SAN ANTONIO, TX - OCTOBER 4: Jared Butler #13 of the Utah Jazz shoots the ball against the San Antonio Spurs during a pre-season game on October 4, 2021 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photos by Logan Riely/NBAE via Getty Images)
Photos by Logan Riely/NBAE via Getty Images

Utah Newcomers Take Center Stage Against Dallas

When Quin Snyder spoke with reporters last week during training camp, he talked about the preseason serving its purpose preparing players for the upcoming season. He also spoke about using the time to see what traits the newcomers bring and how they’ll fit into Utah’s offensive and defensive schemes.

“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 last week in Las Vegas. “You try to have a plan, and then also understand that you can adapt from it. That adaptation is a crucial part of it.”

Adapting is precisely what Snyder and the Jazz will have to do tonight against Dallas in their second preseason game of the year. Tipoff is set for 6:30 p.m. MST and will be broadcast on AT&T SportsNet. You can also listen to the game at 1280 The Zone.

Released this morning, Utah will be without seven players against the Mavericks. 

Due to rest, Mike Conley, Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert, and Joe Ingles will all be out tonight. Hassan Whiteside (left heel soreness), Bojan Bogdanovic (right shoulder soreness), and Rudy Gay (right heel surgery) are all out due to injury. 

That leaves Jordan Clarkson and Royce O’Neale as the only players who got significant run in the playoffs last year available for this evening. Altogether the Jazz will be dressing 12 players, only six of whom were on the roster last year.

That means that prized offseason acquisitions Jared Butler and Eric Paschall should get a significant amount of action tonight.

Butler is coming off an uneven performance in his debut two nights ago against the Spurs. At least that’s how he puts it.

“I give myself a six out of 10,” Butler said of his performance on Monday night.

After starting 1-of-8 from the floor, he made five of his final seven shots en route to a team-high 16 points—14 of which came in the second half. He showed no hesitancy to shoot the ball despite the slow start and often made the right reads to find open teammates or keep the possession alive.

“I think we saw out of Jared some of the things that we’ve been talking about,” Snyder said. “He plays with a certain poise. I think we were all a little fatigued at certain times. And when you’re fatigued, it shows up in parts of the possession. But I thought Jared showed the ability to make plays for himself and for others.”

Paschall is another player who should see a lot of court time tonight, especially as he tries to adjust and become familiar with a new system.

He finished with seven points and five rebounds in 20 minutes of action off the bench two nights ago. But according to Snyder, it was Paschall’s intangibles that impressed him most.

“Eric took good shots. … I also thought he got into the lane and made good plays for his teammates,” Snyder said. “It’s good to see a guy play with passion. He has a lot of pride with how he plays. … I was happy.”

Tonight will serve as another measuring stick for Butler and Paschall, and players like Trent Forrest and Elijah Hughes. Forrest is coming off a very impressive showing in the Summer League, while Hughes got the start on Monday and finished with nine points, eight rebounds, and four steals.

“Someone could play really well and you see him in a different light, and you want to explore that,” Snyder said. “We’ve got some young players that are going to be competing for opportunity. ... And we’ve got some things we’re doing that we want to get better at. Reps in competitive environments are one of the ways that that can happen.”

Utah Jazz
*Mike Conley: OUT — rest
*Donovan Mitchell: OUT — rest
*Rudy Gobert: OUT — rest
*Joe Ingles: OUT — rest
*Hassan Whiteside: OUT — left heel soreness
*Bojan Bogdanovic: OUT — right shoulder soreness
*Rudy Gay: OUT — right heel surgery

Dallas Mavericks
*Dorian Finney-Smith: OUT — rest
*Frank Ntilikina: OUT — rest
*Dwight Powell: OUT — rest
*Tyrell Terry: OUT — not with team

Time: 6:30 p.m. MST
Location: American Airlines Center / Dallas, Texas
TV: AT&T SportsNet / NBATV
Radio: 1280 The Zone


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