UTAH JAZZ

Ochai Agbaji Gives Utah Jazz Lift On Both Ends With Block & Bucket

Oct 29, 2022, 8:01 PM
utah-jazz-guard-ochai-agbaji...
SALT LAKE CITY, UT - OCTOBER 29: Kennedy Chandler #1 of the Memphis Grizzlies drives to the basket during the game against the Utah Jazz on October 29, 2022 at vivint.SmartHome Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah.

SALT LAKE CITY –  Utah Jazz rookie Ochai Ogbaji made his presence felt with a blocked shot and transition dunk against the Grizzlies.

The Jazz are hosting the Memphis Grizzlies at Vivint Arena on Saturday, October 29.

Trailing 29-22, Memphis guard Kennedy Chandler drove the lane, looking for the layup. After initially being beaten on the drive, Agbaji showed his athleticism, recovering to block the shot for the Jazz.

The rebound caromed to Lauri Markannen who led the break. Markannen found a trailing Agbaji for a dunk, his first two points for the Jazz at home.

Agbaji has two points on 1-3 shooting and has contributed two rebounds.

The Jazz and Grizzlies are battling back and forth late in the first half with Utah leading 52-49.

Utah Jazz Early Grades

 KSLsports.com‘s Ben Anderson graded the Jazz performance through one week of the season.

Youth Development: B

Walker Kessler is the first player in NBA history to record a double-double and not miss a shot from the field in his rookie debut.

On Wednesday, it was 21-year-old NBA veteran Talen Horton-Tucker who turned heads with his best performance in a Jazz uniform. The fourth-year guard scored 14 points, grabbed seven rebounds, and dished out four assists in 28 minutes off the bench.

So far, Jazz coach Will Hardy has found opportunities to play three of the five Jazz youngsters at crucial moments during the first week and a half of the season, and they’ve performed reasonably well.

Veteran Performance: A-

Lauri Markkanen looks like a major piece of the Jazz franchise going forward, while Clarkson and Olynyk could be highly sought-after trade pieces with their current production.

Mike Conley and Malik Beasley have yet to shoot the ball well, but their numbers should improve. Rudy Gay’s production has been below-average since a strong opening-night performance, and moving him may prove difficult.

Lottery Standings: D-

Just five games into the season the Jazz already have a 4.5 game lead over the Orlando Magic for the worst record in the NBA, and they’ve built this lead by beating three likely playoff teams in the Western Conference.

There is plenty of time to rack up losses this season, but if the draft were held today, the Jazz and the Portland Trail Blazers would flip a coin for the 29th overall pick in the first round.

Fun Factor: A+

Remember, above all else, basketball is a game designed to be enjoyed by fans. Through five games, the Jazz have one blowout victory over the Denver Nuggets, two overtime wins against the Minnesota Timberwolves and New Orleans Pelicans, and a close win over the Houston Rockets.

On top of that, they’ve been fun to watch due to their fast-paced offense, rapid ball movement, and strong individual performances from Markkanen and Clarkson.

How To Watch

This is the first of back-to-back home games against the Memphis Grizzlies. Tonight’s game can be seen on AT&T SportsNet, NBA League Pass, and heard on KSL Sports Zone.

The Grizzlies return to Vivint Arena on Halloween night, Monday, October 31 for a 7 p.m. (MST) tip-off.

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Ochai Agbaji Gives Utah Jazz Lift On Both Ends With Block & Bucket