Playoff Bound? Previewing the Utah Jazz 2015-2016 Season

Posted by on Aug 30, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Playoff Bound? Previewing the Utah Jazz 2015-2016 Season

Jazz Game

Although the young Utah Jazz did not qualify for the playoffs last year in the highly competitive West Conference, the team still finished the 2014-2015 season on a high note.  The Jazz posted  a record of 38-44; winning 21 out of their 41 home games, and 17 on the road.

However, after going 19-34 and the 4th worst defensive rating in the league (106.1 per) prior to the All-Star Game,; the Jazz roared back to finish the second half of the season going 19-10; while also posting a league best defensive rating of 94.8 per. This not only lead the league but was also substantially higher than the Bucks and Grizzlies who each tired for second during the post All-Star break with a per of 99.4 points per 100 possessions.

The changed defensive presence was due to largely to the trade of Center Enes Kanter on February 20th to the Oklahoma City Thunder which paved the way for the emergence of defensive minded player, Rudy Gobert.

The trade was addition by subtraction for the the Jazz. Gobert flourished in the starting center roll, publishing numbers of 11.1 ppg, 13.4 rpg, and 2.6 bpg, compared to averages of 6.9ppg, 7.3rpg, and 2.2 bpg prior to landing the starting role.

2015-2016 Season:

The Jazz look to ride their momentum into next season with hopes of making their first playoff berth since their first round exit against the San Antonio Spurs in 2011-2012 in which they were swept.  The Jazz have maintained their core nucleus and will also see 24 year old shooting guard, Alec Burks return to the lineup, who was sidelined with a shoulder injury early last season.

The Jazz will be missing their starting point guard Dante Exum, who went down with an ACL tear this summer during an exhibition game for his home country, Australia. Yet, it isn’t all doom and gloom for the Jazz, and despite the loss of Exum, this season still promises to be an exciting one for the Jazz.

The Jazz’s core nucleus of Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, and Gobert all look to continue the improvement of last year to help the Jazz break their playoff drought.  Point Guard Trey Burke will look to fill a bigger role in the absence of Exum.   In addition to the team’s core, Small Forward and Duke Alumni, Rodney Hood looks to continue to build on last year’s impressive numbers which he posted after missing the first portion of the season due to a foot injury.

The Jazz will kick off the season in Detroit, as they face the Pistons on Wednesday, October 28th. The first home game of the season will be on November 4th against the Portland Trail Blazers.

Getting to the Game: Tickets to the Jazz can be found on Smith’s Tix as well as KSL.com from second hand vendors.

When it comes to getting to the game you have several options.  If you choose to drive to the game, parking can be found in lots around the arena as well as in the underground parking garage’s of the adjacent Gateway Mall.  While mall parking is usually the cheapest, be prepared for long lines exiting the garage following the game.

Another option is Trax which is Salt Lake’s light rail transit system.  The TRAX arena station is located at 301 West South Temple which is right in front of Energy Solution Arena’s north doors.  Most games are within regular operating hours, but UTA extends service hours for late night games.

If you’re on a date or simply don’t want to deal with traffic or public transportation, a limo provides an excellent option.  Companies such as Salt City Limo provide service to and from the front steps of Energy Solutions Arena.  Their page can be found at: www.saltcitylimo.com/utah-jazz-basketball-games.  They offer accommodations for up to 20 people if you have a large that you are catering to.