It’s a different kind of NBA schedule than we’ve ever seen.
On Friday, the NBA and Utah Jazz released the first half of their season’s schedule, the portion that runs from Dec. 23 to March 7. And there are some unusual aspects.
First, the Jazz have a seven-game road trip in early January, when they’ll play San Antonio, Brooklyn, New York, Milwaukee, Detroit, Cleveland, and Washington from Jan. 3 to Jan. 15. That’s the longest Jazz road trip since 2002, when the Jazz vacated the Delta Center for the Olympic Winter Games.
But to follow that road trip up, they have a six-game homestand in late January, against New Orleans twice, Golden State, New York, and then Dallas twice.
You’ll notice the grouped games — that’s an unusual theme of this schedule, in order to reduce travel somewhat. The Jazz also fly to Los Angeles to play the Clippers twice consecutively in February. Overall, the Jazz travel 19,054 miles in the first half of the season, playing in 17 different cities.
The Jazz open the season on Dec. 23 against the Portland Trail Blazers on the road, the fifth time the Jazz have played the Blazers in game No. 1. The home opener will come three days later on Boxing Day, as they host the Minnesota Timberwolves.
In the first half of the season, the Jazz will have nine national TV games: five on NBATV, two on ESPN (Jan. 29 vs. Dallas and Feb. 24 against the Los Angeles Lakers), and two on TNT (Jan. 21 vs. New Orleans and Feb. 9 vs. Boston).
The second half of the schedule will be released later in the season; the league wanted to maintain flexibility in case of COVID-19 postponements.
UTAH JAZZ FIRST-HALF SCHEDULE
Opponents in all caps are home games for Utah. All times MST
Sat, Dec. 12 PHOENIX 7 p.m.
Mon, Dec. 14 PHOENIX 7 p.m.
Thu, Dec 17 @ L.A. Clippers 8 p.m.
Wed, Dec. 23 @ Portland 8 p.m.
Sat, Dec. 26 MINNESOTA 7 p.m.
Mon, Dec. 28 @ Oklahoma City 6 p.m.
Thu, Dec. 31 PHOENIX 7 p.m. NBATV
Fri, Jan. 1 L.A. CLIPPERS 7 p.m.
Sun, Jan. 3 @ San Antonio 5 p.m.
Tues, Jan. 5 @ Brooklyn 5:30 p.m.
Wed, Jan. 6 @ New York 5:30 p.m.
Fri, Jan. 8 @ Milwaukee 6 p.m.
Sun, Jan. 10 @ Detroit 1 p.m. NBATV
Tues, Jan. 12 @ Cleveland 5:30 p.m.
Wed, Jan. 13 @ Washington 5 p.m.
Fri, Jan. 15 ATLANTA 7 p.m.
Sun, Jan. 17 @ Denver 6 p.m.
Tues, Jan. 19 NEW ORLEANS 7 p.m. NBA TV
Thu, Jan. 21 NEW ORLEANS 8 p.m. TNT
Sat, Jan. 23 GOLDEN STATE 3 p.m. NBA TV
Tues, Jan. 26 NEW YORK 7 p.m.
Wed, Jan. 27 DALLAS 7 p.m.
Fri, Jan. 29 DALLAS 8 p.m. ESPN
Sun, Jan. 31 @ Denver 1:30 p.m. NBA TV
Tues, Feb. 2 DETROIT 7 p.m.
Thu, Feb. 4 @ Atlanta 5:30 p.m.
Fri, Feb. 5 @ Charlotte 5 p.m.
Sun, Feb. 7 @ Indiana 11 a.m.
Tues, Feb. 9 BOSTON 8 p.m. TNT
Fri, Feb. 12 MILWAUKEE 7 p.m.
Sat, Feb. 13 MIAMI 7 p.m.
Mon, Feb. 15 PHILADELPHIA 7 p.m.
Wed, Feb. 17 @ L.A. Clippers 8 p.m.
Fri, Feb. 19 @ L.A. Clippers 8 p.m.
Mon, Feb. 22 CHARLOTTE 7 p.m.
Wed, Feb. 24 L.A. LAKERS 8 p.m. ESPN
Fri, Feb. 26 @ Miami 6 p.m.
Sat, Feb. 27 @ Orlando 5 p.m.
Mon, March 1 @ New Orleans 6 p.m. NBATV
Wed, March 3 @ Philadelphia 5 p.m.