Jazz Preparing For First Scrimmage Despite Limited Practice

Jul 20, 2020, 12:56 PM | Updated: 1:06 pm
Rudy Gobert (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)...
Rudy Gobert (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah –ย The Utah Jazz will return to live basketball Thursday when they take on the Phoenix Suns. The scrimmage will mark the first true competitive basketball for either team since early-March when the NBA season was suspended. The team has been in Orlando since July 7 preparing to reopen the NBA season. But despite limited practice situations, Jazz coach Quin Snyder said the team is ready to play.

“The way their courts are structured, there are only four baskets,” Snyder said. “So there are a few things that you have to combine. You just don’t have as much space.”

At the Jazz Zions Bank Basketball Campus, the team has access to two regulation-sized full courts and eight baskets. That allows each player on the roster more access to individual workouts on hoops dedicated to their craft. As a result, the team has learned to use the hardwood as both a practice space and at times, a film room.

“Watching film is a little bit harder given the more limited space,” Snyder said. “But we even have access to TVsย  where we can do that on the court as well.”

Snyder expressed his gratitude at the work the NBA has put towards getting teams back on the floor, despite the different challenges.

“The NBA has done a terrific job,” Snyder said. “Each day you feel more and more confident more and more comfortable in the situation.”

Jazz Preparing For Scrimmage

Unlike a traditional training camp when the team would have five preseason games, the Jazz will have just three scrimmages before beginning the regular season. The Jazz will play the Suns on July 23, the Miami Heat on July 25, and the Brooklyn Nets on July 27. The Jazz and the New Orleans Pelicans will face off to begin the official restart of the NBA season on July 30.

With a short preseason schedule, Snyder said he hopes to pack more live-action situations into the exhibition games. That opportunity starts against the Suns.

“I think we need to have the same kind of the same philosophy as far as just playing,” Snyder said. “Playing the way that we play. Defending the way that we want to defend.”

Not only will there be fewer scrimmage games, but the games themselves will be shorter. The NBA has opted to play four 10-minutes quarters during the exhibition season, rather than full 12-minute periods. The league hopes that shorter quarters will limit the players’ exposure to injury. Snyder echoed the NBA’s decision on how he’s approaching player safety during the Jazz three scrimmages.

“We want to be smart about how much we play our guys,” Snyder said. “Try to get out of there as much as we can, but also stay healthy and try to stay fresh while still really competing.”

While Snyder is focused on preparing the team for the season’s return, Jazz center Rudy Gobert is just happy to be back on the floor.

“It should be fun to get back out there and play against other teams,” Gobert said. “I think with all the things that happened and are happening, it’s great to be able to do what we love.”

The Jazz and Suns will tip-off against the Suns at 6 pm MT. The game will be broadcast on AT&T SportsNet.

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