Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Elise Amendola | The Associated Press) Utah Jazz forward Derrick Favors (15) drives between Boston Celtics center Greg Stiemsma, left, and forward Brandon Bass, right, in the first half of an NBA basketball game in Boston.
Utah Jazz: Season opens with optimism, uncertainty
NBA » Despite offseason moves, general manager says Jazz “many steps away” from championship.
First Published Oct 30 2012 08:22 pm • Last Updated Feb 07 2013 11:32 pm

New players make them more dynamic. Offseason conditioning makes them more efficient.

The combination should make the Jazz better. But as the regular season tips off Wednesday at EnergySolutions Arena against Dallas, questions linger about what that really means in a Western Conference that got stronger from top to bottom, as well. The Jazz added one former All-Star and two former lottery picks to their roster in the forms of Mo Williams, Marvin Williams and Randy Foye, and second-year center Enes Kanter appears set for a breakout season.

At a glance

For openers

» The Jazz begin the regular season Wednesday against the Dallas Mavericks.

» Twelve of the Jazz’s first 18 games of the season are on the road.

» Last season, the Jazz finished 36-30 and were swept by the Spurs in the first round of the playoffs.

Mavericks at Jazz

EnergySolutions Arena

Tipoff » 7 p.m.

TV » ROOT

Radio » 1280 AM, 97.5 FM

Season series » First game

About the Jazz » Utah is coming off a 5-3 preseason that included two wins over the Lakers in Los Angeles. ... All five Jazz starters averaged double-digit scoring in the preseason.

About the Mavericks » The Mavericks are playing their second game in back-to-back nights after playing at the Lakers on Tuesday.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

But general manager Dennis Lindsey cautioned Tuesday that the Jazz are "many steps away" from a championship, which comes as little surprise in an NBA that thrives on superteams — which the Jazz are not — and superstars, of which the Jazz have none.

"The target is [to be] the best in the league," coach Tyrone Corbin said. "Right now, you got to work from where you are. We feel good about what’s on this team, we’re going to lay it out there every night and see where it lands."

The Jazz were 36-30 last season in the lockout-shortened year, and their postseason was also abbreviated, thanks to a first-round sweep at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs.

Corbin said the Jazz are "better now than … last year at this time." That’s partially in thanks to a full training camp, but also to the credit of the new players and the offseason work players, such as Kanter, put in before camp.

"Defensively we’re a lot better than we were last year," Gordon Hayward said. "I think that has to do with experience, a lot of us younger guys knowing where we should be."

As the eighth seed in the playoffs last year, the Jazz were an afterthought.

"We had a little taste of it last year," captain Al Jefferson said. "We ran into a great team. Now, I think it’s all about getting the wins putting us in a position for a higher seed in the playoffs and advancing."

However, the Jazz may have a hard time moving up in the mighty West. Fifty wins is the threshold that generally separates the league’s best teams, but those wins may be tough to find against teams like the Lakers, which added Dwight Howard, and others. Teams that missed the playoffs last year, such as Minnesota and Houston, will no longer be automatic victories. Were the additions of Andrei Kirilenko and Brandon Roy for the Timberwolves and James Harden for the Rockets enough to push them past the Jazz?


story continues below
story continues below

The Jazz could get a feel early for the way things may go. Their first month includes games against Dallas and the Lakers, at Memphis, San Antonio and Denver.

"I haven’t really looked at the schedule that much," guard Gordon Hayward said, "but I think that every team in the West is going to be a challenge; it’s going to be a good game with all the moves that were made and trades."

Of the Jazz’s first 18 games, 12 are on the road. Eleven of their first 19 are against teams that reached the postseason last year. The Jazz aren’t putting too much pressure on themselves early, but they know what a convincing start — one way or the other — could mean.

boram@sltrib.com



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Login to the Electronic Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.