Walker Kessler Turns In Transition Highlight, Looks Like Veteran
SALT LAKE CITY – Getting better every game, Jazz fans and teammates alike are starting to depend on Walker Kessler to provide spectacular play nightly.
The Jazz (22-23) are hosting the Philadelphia 76ers (25-16) at Vivint Arena on Saturday, January 14.
This one will go on the rook's highlight reel 📼 pic.twitter.com/uaTc1k0dSq
— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) January 15, 2023
Facing one of the league’s best centers in Joel Embiid, Kesssler didn’t appear overwhelmed.
With the Jazz trailing late in the first quarter, Kessler defended Embiid on a drive, blocking his shot at the basket. Jordan Clarkson picked up the rebound and raced into the front court. Clarkson slowed down just enough to allow to 76er defenders to fly by before lofting a perfect pass at the basket to a sprinting Kessler who finished with authority at the rim.
Kessler has four points and four rebounds with a block in 10 minutes tonight. Clarkson has eight points to go with three early assists.
Philadelphia has controlled the early action as they lead the Jazz 49-30 midway through the second period.
Ochai Agbaji Showing Signs of Development
For the first time this season, Walker Kessler had some competition from a fellow Jazz rookie for the most recognition over the last week.
Ochai Agbaji had by far his best stretch of the season after being inserted into the regular rotation last week against the Houston Rockets.
Ochai Agbaji throws down the hammer 🔨 pic.twitter.com/WCGUiel8pp
— Jazz Nation (@JazzNationCP) January 6, 2023
Over his last three games, Agbaji’s stats have varied widely, scoring a career-high 19 points on a perfect 7-7 shooting against the Chicago Bulls 7-7 shooting against the Chicago Bulls, before a scoreless outing in Sunday’s loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.
But beyond his scoring, Agbaji found a way to impact the games in his last two outings notching seven combined rebounds and recording his first multi-assist game.
Ochai Agbaji is impacting the game buy running and crashing the glass.
Will Hardy said before the game that teams are closing out on him harder after his two big games last week.
Good to see him upping his rebounding and assist numbers.
— Ben Anderson (@BensHoops) January 14, 2023
Additionally, he still makes some defensive lapses that are rarely seen at the NBA level.
Delta Center Returns
On Saturday morning, the Smith Entertainment Group announced that the Utah Jazz home arena was reverting to the Delta Center for the first time since 2006.
Welcome home to the Delta Center ❤️ pic.twitter.com/j4EGnCeL1K
— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) January 14, 2023
Though the arena name will be rebranded as the Delta Center beginning in July of 2023, Vivint will remain an integral partner for the Jazz. The tech giant announced it had extended its partnership with the Jazz through 2030.
“The new agreement between Vivint and the Jazz, which will go into effect on July 1, 2023, contains a number of significant provisions, including Vivint retaining the rights to its acclaimed courtside suite as well as its current ticket packages throughout the arena,” the company announced in a release.
“Vivint will also continue to have a meaningful presence inside the arena with in-game promotions and advertising packages, on-court digital signage, as well as social media activations and other various public promotional activities.”
The Delta Center naming rights with coincide with the 50th season of basketball for the Jazz.
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