With the Wednesday afternoon release of the second half of the Utah Jazz’s schedule came good news and bad news.
The good? According to an analysis by analytics company Positive Residual, the Jazz have the easiest remaining schedule of any NBA team.
The bad? They’ve got almost 28,000 miles of travel ahead — by far the most of any team.
Utah will wrap up its first-half schedule March 3 in Philadelphia, then will be off (save for Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert, and Quin Snyder’s coaching staff at the All-Star Game) until the second half of the schedule kicks off March 12 at Vivint Arena against the Houston Rockets.
They’ll get to experience that massive bit of travel pretty early on, too.
After that Rockets game, they’ll head out on a five-game road trip spanning March 14-22, which will send them to San Francisco, Boston, Washington D.C., Toronto, and Chicago.
On the other hand, the Jazz will also have several extended homestands to make up for it.
That road trip will immediately be followed by four in a row at home, from March 24-29, against the Nets, the Grizzlies (twice), and the Cavaliers. They’ll also have a pair of five-game homestands: April 8-16 (Blazers, Kings, Wizards, Thunder, Pacers) and May 1-8 (Raptors, Spurs twice, Nuggets, Rockets).
Among the 36 games on the Jazz’s second-half schedule, 19 will be played at home and 17 are on the road.
They’ll be making six national television appearances between ESPN (Nets, Suns, Lakers twice, and Nuggets) and TNT (Celtics).
Among the other noteworthy bits of the schedule: They’ll be hosting the Grizzlies for a two-game mini-series on March 26-27, and will be facing the Grizz three times in six days overall when they travel to Memphis on March 31. They’ll also have two more mini-series (at the Lakers on April 17/19, and home vs. the Spurs on May 3/5), plus a home-and-away with the Wolves on April 24/26. The game that Utah was supposed to play at Washington on Jan. 13, but which was postponed due to COVID-19 contact tracing going on with the Wizards, has been rescheduled for March 18.
The Jazz are scheduled to conclude their regular season on May 16 in Sacramento.
Donovan is shooting his shot
Mitchell found out on Tuesday evening that he’d be joining Quin Snyder and Rudy Gobert in Atlanta on March 7 after being selected as a reserve for the 2021 NBA All-Star Game.
He discovered Wednesday morning that he’ll also be taking part in the 3-Point Shootout set to precede the game that night, and revealed the news to local media following the team’s shootaround.
“I’ll be in it, I’m doing it, I’m excited,” said Mitchell, who’s been a part of previous All-Star weekends by winning the Dunk Contest as a rookie, participating in the Skills Challenge and Rising Stars Challenge as a second-year player, and playing in the All-Star Game itself last season.
He said he appealed to a certain teammate to join him in the Shootout, but was rebuffed.
“I’ve been begging Joe [Ingles] to get in it, but he’s old, so he’s gonna go sit in his rocking chair or something with the kids,” Mitchell joked.
The fourth-year guard is shooting a career-best 38.9% on 3-pointers this season, while firing up a career-high 8.7 attempts per game from beyond the arc. His 3.4 made 3s per game rank him 10th in the NBA heading into Wednesday’s slate of games.
Jazz waive Shaq Harrison
The team also announced Wednesday afternoon that it had waived veteran guard Shaq Harrison.
Signed near the end of training camp, Harrison had hoped to serve as a defensive specialist in the Jazz’s rotation. However, the combination of his late arrival to the team; his recovery from a broken hand suffered in the offseason; a crowded backcourt featuring regular minutes from Mitchell, Mike Conley, Jordan Clarkson and Joe Ingles; and the development of second-year wing Miye Oni wound up limiting the 27-year-old’s opportunities.
He wound up appearing in just 17 games, averaging 1 point in 3.3 minutes per game.
The Jazz are now down to 13 full-roster contracts, plus a pair of two-way players.
UTAH JAZZ SECOND HALF SCHEDULE
Fri, March 12 • HOUSTON, 8 p.m.
Sun, March 14 • @ Golden State, 2 p.m., NBATV
Tue, March 16 • @ Boston, 5:30 p.m., TNT
Thu, March 18 • @ Washington, 5 p.m., NBATV
Fri, March 19 • @ Toronto, 6 p.m.
Mon, March 22 • @ Chicago, 7 p.m.
Wed, March 24 • BROOKLYN, 8 p.m., ESPN
Fri, March 26 • MEMPHIS, 7 p.m.
Sat, March 27 • MEMPHIS, 7 p.m.
Mon, March 29 • CLEVELAND, 7 p.m.
Wed, March 31 • @ Memphis, 6 p.m.
Fri, April 2 • CHICAGO, 7 p.m.
Sat, April 3 • ORLANDO, 7 p.m.
Mon, April 5 • @ Dallas, 5 p.m.
Wed, April 7 • @ Phoenix, 7 p.m., ESPN
Thu, April 8 • PORTLAND, 8 p.m.
Sat, April 10 • SACRAMENTO, 7 p.m.
Mon, April 12 • WASHINGTON, 7 p.m.
Tue, April 13 • OKLAHOMA CITY, 7 p.m.
Fri, April 16 • INDIANA, 1 p.m., NBATV
Sat, April 17 • @ L.A. Lakers, 2:30 p.m., ESPN
Mon, April 19 • @ L.A. Lakers, 8 p.m., ESPN
Wed, April 21 • @ Houston, 6 p.m.
Sat, April 24 • MINNESOTA, 7 p.m.
Mon, April 26 • @ Minnesota, 6 p.m.
Wed, April 28 • @ Sacramento, 8 p.m.
Fri, April 30 • @ Phoenix, 7 p.m.
Sat, May 1 • TORONTO, 8 p.m.
Mon, May 3 • SAN ANTONIO, 8 p.m.
Wed, May 5 • SAN ANTONIO, 7 p.m., NBATV
Fri, May 7 • DENVER, 8 p.m., ESPN
Sat, May 8 • HOUSTON, 8 p.m.
Mon, May 10 • @ Golden State, 8 p.m., NBATV
Wed, May 12 • PORTLAND, 7 p.m.
Fri, May 14 • @ Oklahoma City, 6 p.m.
Sun, May 16 • @ Sacramento, TBD
Home games in CAPS