UTAH JAZZ

Utah Jazz Turn Defense Into Offense With Transition Ochai Agbaji Slam

Oct 29, 2022, 8:50 PM | Updated: 9:00 pm
utah-jazz-rookie-ochai-agbaji...
SALT LAKE CITY, UT - OCTOBER 29: Ochai Agbaji #30 of the Utah Jazz looks on during the game against the Memphis Grizzlies on October 29, 2022 at Vivint SmartHome Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah.

SALT LAKE CITY – Nickeil Alexander-Walker did the hard work, forcing the Memphis turnover. Alexander-Walker then found a streaking Utah Jazz rookie for the fast break dunk.

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

With the Jazz trailing 89-87 and Memphis threatening to pull away, Alexander-Walker pressured Grizzly guard Desmond Bane near mid-court, forcing the turnover. Playing perhaps his best game in Jazz uniform, NAW picked up the ball and found athletic rookie Ochai Agbaji for a fast break dunk that tied the game at 89.

Alexander-Walker has 11 points, three assists and a pair of rebounds in the game. Agbaji has seven points through three quarters.

Utah was able to withstand a 14-4 Memphis run in the third quarter to take a lead into the fourth.

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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