired all of the Infinity Stones.

Unfortunately, games across the country are subjected to regional blackouts – meaning local fans won’t find Jazz games using the subscription. This is a ranking of teams Jazz fans around the league should be tuning into, even when the Jazz aren’t playing. 


The Ranking System:

KSL Sports has ranked the watchability of each team, based on a three-part ranking system:

  • Impact on the Jazz – How each individual team will affect the Jazz playoff hopes throughout the season.
  • Links to Jazz – The number of players with Utah ties within the team’s organization.
  • Enjoyability – The overall enjoyability, and approachability of each team’s style of play, and product on the floor. 

1. Denver Nuggets: 

Impact on Jazz: 9/10

Links to Jazz: 8/10

Enjoyability: 9/10

Overall: 26/30

The Denver Nuggets will be a must-watch most nights they are playing.

Not only do the Jazz the share Northwest Division the Nuggets, but their roster makeup is remarkably similar.

Both teams have unique centers that their rosters are built around. Rudy Gobert and Nikola Jokić are two of the best centers in the league and are surrounded by dynamic backcourts. Mike Conley Jr. and Donovan Mitchell run the show in Utah, while Jamal Murray and Gary Harris are the guards for the Nuggets.

Lopsided draft day trades sent Gobert and Mitchell to Utah from Denver, and have set the Jazz on their championship path.

Former Jazzman Paul Millsap calls Denver home and the addition of rookies Michael Porter Jr. and Bol Bol will be worth tracking through the season.

Jokić is one of the most enjoyable big men in the NBA to watch as he makes nightly highlight reel passes, rivaling the best assists the league has ever seen. 

Impact on the Jazz, roster familiarity and the stylish play of Jokić make the Nuggets the biggest must-watch opponent for Jazz fans. 

2. New Orleans Pelicans: 

Impact on Jazz: 8/10

Links to Jazz: 7/10

Enjoyability: 10/10

Overall: 25/30

The New Orleans Pelicans started their rebuilding process this summer when a series of lottery balls fell in their favor, and they were gifted the top selection in the summer’s NBA Draft.

Zion Williamson, the most highly touted prospect since LeBron James was an obvious selection for the Pelicans.

The Pelicans followed up their lottery luck by trading superstar Anthony Davis.

The Lakers sent the Pelicans an embarrassment of riches including former lottery picks Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram to pair with All-Star guard Jrue Holiday, plus a slew of draft picks.

Familiar face Derrick Favors now calls New Orleans home, but Jazz fans admiration for the nine-year big-man out of Georgia Tech followed him to the Bayou.

Williamson wasted no time in his preseason debut proving he is must-watch TV, throwing down a pair of dunks in the first quarter against the Atlanta Hawks.

The rookie out of Duke will be a walking poster whenever he’s on the floor, and a regular on SportsCenter top plays.

Mix in the hot shooting of JJ Redick, the draw of former Lone Peak prep-star Frank Jackson, and the Pelicans are a must-watch on game night. 

The Pelicans might earn the top spot in the rankings if it weren’t for a torn meniscus that will sideline Williamson for the first 6-8 weeks of the season.

3. Milwaukee Bucks:

Impact on Jazz: 7/10

Links to Jazz: 7/10

Enjoyability: 10/10

Overall: 24/30

The Milwaukee Bucks looked destined for a Finals run last season before running into the Kawhi Leonard led Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Giannis Antetokounmpo’s MVP season lifted the Bucks to the top record in the NBA, and they’ll look to repeat both achievements this year. 

The Bucks roster is loaded with Jazz connections.

Former Jazzmen Kyle Korver, George Hill and Wesley Matthews all call Milwaukee home.

Head coach Mike Budenholzer was Quin Snyder’s mentor in Atlanta, and runs a similar motion-based offense to generate open perimeter shots for his roster. 

The Bucks contending for a championship is a positive for the Jazz. As a fellow cold-weather, small-market team, winning at the highest levels is a good sign that championships can be won in non-major cities.

Between the athletic expertise of Antetokounmpo, an easy-on-the-eyes offense and a roster filled with former Jazz players, the Bucks earned the highest grade of any Eastern Conference Team in our league pass rankings.  

4. Portland Trail Blazers: 

Impact on Jazz: 9/10

Links to Jazz: 6/10

Enjoyability: 7/10

Overall: 22/30

Like the Nuggets, the Portland Trail Blazers rival the Jazz as contenders to win the Northwest Division title. Last year, the Blazers final game of the season determined the Jazz playoff match-up, and history could repeat itself this year, making every game a priority.

Former Weber State guard Damian Lillard is a fan favorite across the league, and is coming off an ultra-clutch performance against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round of the playoffs.

Former Jazzman Rodney Hood provided key scoring as a reserve for the Blazers. The sixth-year guard will look to rebuild his reputation as one of the more potent scoring wings in the league alongside Lillard and CJ McCollum. 

The Blazers will attempt to navigate the absence of Jusif Nurić who suffered a gruesome leg injury last season with shot blocker extraordinaire Hassan Whiteside.

Whiteside’s rivalry with Gobert provides added intrigue to a Blazers team that’s worth watching this season. 

5. Los Angeles Clippers: 

Impact on Jazz: 8/10

Links to Jazz: 3/10

Enjoyability: 10/10

Overall: 21/30

The Los Angeles Clippers ended up with the biggest score of the off-season, signing Kawhi Leonard and trading for MVP finalist Paul George. George cost the Clippers a record haul in young players and draft assets, but was the key to landing Leonard.

The Clippers went from scrappy playoff contender to favorites to win the 2020 NBA Finals with the signings. 

Leonard and George are worth watching every time they suit up, and the Clippers carry a strong supporting cast to boot.

Sixth Man of the Year Lou Williams, hot shooting Landry Shamet, and the pitbull-masquerading-as-a-point-guard Patrick Beverly provide plenty of excitement to the roster alongside the two future hall of famers.

The Clippers are dinged in watchability due to their overall lack of ties to the Jazz, and the loss of legendary play-by-play voice Ralph Lawler, but that is nitpicking a team that will be can’t miss all year long.

6. Los Angeles Lakers:

Impact on Jazz: 8/10

Links to Jazz: 3/10

Enjoyability: 10/10

Overall: 21/30

The Los Angeles Lakers had a busy offseason, mortgaging years of young assets to land Anthony Davis in an effort to build a contender around LeBron James in his twilight years.

Historically, the team that lands the superstar wins the trade, and the Lakers are happy to make that bet. However, they are left extremely thin from a roster standpoint after the trade. 

With Leonard choosing the crosstown rival Clippers, the Lakers were left scrambling to fill out their roster with leftovers on the free-agent market, and the results were a mixed bag.

Jared Dudley and Avery Bradley were once top role players in the league, but both are past their prime, and might not offer everything the Lakers need. Danny Green played a key role in the Raptors title run last season, but like Bradley and Dudley, Green is on the backside of his career.

DeMarcus Cousins’ knee injury that will sideline him for the season dealt the Lakers a serious blow, but may be an unforeseen positive, as the Lakers will likely be forced to play Davis more minutes at the center. Early preseason returns from Davis have been promising.

Former University of Utah forward Kyle Kuzma will be asked to be the third scorer on the roster. He will need to see a major upgrade in his efficiency to push the Lakers into championship contention, but a stress reaction in his foot has sidelined him through camp so far. 

The Lakers were far and away the league’s most disappointing team last season, failing to make the playoffs despite adding James, and will look to make a postseason run for the first time since 2013.

The overall star power, and potential for collapse make the Lakers and easy team to watch. 

7. Golden State Warriors:

Impact on Jazz: 7/10

Links to Jazz: 3/10

Enjoyability: 9/10

Overall: 19/30

It’s safe to say the Golden State Warriors are no longer the juggernaut they once were.

In addition to losing Kevin Durant to the Brooklyn Nets, Klay Thompson will be sidelined for most of, if not all of the season due to an ACL tear he suffered in June’s NBA Finals.

The loss in talent closes the gap between the Warriors and Jazz, as they’ll no longer enter the season as the presumptive favorite to win the West. 

Newcomers D’Angelo Russell and Willie Cauley-Stein will be asked to carry the load vacated by Durant and Cousins, and are a mixed bag anytime they suit-up. Former Jazz guard Alec Burks will look to extend his career in Golden State after signing a one year deal this summer.  

Draymond Green and Steph Curry remain staples in the Warriors lineup, and should win the Warriors enough games to compete for home court advantage in the playoffs. Curry will have to assume a much larger role without Thompson and Durant in the lineup, which makes them all the more watchable, but hurts the Warriors title hopes.

8. Memphis Grizzlies:

Impact on Jazz: 3/10

Links to Jazz: 7/10

Enjoyability: 8/10

Overall: 18/30

By design, the Memphis Grizzlies are going to be one of the worst teams in the NBA.

The Grizzlies traded Mike Conley to the Jazz to so Ja Morant, the number two overall pick in the draft, can develop as the point guard of the future. Morant played at Murray State, and led the team to an NCAA Tournament berth, but is making an enormous leap to the NBA at the league’s deepest position.

His athleticism will provide plenty of highlights for fans, but his development throughout the season will be reason enough to keep tuning in. 

The Grizzlies are ripe with Jazz connections. 

Jae Crowder and Grayson Allen will suit up in Memphis this year, and new head coach Taylor Jenkins was an assistant under Quin Snyder in the Austin Toros from 2009-2010. 

The Grizzlies won’t win many games, but they’ll play hard, and have a lot of exciting young talent between Morant, Allen, and Jaren Jackson Jr. 

The Grizzlies get bonus points for reissuing their Vancouver Grizzlies throwback jerseys, and because Ja Morant’s real first name is Temetrius. 

9. Boston Celtics:

Impact on Jazz: 2/10

Links to Jazz: 9/10

Enjoyability: 7/10

Overall: 18/30

If there’s a team Jazz fans love to hate, it’s the Boston Celtics.

Former Jazz All-Star Gordon Hayward continues his rehabilitation in Boston, now a full two years removed from the horrific ankle injury he suffered in 2017. He should look more like the player who made an All-Star appearance in a Jazz uniform, though his seven points per game average in preseason hasn’t been promising. 

If Hayward is public enemy number one in Utah, Enes Kanter is a close number two, and he too will don the Celtics green and gold this season.

Former BYU legend and Celtics general manager Danny Ainge lost Kyrie Iriving and Al Horford over the summer to Brooklyn and Philadelphia, but landed All-Star guard Kemba Walker. Walker brings a welcome culture upgrade to Boston team that lost interest last season.

Despite a lack of high picks, the Celtics had a terrific draft, landing Tennessee’s Grant Williams and microwave scorer Carsen Edwards.

The Jazz were also rumored to be targeting Edwards on draft night.

Fun fact, Celtics rookie Tacko Fall is the 27th tallest person in the world. That alone makes the Celtics worth watching.

10. Philadelphia 76ers: 

Impact on Jazz: 4/10

Links to Jazz: 6/10

Enjoyability: 7/10

Overall: 17/30

If the Celtics are the Jazz fans favorite team to hate, Philadelphia might be a close second.

Between Ben Simmons winning Rookie of the Year over Donovan Mitchell, and a growing beef between Joel Embiid and Rudy Gobert, there’s no love lost between the two fanbases. 

The 76ers lost Jimmy Butler to Miami this summer, but added the always underrated Al Horford to partner with Embiid in the frontcourt.

Horford is a great talent, but might be a clunky fit alongside the big bodies of Embiid and Simmons. 

Former Jazz point guards Raul Neto and Trey Burke are fighting for backup reps, a fun side-story for die-hards tuning into the 76ers this year.

Watching the 76ers, hoping for them to lose might be reason enough for Jazz fans to watch a handful of Philly games this season.

11. San Antonio Spurs: 

Impact on Jazz: 6/10

Links to Jazz: 5/10

Enjoyability: 5/10

Overall: 16/30

The San Antonio Spurs stayed relevant last season by making the playoffs, and pushing to the Nuggets to a seven-game series in the Western Conference first round.

With young guard Dejounte Murray returning to the lineup, the Spurs should be a safe bet to make the postseason once again. 

Leading scorers DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge do the majority of their scoring from inside the three-point arc, and the Spurs take the most mid-range jumpers of any team in the NBA. If you don’t love the mid-range game in the NBA, the Spurs may not be the team for you.

Former University of Utah center Jakob Pöelt and former Jazz forward Trey Lyles will wear the silver and black in San Antonio. Both face pivotal years for their careers which should draw some local interest.

Otherwise the Spurs may leave NBA fans feeling a little dry. 

12. Houston Rockets: 

Impact on Jazz: 8/10

Links to Jazz: 4/10

Enjoyability: 4/10

Overall: 16/30

The Houston Rockets were once again eliminated by the Warriors in the playoffs last season, which signaled the end of the Chris Paul era in Houston.

The Rockets shipped Paul to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Russell Westbrook in a Hail Mary move to keep their championship hopes alive. 

Former Jazzman Thabo Sefolosha will suit up in Houston, and should be easy to cheer for from a Jazz fans’ perspective, as he brought an element of professionalism and maturity to a young Jazz roster when they needed. This might be the final year of Sefolosha’s career, which is even more reason to tune in and watch the Swiss forward when he plays. 

Between the star power of Westbrook and James Harden, and the potential for a deep playoff run, the Rockets should be must watch TV. 

However, between fishing for foul calls and their isolation style of play makes them one of the harder teams to watch on a regular basis. Rockets watchability takes a hit with Harden’s new one footed three point shot. 

13. Dallas Mavericks:

Impact on Jazz: 3/10

Links to Jazz: 2/10

Enjoyability: 9/10

Overall: 14/30

The Dallas Mavericks won’t look anything like last season. That’s a good thing.

The Mavericks made a blockbuster trade for Kristaps Porzingis at the NBA trade deadline, but have had to wait for their young unicorn to make his debut in Dallas as he recovers from an ACL injury that he suffered in New York.

Before the injury, Porzingis was one of the league’s best young players, and maybe be the perfect player to take carry the torch for the now-retired Dirk Nowitzki. 

Luka Dončić was a phenom last season, winning rookie of the year honors, and providing Mavericks fans with plenty to watch as they await Porzingis’ return. Dončić will be joined in the backcourt by former University of Utah guard Delon Wright, which should provide intrigue to viewers in Utah. 

Dallas is a dark-horse to make the playoffs in the West.

14. Atlanta Hawks:

Impact on Jazz: 3/10

Links to Jazz: 2/10

Enjoyability: 8/10

Overall: 13/20

The Atlanta Hawks suffer in these rankings due to a relative lack of relation to the Jazz, and the minor impact they’ll have on the western conference playoff chase through the season.

However, even as a casual basketball fan, the Hawks should provide several reasons to tune in to a few games throughout the season. 

Atop that list is Trae Young who made a surprising push for the rookie of the year award over the second half of the season. Young electrified the NBA with a series of clutch performances that allowed Hawks fans to breathe a sigh of relief, after shipping Rookie of the Year winner Luka Dončić to Dallas for Young on draft night.

In addition to Young, the Hawks roll out exciting young forward John Collins, and the hot shooting Kevin Huerter, making for a promising young core. The Hawks get bonus points for employing Vince Carter for his record breaking 22nd season. 

15. Brooklyn Nets: 

Impact on Jazz: 1/10

Links to Jazz: 1/10

Enjoyability: 10/10

Overall: 12/30

The Brooklyn Nets, like the Atlanta Hawks will have very little to do with the Jazz this season, but play an exciting style of basketball. 

Adding the offensive wizardry of Kyrie Irving in the offseason is alone worth tuning in for. 

The Nets season will be marred by the absence of Kevin Durant who rehabs from an Achilles injury, but a playoff run should be in the cards for Brooklyn regardless of the sidelined superstar. 

In addition to a series of long athletic ball handlers, the Nets front-court of Jarrett Allen and DeAndre Jordan tag-teaming as shot blockers should provide nightly highlights as well. 

The Nets lose points for their new grey court, which might cause fans to attempt to adjust their television set when tuning in.

16. Sacramento Kings:

Impact on Jazz: 4/10

Links to Jazz: 3/10

Enjoyability: 4/10

Overall: 11/30

The Sacramento Kings will looked like a threat to finally break their 13 year playoff absence.

However, after a hot start, the Kings faded down the stretch and wound up finishing ninth in the Western Conference standings, a full nine games out of the eighth and final playoff spot.  

De’Aaron Fox turned in a promising sophomore campaign in Sacramento, as his lightning speed is the biggest draw for non Kings fans to watch, otherwise, expect another good, but ultimately irrelevant season from the long suffering Sacramento fans. 

Caleb Swanigan, who spent part of his childhood in Utah is on the Kings roster, faces a make or break season for his NBA career. Otherwise, this Kings roster offers little in the way of Jazz relevancy. Former BYU forward Eric Mika was waived by the Kings in the preseason.

17. Phoenix Suns:

Impact on Jazz: 3/10

Links to Jazz: 5/10

Enjoyability: 2/10

10/30

The Phoenix Suns have found themselves in one of the stranger rebuilding processes of any team in the NBA, and unfortunately for their fans, it might not be ending soon.

Devin Booker is the most prolific young scorer in the league, but has yet to provide anything for the franchise that resembles winning.

Meanwhile, drafting DeAndre Ayton over either Trae Young, or Luka Dončić looks like a questionable choice after one season.

Following former Jazz guard Ricky Rubio’s progress in Phoenix will be worth tracking. The inconsistent shooting from Rubio struggled to provide the spacing Donovan Mitchell needed to unlock the full potential his offensive game. Can Rubio help steady the manic Phoenix backcourt, or will the Suns be clamoring for a guard to provide Booker with more space to operate?

Monty Williams takes over as head coach, as former Jazz assistant Igor Kokoškov was relieved of his duties after just one season. Williams .439 winning percentage as a coach doesn’t inspire a ton of confidence.

The Suns bad ownership might only be outdone by the bad product they put on the floor last year, and Williams faces an uphill battle righting the ship. 

Unfortunately, Jimmer Fredette is no longer on the Suns roster, so they lose additional watchability points in these rankings. 

18. Indiana Pacers:

Impact on Jazz: 5/10

Links to Jazz: 1/10

Enjoyability: 4/10

Overall: 10/30

Much like the Jazz, the Indiana Pacers have long been one of the best-run franchises in the NBA.

The Pacers had a strong close to the season after star guard Victor Oladipo went down with a knee injury in late January, largely on the back of new Jazzman Bojan Bogdanović, who took a larger scoring role on offense late in the year. 

The Pacers added TJ Warren and Malcolm Brogdon over the summer, and should hover around a .500 record as they await the return of Oladipo. Oladipo appears to be on track to rejoin the team mid-season.

Like the Jazz, the Pacers are a small market team, and are batting to win with a dynamic guard-line, and a strong rim roller in Myles Turner, so seeing a trend where they can win consistently is a good omen for Utah. 

Head coach Nate McMillan likes to grind games to a halt which is good for defense, and bad for television viewers. Only five teams had a slower pace than Indiana last year, and without Oladipo, they’ll likely remain somewhat unwatchable. 

19. New York Knicks:

Impact on Jazz: 1/10

Links to Jazz: 1/10

Enjoyability: 6/10

8/10

If this were a ranking of professional ineptitude, the Knicks would be near the top of the list as this land of misfit toys continues to grow.

After striking out chasing free-agency’s biggest names, the Knicks settled for the likes of Julius Randle, Taj Gibson, and Marcus Morris, who are fine players, but won’t dramatically change the win total for a fan base that’s hungry for a championship product.

The truth is, so is the rest of the league. 

The Knicks have become the little brother of New York and the Brooklyn Nets hit a grand slam over the summer signing Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. 

While the Nets have championship hopes, Knicks fans are likely to turn to scouting prospects for the next NBA draft by mid-January.

Durant gave an honest answer to Hot 97, a radio station in New York. 

With no former Jazz players on the roster, local fans may find intrigue tracking the progress of rookie of RJ Barrett, the number three overall pick and former sidekick to Zion Williamson at Duke.

Otherwise, tune into see A-listers are still suffering through games on the sidelines, because the Knicks don’t offer much else. 

20. Miami Heat:

Impact on Jazz: 1/10

Links to Jazz: 1/10

Enjoyability: 5/10

7/30

The Miami Heat had a strong draw last season, as fans tuned in to see Dwayne Wade’s final NBA season.

While the Heat upgraded their talent with the addition of Jimmy Butler over the summer, the nomadic guard alone won’t draw many eyes to south beach, at least not on television. 

The Heat have been rumored to have interest in Chris Paul, and the Thunder would love to get out from underneath that contract, but until then, the Heat will be a good, not great team that struggles to stay competitive in the East. 

It might be worth checking on the Heat occasionally to see if Derrick Jones Jr. provides another one of these. 

21. Toronto Raptors: 

Impact on Jazz: 3/10

Links to Jazz: 1/10

Enjoyability: 3/10

Overall: 7/30

The Toronto Raptors won a championship. That’s not something many NBA fans ever expected to say.

That alone should allow fans north of the border to rest easy for the foreseeable future. Hopefully they enjoy their year long championship honeymoon because after losing Kawhi Leonard in free-agency, it might be tough times ahead for this aging roster. 

Kyle Lowry and Marc Gasol might have enough left in the tank to compete for a playoff spot in the East, but otherwise, and Pascal Siakam might be the next All-Star in Toronto, but otherwise, fans will be left grasping at straws. 

If you love Drake, it might be worth watching to see if his strange sideline antics continue with Raptors coach Nick Nurse.

With no discernible connection to former Jazz players, and almost no impact on the Jazz postseason hopes, it’s alright if Jazz fans see the Raptors play only twice this year, December 1 when the Jazz travel to Toronto, and March 9 in Salt Lake City.

22. Minnesota Timberwolves:

Impact on Jazz: 4/10

Links to Jazz: 2/10

Enjoyability: 1/10

Overall: 7/30

The Timberwolves should be higher on this list with two former number one overall picks on max contracts, and by sharing the Northwest division with the Jazz.

However, Andrew Wiggins and Karl Anthony-Towns are overflowing with talent but underwhelming with their interest in winning basketball games. It makes them a frustrating team to buy into. 

Rookie Jarrett Culver nearly lead Texas Tech to a national championship last season. That should add youthful exuberance to a roster that has grown stale, but putting that much pressure on a 20 year-old is a recipe for disaster.

Until the Timberwolves can find a way to shed themselves of Wiggins enormous contract, his lackadaisical attitude towards the game might overwhelm any young player on the team. 

The Jazz play the Timberwolves four times this season, including twice in the span of one week in a home-and-home back-to-back matchup. At least that lessens the time you have to spend with the team Hot Rod Huntley aptly named the Pesky Timberwolves. 

23. Oklahoma City Thunder: 

Impact on Jazz: 3/10

Links to Jazz: 3/10

Enjoyability: 5/10

Overall: 6/30

This is the point on the list where there’s a very realistic chance the average NBA won’t see these teams play even once this season.

Oklahoma City took a wrecking ball to their roster sending Paul George to the Los Angeles Clippers for a treasure-trove of draft picks, then sent Russell Westbrook to Houston in exchange for an aging Chris Paul, who is already on the trade block. 

Paul, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Danilo Gallinari, and Steven Adams are good enough to win 35 games, but the Thunder don’t want to win. How do you convince a veteran roster to play hard when the organization wants to lose games? 

At least Adams is fun to watch off the floor.

 

24. Charlotte Hornets:

Impact on Jazz: 2/10

Links to Jazz: 2/10

Enjoyability: 2/10

Overall: 6/30

Unwilling to pay Kemba Walker a near max contract to retain his service in Charlotte, the Hornets initiated a rebuild without an obvious future star already on the roster.

That sets back the roster building process several years, as first the organization must tank a season to get a high draft pick, then dedicate several years to developing that pick into a star.

That only works if you hit on a player in the draft which is no sure thing. 

Former Jazzman Marvin Williams still calls Charlotte home, and is extremely easy to root for, otherwise there’s almost nothing worth tuning in for. 

One thing every fan should do is follow the Hornets on social media, as they have inarguably the strangest twitter presence in the league.

25. Orlando Magic: 

Impact on Jazz: 2/10

Links to Jazz: 1/10

Enjoyability: 3/10

Overall: 6/30

The Orlando Magic made a strong push for the playoffs, and even surprised the Toronto Raptors with a game one victory before being ousted in a gentleman’s sweep.

They should compete once again for a playoff spot, and may give a higher seed trouble in the first round, but aren’t much of a threat to do much beyond that. 

The reason to tune into the Magic this year? Check to see if former number one overall pick Markelle Futlz has fixed his jump shot. 

Let’s all hope so. 

26. Detroit Pistons: 

Impact on Jazz: 1/10

Links to Jazz: 3/10

Enjoyability: 2/10

Overall: 6/30

Blake Griffin was once the best highlight draw in the NBA, regularly dunking on, over, and around opposing players.

Last season in Detroit, he had his highest career scoring average, and returned to All-Star form, and the Pistons were still nearly unwatchable. What does that say about his supporting cast?

What’s the one thing fans should hope for when watching the Pistons? Andre Drummond hoisting up more shots like these. 

The Pistons lose points for waiving Jazz legend Joe Johnson before the regular season began.

27. Washington Wizards: 

Impact on Jazz: 1/10

Links to Jazz: 3/10

Enjoyability: 1/10

Overall: 5/30

The Washington Wizards have a payroll of over $130 million this season, and somehow won just 32 games last season.

With John Wall due $37 million, and sidelined with an Achilles injury, the Wizards drastically improving seems like a long shot. 

Former Jazzman CJ Miles suits up for the Wiz, so there may be slight interest in tuning in for Jazz fans. 

Otherwise, the highlight of the Wizards season might be that the NBA2K video game put Bradley Beal’s famous shrugging action into the video game. 

28. Cleveland Cavaliers:

Impact on Jazz: 1/10

Links to Jazz: 1/10

Enjoyability: 2/10

Overall: 4/30

The Cleveland Cavaliers enjoyed the services of LeBron James for 11 combined seasons, all because he just so happened to be born 40 miles away in Akron.

For long suffering Cleveland sports fans, there’s little else you could ask for.

The Cavaliers won 19 games last season after James bolted for Los Angeles, and are likely destined for a similar season unless one of their young draft picks rounds into a star.

Both Colin Sexton and Darius Garland were top 10 draft picks, and that should be promising.

However, they both play point guard. That may mean an awkward fit the Cavaliers as they try to sort out who is best equipped to handle the keys to the franchise. 

Their closest relation to the Jazz? Kevin Love took some beautiful photos at Utah’s outdoors, but that likely won’t do much to make the basketball team more watchable. 

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29. Chicago Bulls:

Impact on Jazz: 1/10

Links to Jazz: 2/10

Enjoyability: 1/10

Overall: 4/30

The Chicago Bulls have a slew of young talent, and added one of college basketball’s most exciting young players in Colby White over the summer, and still find themselves last on this list. 

Why?

The Bulls head coach is former University of Utah basketball coach Jim Boylen, and lets call his approach to coaching in the NBA… unconventional.

Last year Boylen employed an unheard of platoon substitution pattern, swapping out entire five-man units in one substitution. The move nearly led to an all-out boycott from practice by the Bulls young roster. 

Boylen went 14-41 for the Bulls, improving on the 5-19 record from Fred Hoiberg who he replaced early in the season, but not by much.

There was a visible distrust of the roster last season towards their head coach, and a change of heart would be a surprising development.

The NBA season kicks of Tuesday night with a doubleheader, when the Pelicans travel to Toronto to take on the Raptors, followed by the Lakers hosting the Clippers.

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