Editor’s note: The following is a guest post by Joe Coles, writer for TornBySports. He was kind enough to take a month-by-month look at the Jazz’s schedule for us. Want to know how many games the Jazz play on Monday nights? Or how many games the Jazz are likely to win in November? Keep reading on.
The NBA offseason is an empty time for a fan. There are only a few key dates that NBA fans look forward to: the NBA lottery, NBA draft, start of free agency, schedule release, start of preseason, and finally, the beginning of the NBA regular season.
Here’s my month-by-month breakdown of the most recent of those milestones, the newly minted Utah Jazz schedule.
The Jazz open up at home against the Thunder for the first time since they moved to Oklahoma City, and the first time since the 1996-97 season, when they opened up against the Seattle SuperSonics. This will be the second straight year that the Jazz open at home, the first time they have opened in consecutive years since 2003-2006. This will be a chance to see all the Jazz rookies and newcomers play their first regular season game in a Jazz uniform. Depending on whether or not the Jazz unveil the new video screens on October 8th, this could be the first time fans see the new screens. Trey Burke vs. Russell Westbrook will be an exciting matchup to see. The Thunder are one of the best, if not the best, team in the West this year, so we will see how this rebuilding, young, Jazz team hangs with them. Opening night is always fun, the electricity is almost that of a playoff game. Should be a fun game, but I see the Jazz losing this one.
The Good: Utah plays struggling teams in Toronto, Boston, New Orleans, and Phoenix (thrice)
The Bad: The Jazz play Brooklyn, Chicago, Dallas, OKC, and Golden State on the road, and play GSW and Chicago at EnergySolutions Arena. Utah plays more road games than home games.
Prediction: Jazz go 5-12 in November, winning at Phoenix, at Toronto, vs. New Orleans, and vs. Phoenix.
Utah plays 17 games in November, seven at home and ten on the road, with five back-to-back games.
The Good: Utah plays a struggling Charlotte team, once at home, and once on the road. They also face the Magic, who went 20-62 last year. They also play at Sacramento, vs. Sacramento, vs. Denver, and vs. the Lakers, which I feel could be toss up games, assuming that the Jazz have bonded together and have the feel of the offense, defense, and each other.
The Bad: Almost every game besides the ones listed above are almost certain losses for Utah. They face the defending campion Heat, runner up Spurs, and contenders Indiana, Atlanta, Memphis, and Houston. Jazz play more road games than home games, again.
Prediction: Utah goes 6-10 in December, winning vs. Charlotte, at Charlotte, at Orlando, vs. Sacramento, vs. Denver, and vs. Lakers
Utah plays 16 games in December, 7 home and 9 on the road, with four back-to-back games.
The Good: The Jazz play winnable games vs. Milwaukee, at Detroit, at Minnesota, vs. Minnesota, vs. Washington, vs. Lakers, and vs. Sacramento. Jazz play more home games than road games
The Bad: Jazz play vs. OKC, at San Antonio, and vs. Golden State.
Prediction: Jazz go 6-6, winning vs. Milwaukee, at Detroit, at Minnesota, vs. Minnesota, vs. Washington, vs. Sacramento.
Utah plays 12 games in January, eight home, and four road. The Jazz play two back-to-back games.
The Good: Utah plays winnable games vs. Toronto, vs. Philadelphia, vs. Minnesota, vs. Boston, at Cleveland and vs. Phoenix. Jazz play more home games than away games.
The Bad: Utah plays at Dallas, vs. Miami, at Clippers, at Portland. Utah goes on its largest road trip since 2003 at the end of February, it starts with Cleveland and continues into March
The Jazz play 12 games in February, seven home and five road. Utah plays two back-to-back games in the month.
The Good: The Jazz play at Washington, at Philadelphia, vs. Orlando, vs. Detroit, and at New Orleans, all winnable games.
The Bad: Utah continues the six game road trip in March, the roadie is the largest road trip since 2003. Utah plays Indiana, Milwaukee, Washington, New York, and Philadelphia in the road trip.
The toughest stretch of March is a six game buzzsaw that consists of home games against Atlanta, Dallas and the L.A. Clippers, and away games against San Antonio, Houston, and Memphis. The Jazz play more away games than home games.
Prediction: Jazz go 5-12, winning at Washington, at Philadelphia, vs. Orlando, vs. Detroit, and at New Orleans
The Jazz play 17 games, seven home and ten away. Utah plays three back-to-back games in March
The Good: The Jazz play vs. New Orleans, vs. L.A Lakers, and at Minnesota. I think the Jazz win all of those games.
The Bad: The Jazz play at Golden State, vs. Dallas, vs. Portland, and at Denver.
Prediction: Jazz go 3-4, winning vs. New Orleans, vs. L.A Lakers, and at Minnesota.
The Jazz play seven games, four at home and three on the road. The Jazz play one back-to-back game.
The Jazz go 31-51. The Jazz have their youngest, most inexperienced team in years, and this season is going to be tough. It will be exciting to see how the Jazz fare with this new young blood, and what the future holds.
Utah plays each team in the Eastern Conference twice (one home/one road) and will play each Western team four times (two home/two road) with the exception of four West teams, Houston, Sacramento, Los Angeles Clippers, and Memphis.
Utah doesn’t play on any major holidays. They do play on Black Friday, if you consider that a holiday.
Sunday– 5 games (all road)
Monday– 18 games (14 home, four road)
Tuesday– 5 games (3 home, 2 road)
Wednesday– 16 games (8 home, 8 road)
Thursday– 1 game (home)
Friday– 21 games (8 home, 13 road)
Saturday– 16 games (7 home, 9 road)
ESPN broadcasts: January 15 at San Antonio, January 31 vs. Golden State, March 26 vs. Memphis
NBA TV broadcasts: November 11 vs. Denver, November 25 vs. Chicago