24. The Salt Lake City Stars
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz open their season on October 20, just 24 from today. With the clock ticking, we look at 50 things for Jazz fans to be excited about leading up to the 2021-22 NBA season. Coming in at number 24, the Salt Lake City Stars.
Salt Lake City Stars
After an abbreviated 15 game season in Orlando due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Stars will return to a more traditional schedule. The season will feature 50 games, 24 of which will be played between Bruin Arena and Vivint Arena in Utah.
However, unlike previous seasons, the G League will undergo a radical format change to open the year, beginning with a leaguewide tournament that runs from early November to late December.
The league will open play with each of its 30 teams playing 14 games as a part of the Showcase Cup.
The 30 teams have been split up into four regional divisions where each team will play 12 games. Teams will face off in back-to-back matchups to limit travel requirements, and the teams with the best winning percentage in each region will get automatic bids to compete for the Showcase Cup.
Additionally, the next four best teams across the league determined by winning percentage will also advance to compete for the Cup. Those eight teams will then participate in a single-elimination tournament to determine the winner of the G League’s season-opening tournament at the Winter Showcase.
The Stars competed and won the Showcase Cup in 2019 before the G League season was shut down due to COVID-19.
After the Winter Showcase, the league will host a 36-game regular season, with additional games for the playoffs.
Under coach Nathan Peavy, the Stars struggled last season in Orlando finishing just 4-11, the second-worst record of any team in the league.
However, with a healthy Trent Forrest, Elijah Hughes, Udoka Azubuike, and Justin James, and rookies Jared Butler, MaCio Teague, and Derrick Alston Jr., the Stars should field a more complete roster than they did last season.
With the Jazz’s main roster adding depth in Rudy Gay, Eric Paschall, and Hassan Whiteside, each of the team’s younger players should get a significant opportunity to improve their game with the Stars.
Between the team returning to Salt Lake City, and the opportunity to see many of the Jazz best young players getting significant minutes, the Salt Lake City Stars come in at number 24 in our most exciting storylines counting down to opening night.