Andy Larsen breaks down 10 key games on the Jazz’s 2019-20 schedule

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward (20) defended by Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45). Utah Jazz vs. Boston Celtics, NBA basketball in Salt Lake City on Friday Nov. 9, 2018.

Jazz vs. OKC Oct. 23

There’s nothing like opening day: the whole team is introduced, everything feels new, and it’s the first chance to test your team in a game that matters. This isn’t the same OKC as old, with Paul George and Russell Westbrook both gone, but the Steven Adams v. Rudy Gobert matchup is always fun, and Chris Paul still antagonizes.

Jazz at Memphis Nov. 15

The Grizzlies won’t be good this year, but Mike Conley spent 12 years for that franchise, and is now it’s all-time leading scorer. And he’s beloved in the Memphis area, thanks to his service for a good team and charity work off the court. His return will be emotional, to be sure.

Memphis Grizzlies' Jonas Valanciunas, right, looks to the basket as Utah Jazz's Rudy Robert (27) defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, March 8, 2019, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Karen Pulfer Focht)

Jazz vs. New Orleans Nov. 26

Speaking of returns, Derrick Favors is already looking forward to the date of his return to Utah — when The Tribune spoke to him in the preseason, he had Nov. 26 memorized. Favors is expecting an ovation to remember, though hopes to avoid the waterworks as his name is announced.

Jazz at Philadelphia Dec. 2

It doesn’t come in the best of circumstances, on the second night of a back-to-back, but the Jazz’s annual trip to Philadelphia brings out the best of a raucous Philly fanbase, eager to see Ben Simmons pitted next to Donovan Mitchell. The Sixers project to be one of the best teams in the East this year, too.

Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune Utah Jazz guard Dante Exum (11) with the steal from Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (25). The Philadelphia 76ers defeated the Utah Jazz 114- 97 at Vivint Smart Home Arena, Thursday, December 27, 2018.

Jazz vs. Portland Dec. 26

It’s not the Jazz/Blazers Christmas Day matchup we saw last year; this year, it comes one day later. But local product Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum are a scoring tandem that must be seen, and Rudy Gobert matching up against Hassan Whiteside is usually a good time.

Jazz vs. Houston Jan. 27

The Jazz won’t face last year’s playoff foes until January this season, and by then, over half of the season will be over. But Houston’s changed this year, with Westbrook instead of CP3; James Harden figures to be as good as ever. Will the Jazz be able to make their open shots this year?

FILE - In this April 17, 2019, file photo, Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) drives against Utah Jazz forward Royce O'Neale (23) during the first half of Game 2 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Houston. Giannis Antetokuonmpo may have helped his team win 60 games and earn the No. 1 seed in the NBA during the regular season. That’s just in the real world, though. In fantasy sports, James Harden was the biggest winner, registering the most points over the 2018-19 season to claim NBA Most Valuable Player honors from DraftKings. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

Jazz vs. Boston Feb. 26

Ah, the atmosphere’s always raucous when Gordon Hayward returns. The crowd always boos when Enes Kanter comes to Utah. But after the Celtics acquired Kanter this season, the two occasions were combined into one. Knowing the history here, this game might be a little on tilt.

Jazz at L.A. Lakers Mar. 18

The Jazz have two games in a row against LeBron James, Anthony Davis and company, the first coming two days before at Vivint Arena on Mar. 16. This second game is on ESPN, though, and figures to put the Jazz’s pick and roll defense to the sternest possible test.

Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell, left, shoots as Los Angeles Lakers center JaVale McGee, center, and forward Mike Muscala defend during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, April 7, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Jazz vs. L.A. Clippers Apr. 7

It was tempting to select the Jazz’s first matchup against the Clippers in October as one of the top 10, but Paul George may miss that game due to injury. So we’ll fast forward to April, when the Jazz will face the title favorites with one week to go, and almost certainly playoff implications for both teams.

Jazz vs. Denver Apr. 14

The Jazz are one of only 4 teams that have Apr. 15 off, meaning they’ll watch as the rest of the Western Conference determines their seeding at the end. But this matchup on the 14th, on TNT, looks to face the Jazz up against rival Denver, the two teams very well could be fighting for the same seed even in their final game.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Denver Nuggets guard Gary Harris (14) forces his was past Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) as the Utah Jazz host the Denver Nuggets in their NBA game at Vivint Smart Home Arena Tuesday, April 9, 2019, in Salt Lake City.


All Times Mountain

Oct. 23 Oklahoma City 7:00 PM

Oct. 25 at LA Lakers 8:30 PM

Oct. 26 Sacramento 7:00 PM

Oct. 28 at Phoenix 8:00 PM

Oct. 30 LA Clippers 8:00 PM

Nov. 1 at Sacramento 8:00 PM

Nov. 3 at LA Clippers 7:00 PM

Nov. 6 Philadelphia 7:00 PM

Nov. 8 Milwaukee 7:00 PM

Nov. 11 at Golden State 8:30 PM

Nov. 12 Brooklyn 7:00 PM

Nov. 15 at Memphis 6:00 PM

Nov. 18 Minnesota 7:00 PM

Nov. 20 at Minnesota 6:00 PM

Nov. 22 Golden State 7:00 PM

Nov. 23 New Orleans 7:00 PM

Nov. 25 at Milwaukee 6:00 PM

Nov. 27 at Indiana 5:00 PM

Nov. 29 at Memphis 6:00 PM

Dec. 1 at Toronto 4:00 PM

Dec. 2 at Philadelphia 5:00 PM

Dec. 4 LA Lakers 7:00 PM

Dec. 7 Memphis 8:00 PM

Dec. 9 Oklahoma City 7:00 PM

Dec. 11 at Minnesota 6:00 PM

Dec. 13 Golden State 8:30 PM

Dec. 17 Orlando 7:00 PM

Dec. 19 at Atlanta 5:30 PM

Dec. 21at Charlotte 3:00 PM

Dec. 23 at Miami 5:30 PM

Dec. 26 Portland 8:30 PM

Dec. 28 at LA Clippers 8:30 PM

Dec. 30 Detroit 7:00 PM

Jan. 2 at Chicago 6:00 PM

Jan. 4 at Orlando 5:00 PM

Jan. 6 at New Orleans 6:00 PM

Jan. 8 New York 7:00 PM

Jan. 10 Charlotte 7:00 PM

Jan. 12 at Washington 1:30 PM

Jan. 14 at Brooklyn 5:30 PM

Jan. 16 at New Orleans 6:00 PM

Jan. 18 Sacramento 7 P.M.

Jan. 20 Indiana 7:00 PM

Jan. 22 at Golden State 8:00 PM

Jan. 25 Dallas 3:00 PM

Jan. 27 Houston 7:00 PM

Jan. 29 at San Antonio 6:30 PM

Jan. 30 at Denver 8:30 PM

Feb. 1 at Portland 8:00 PM

Feb. 5 Denver 8:00 PM

Feb. 7 Portland 8:30 PM

Feb. 9 at Houston 5:00 PM

Feb. 10 at Dallas 6:30 PM

Feb. 12 Miami 7:00 PM

Feb. 21 San Antonio 7:00 PM

Feb. 22 Houston 7:00 PM

Feb. 24 Phoenix 7:00 PM

Feb. 26 Boston 8:00 PM

Feb. 28 Washington 7:00 PM

Mar. 2 at Cleveland 5:00 PM

Mar. 4 at New York 5:30 PM

Mar. 6 at Boston 6:00 PM

Mar. 7 at Detroit 5:00 PM

Mar. 9 Toronto 7:00 PM

Mar. 11 at Oklahoma City 6:00 PM

Mar. 13 New Orleans 7:00 PM

Mar. 14 Memphis 7:00 PM

Mar. 16 LA Lakers 7:00 PM

Mar. 18 at LA Lakers 8:00 PM

Mar. 20 Minnesota 7:00 PM

Mar. 22 at San Antonio 5:00 PM

Mar. 24 San Antonio 8:00 PM

Mar. 26 at Dallas 6:30 PM

Mar. 28 Atlanta 7:00 PM

Mar. 30 Chicago 7:00 PM

Apr. 1 Cleveland 7:00 PM

Apr. 2 at Portland 8:30 PM

Apr. 5 at Denver 4:00 PM

Apr. 7 LA Clippers 8:00 PM

Apr. 11 at Phoenix 8:00 PM

Apr. 13 at Oklahoma City 6:00 PM

Apr. 14 Denver 8:00 PM