Jazz Begin Preseason Tonight in San Antonio
After a long wait, the Utah Jazz are finally taking the court in an official capacity.
Utah kicks off its 2021 preseason schedule tonight when it travels to San Antonio to take on the Spurs. Tipoff is set for 6:30 p.m. MST.
Jazz basketball tonight
— utahjazz (@utahjazz) October 4, 2021
This season, expectations are high for the Jazz thanks to a revamped supporting cast joining the team after Utah finished with the league’s best record last year.
Incorporating new faces Hassan Whiteside, Eric Paschall, Rudy Gay, and rookie Jared Butler with the veteran core already in place will arguably be the top priority for head coach Quin Snyder. Figuring out through the four preseason games how those players fit into his rotation should allow the Jazz to be as prepared as possible for the Oct. 20 season opener against Oklahoma City.
“Obviously, the ultimate goal is to be as prepared as you can be going into the regular season, and even that you can define a lot of different ways,” Snyder said at the end of training camp last week. “You try to have a plan, and then also understand that you can adapt from it. … That adaptation is a crucial part of it.”
Utah will already be shorthanded as Bojan Bogdanovic and Rudy Gay will not be playing tonight.
Bogdanovic is nursing an injured shoulder that isn't considered to be serious. If this was a regular season game, it’s believed that he would be playing, but the Jazz are being cautious early on.
Gay is expected to miss the entire preseason as he’s recovering from offseason left heel surgery to remove a bone spur. While it’s unknown when he will be available to play, he is still expected to be a big-time contributor this season.
With Bogdanovic and Gay out, it opens up a lot of minutes for both Paschall and Butler to showcase their respective skillsets.
Paschall arrived this offseason in a trade with the Golden State Warriors. The former first-team member from the all-NBA rookie team two seasons ago, Paschall is expected to bring a level of toughness and physicality to the frontcourt, and the ability to create off the dribble.
“I’m just trying to prove myself,” Paschall said following Sunday's practice. “I’ve just got to get my foot in the door. ... Bring some intensity, toughness and do that every day regardless of who is hurt or not.”
Players have raved about Butler’s cohesiveness with the team throughout training camp, showing a level of maturity to his game that’s rare in first-year players. He’s now expected to get significant run in the preseason to see how NBA-ready his game is and if he can slide in next to either Mike Conley or Donovan Mitchell in the regular season.
*Bojan Bogdanovic: OUT — right shoulder soreness
*Rudy Gay: OUT — left heel surgery
San Antonio Spurs
*Tre Jones: DOUBTFUL — left ankle sprain
*Zach Collins: OUT — left ankle stress fracture surgery
Time: 6:30 p.m. MST
Location: AT&T Center / San Antonio, Texas
Radio: KSL Sports Radio (1160am and 102.7) / The Zone Sports Network (1280am and 95.7)