UTAH JAZZ

Walker Kessler Racking Up Blocks In First Half Against Pistons

Nov 23, 2022, 7:51 PM

Walker Kessler - Utah Jazz vs. Los Angeles Lakers...

Walker Kessler #24 of the Utah Jazz wears a Vote shirt as he warms up before their game agaisnt the Los Angeles Lakers during at the Vivint Arena November 7, 2022 in Salt Lake City Utah. (Photo by Chris Gardner/ Getty Images)

(Photo by Chris Gardner/ Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah Jazz rookie center Walker Kessler made his defensive presence known in the first half against the Detroit Pistons by blocking shots.

In the first four minutes of the time that Walker Kessler was on the floor, he blocked three shots to help the Jazz protect the paint against the Pistons.

Early in the second quarter, Kessler blocked two more shots. Through eight minutes on the floor, Kessler had four points, four rebounds, and five blocks. He made both of his field goal attempts.

Kessler is currently averaging 1.3 blocks per game this season. Comparing that with other Jazz big men in their rookie season, Rudy Gobert averaged 0.9 blocks per game. Greg Ostertag had a 1.1 blocks per game average, while Mark Eaton was a force with 3.4 blocks per contest as a rookie.

Jazz Are Beat Up Before Thanksgiving Holiday

The Jazz were noticeably shorthanded in Monday’s loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.

Guard Mike Conley is expected to miss several weeks with a strained left knee while Rudy Gay is out with a sprained finger on his left hand.

Coach Will Hardy played rookie Simone Fontecchio and veteran Nickeil Alexander-Walker in their absences, but the Jazz struggled with both players on the floor against the Clippers.

Bogdanovic Takes Starring Role With Pistons

Bogdanovic spent only three seasons with the Jazz but was a staple in the team’s starting lineup.

During his tenure in Utah, Bogdanovic was the Jazz’s second most reliable scorer behind All-Star Donovan Mitchell, and one of the best shooters in the NBA.

The Croatian star averaged 18.4 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.9 assists in 204 games with the Jazz, providing critical floor spacing around Rudy Gobert.

Bogdanovic signed a two-year, nearly $40 million extension with the Pistons late last month after joining the team.

The forward leads the team in scoring at 20.6 points per game on an efficient 50 percent shooting from the floor and 40 percent shooting from the three-point line.

Bogdanovic is one of only three Pistons players to appear in all 19 games this season.

The Pistons are coming off a 110-108 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday night.

The Utah Jazz and Detroit Pistons game is televised on AT&T SportsNet and can be heard on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone. The game will also be streamed on DirecTV Stream and FuboTV.

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Walker Kessler Racking Up Blocks In First Half Against Pistons