UTAH JAZZ

The Three Most Difficult Stretches For The Jazz This Season

Aug 17, 2022, 3:19 PM | Updated: 3:19 pm
Utah-Jazz-Nuggets-Season-Opener...
Bojan Bogdanovic #44 of the Utah Jazz dunks the ball against Aaron Gordon #50 and Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets during the second quarter at Ball Arena on January 5, 2022 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by C. Morgan Engel/Getty Images)
(Photo by C. Morgan Engel/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – With Rudy Gobert out the door and Donovan Mitchell likely next, it was already going to be a tough season for the Utah Jazz.

Then, on Wednesday, the NBA released the 2022-23 schedule, and with 15 sets of back-to-back games for the Jazz, it didn’t get any easier.

With roster turnover and the schedule in mind, here are the toughest stretches of basketball for the Jazz during the 2022-23 season.

Jazz Early Season West Coast Contenders Stretch

This stretch of Jazz basketball sees Utah first travel to Denver. The Jazz take on the Nuggets on the road on October 28th. Then in a back-to-back coming off of the Nuggets game the Jazz will play the Memphis Grizzlies led by star point guard Ja Morant.

After a second meeting with the Grizzlies on the 31st, the Jazz will hit the road.

On November second the Jazz will take on the Dallas Mavericks the team that knocked them out of the playoffs last year in the first round. The Mavericks have lost pieces over the off-season but remain a player in the west with all-star Luka Doncic.

On November fourth the Jazz take on the Lakers. Despite the team being largely panned going into the season, a roster with LeBron James and Anthony Davis will be a mismatch for a Jazz team that currently lacks name-brand defenders.

On November sixth the Jazz will take on the Clippers. Expect Kawhi Leonard and Paul George to be in the lineup, an extremely deep and tough team that fancy themselves to be western conference contenders.

The Late November Buzz Saw

This stretch opens up with a back-to-back on November 26th and 27th against the Warriors and the  Suns.

Not only do these two teams feature two of the best five offensive players in the league, but both are once again expected to be contenders in the Western Conference Title race.

The week of November 28th the Jazz then take on the Bulls and Clippers at home. Follow that up with a game against the Pacers and then a matchup on the third of December against what hopes to be a revitalized Portland Trailblazers team.

It doesn’t get any easier after that because that’s when you get to another rocky point in the schedule.

A Not So Merry Holiday Season For The Jazz

In these two weeks the Jazz play, the Warriors, the Bucks, the Pelicans (likely with Zion Williamson), the Nuggets, the homecoming of Rudy Gobert with the Timberwolves, and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

To call this a bad Christmas present might be a stretch. Things could go from bad to worse very quickly and tank the entire season after this seven-game stretch in December.

It is not out of the realm of possibilities that because all of these extremely tough games are mired in the first few months of the season, the Jazz reach Christmas with barely 10-15 wins.

The schedule makers did no favors for a Jazz team that will likely spend the first few months of the season, with or without Donovan Mitchell, finding their identity.

That identity will need to come fast from rookie head coach Will Hardy or the Jazz season could get extremely ugly extremely quickly.

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