Expect Strange New Lineups As Jazz Face Suns

Jul 23, 2020, 5:01 PM | Updated: Jul 27, 2020, 3:09 pm
Head coach Quin Synder of the Utah Jazz talks with Tony Bradley #13 of the Utah Jazz in the second ...
Head coach Quin Synder of the Utah Jazz talks with Tony Bradley #13 of the Utah Jazz in the second half of a preseason NBA game at Vivint Smart Home Arena on October 5, 2018 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images)
(Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah Jazz fans are likely to see strange new lineups when they reopen their season against the Phoenix Suns. The meeting will mark the first action for the Jazz since the NBA season was suspended on March 11. During the NBA’s hiatus, forward Bojan Bogdanovic underwent season-ending wrist surgery, pushing Jazz coach Quin Snyder to find new faces to play in his frontcourt absence.

Bogdanovic started all but one game for the Jazz this season. In one game he did miss, Snyder turned to former Jazzman Jeff Green to fill his shoes. With Green now in Houston, the Jazz will turn to a never before seen, and yet to be announced starting lineup.

Along with the new-look starting five, Snyder said that will be a variety of players filling in alongside Rudy Gobert in the team’s frontcourt.

“Obviously Royce [O’Neale] and Joe [Ingles],” Snyder said, perhaps hinting at the team’s starting forward rotation. “We got some of the young guys that we’ve been playing with.”

Fourth-year forward will be tasked with providing shooting in Bogdanovic’s absence. Likewise, two-way rookie Jarrell Brantley is in Orlando with the Jazz after a stellar debut season with the Salt Lake City Stars.

Though the Jazz have more traditional modern forwards to fill in for Bogdanovic, Snyder said the team may explore a few stranger options during the scrimmages.

“Tony Bradley,” Snyder said, mentioning the team’s third year back up center. “I wouldn’t put it out of the question. We could see Tony and Rudy playing some together.”

While Snyder could go with a twin tower frontcourt, he said the Jazz could also go very small.

“You could see us playing for four guards,” Snyder said. “That’s why I really on some level we’re scrimmaging.”

New Floor Old Arena

The Jazz will get their first taste of one of the three arenas they will finish their season in when they face the Suns. Disney will host official games at the HP Field House, The Arena, and the Visa Athletic Center inside the ESPN Wide World of Sports.

The Jazz and Suns will face off at the HP Field House, while the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks scrimmage at the Visa Athletic Center. The NBA will play two games simultaneously through the remainder of the league’s scrimmages and eight seeding games.

As with any new arena, the Jazz will face the challenge of recognizing new backdrops and sightlines as they adjust to shooting in a new location. Despite the change, All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell isn’t concerned about the adjustment.

“I think we’ve played in pretty much every depth perception I can possibly think of being in the NBA. Different backgrounds and whatnot,” Mitchell said. “So I don’t think it should be too far off.”

Despite the new-look NBA floor, Mitchell said he’s familiar with the arena.

“I played here many, many times a few years ago,” Mitchell said of his AAU days. “But I feel comfortable. I think guys feel comfortable. I think for us it’s just taking the first few shots at warmups and then you’re right into it.”

The Jazz and Suns tipoff at 6 pm MT. The game will be broadcast on AT&T SportsNet.

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Expect Strange New Lineups As Jazz Face Suns