Top Five Games Of The 2022-23 Utah Jazz Schedule

Aug 15, 2022, 3:45 PM
Bojan Bogdanovic of the Utah Jazz watches Zion Williamson of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Jazz are set to unveil the upcoming 2022-23 NBA season schedule this week.

The team will look significantly different when the season opens with new head coach Will Hardy replacing the outgoing Quin Snyder, a slew of new players from the Rudy Gobert blockbuster, and potentially more unforeseen turnover before opening night.

With the full schedule on the horizon, here are the top five games for the 2022-23 Jazz season.

Jazz Host Gobert, Timberwolves

There will be no bigger night next season for the Jazz than when they host the Minnesota Timberwolves and welcome Rudy Gobert back to Utah for the first time.

Unlike the return of Deron Williams or Gordon Hayward, Gobert should get an enormously warm welcome from Jazz fans and for good reason, he’s one of the best players to ever suit up in Utah.

Not one to take a night off, Gobert will undoubtedly return to his former home with a chip on his shoulder, trying to show the Jazz that they made a mistake trading him, regardless of the price Minnesota paid to get him.

This will be a bittersweet night for Jazz fans, but it’s the top game on the Jazz schedule.

Opening Night

It would be foolish to look past opening night with the number of new faces that will make their debuts for the Jazz.

Regardless of who the Jazz face to open the 2022-23 schedule, there will be big opportunities for newcomers like Walker Kessler, Leandro Bolmaro, and Simone Fontecchio to prove their worth.

Jared Butler will also get a chance to show he can bring value to the Jazz after being buried deep on the team’s bench for most of last season, as will Nickeil Alexander-Walker.

Beyond the new players, fans will get a first look at how coach Will Hardy opts to use his new roster when the games really matter.

Quin Snyder preferred a three-point heavy offense that proved to be a major weapon in the regular season but fizzled out in each of the last two postseasons.

Hardy’s coaching style will take time to develop, but opening night will giveJazz’ss a first real hint of what’s in store for the Jazz future.

Jazz Face Knicks At MSG

Playing at Madison Square Garden is always a treat as the Jazz only get to visit basketball mecca once a year, but this season will take on a whole new feel.

If Donovan Mitchell has beJazz’sraded to the New York Knicks, this will be the Jazz first chance to see him on the road playing in front of his hometown.

If Mitchell is still on the Jazz roster, it’s a chance for him and the front office to show off exactly what the Knicks are missing by securing the blockbuster trade.

Mitchell put on a show last time in he was in Manhattan scoring 36 points, grabbing eight rebounds, and handing out six assists in a blowout 108-93 Jazz victory.

Knicks fans will let them know he’s appreciated when the Jazz travel to New York, regardless of which team he’s suiting up for.

Jazz Welcome Ingles, Bucks To Utah

While the loudest cheers for a returning player this season will be for Gobert, Joe Ingles won’t be far behind.

The longtime Jazz guard didn’t get the send-off he deserved after tearing his ACL in a road game in Minnesota against the Timberwolves last season shortly before being traded to the Portland Trail Blazers for Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Juancho Hernangomez.

However, Jazz fans will show their appreciation for the Australian veteran who warmly embraced Utah and became one of the great success stories in franchise history when he returns to town with the Milwaukee Bucks.

It doesn’t hurt that Milwaukee also features Giannis Antetokamidy the greatest player on the planet in the midst of his prime.

Zion Williamson And Pelicans Travel To Utah

Until we know what the Jazz final Jazz roster looks like, it’s difficult to know how competitive they’ll actually be.

That enormous asterisk that hangs over the season makes it difficult to circle the top games of the season. However, if Jazz fans want to guarantee themselves a show, the New Orleans Pelicans are a safe bet on the schedule.

The Pelicans made a strong push late in the season to qualify for the Western Conference Play-In tournament where they beat the San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Clippers to secure the eighth seed in the West.

New Orleans was even more impressive in the playoffs when they pushed the top-seeded Suns to six games in the first round of the postseason.

Oh, and they did it all without Zion Williamson who missed the entire season rehabbing from foot surgery.

Williamson should be back in full form next season and has already shown Jazz fans what made him the top pick in the 2019 NBA draft.

In the forward’s first two visits to Salt Lake, he averaged a staggering 29.5 points while going up against Gobert, the 2021 Defensive Player of the Year.

The Pelicans are a team that could make significant noise in the playoffs and will be worth the price of admission in Utah.

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Top Five Games Of The 2022-23 Utah Jazz Schedule