2021-22 Utah Jazz Season Preview
The Utah Jazz come in as one of the best teams and previews as a team to win the Larry O’Brien Trophy. Led by stars Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, the Jazz have a chance to make noise in a loaded Western Conference.
After earning the #1 overall seed last season in the NBA Playoffs, the Jazz beat the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round but fell to the Los Angeles Clippers in the second round. It was a disappointing and early exit for the best team in the Western Conference from the regular season.
The Jazz was led last season by Donovan Mitchell, who is the face of the franchise. Mitchell averaged over 26 points per game. A surprising two-man was Bojan Bogdonavic, who averaged over 17 points per game. Rudy Gobert was a big help on the offensive side but is one of the best rim protectors in the league and a great defender.
The Jazz returned a lot of players from a season ago and brought in some great talent to add to this team.
The Jazz brought in veteran help this offseason by signing Rudy Gay and Hassan Whiteside. Rudy Gay is a veteran who will be a role player and help develop the younger players on this team. Hassan Whiteside is best known for his years in Miami as a rim protector before going to Portland and to Sacramento. Whiteside now ends up in Utah with some of the better defenders in the league.
The Jazz re-signed Mike Conley, one of the better veteran guards in the league. Conley averaged 16.2 points per game a season ago, is a scrappy player, and is loved by the organization. His work on and off the court led to the Jazz extending a contract to bring Conley back.
Two more additions that will help the Jazz are rookie Derrick Alston Jr. and Jared Butler. The two rookies had very successful seasons at their respective colleges, both making the final four. Alston Jr. and Butler will both play on the preseason roster and look to earn a spot on the final roster come the regular season.
The Utah Jazz lost two key players in Georges Niang and Derrick Favors. Niang and Favors were both in the top 10 for games played last year by the Jazz. Niang appeared in 72 games, and Favors appeared in 68 games.
The Jazz does not lose a lot of scoring, only about 12 points from the two combined, but those are valuable minutes that both players were able to take up and help out with—two role-players at the power forward and center positions.
The key players are very obvious for this Jazz team. There are no two players that are bigger than Mitchell and Gobert. A relationship that we all once thought was unsalvageable propelled them to the #1 seed in the Western Conference and one of the favorites in the NBA this year.
The Jazz also has key and important players that work behind the scenes, Joe Ingles, Mike Conley, Bojan Bogdanovic, and Jordan Clarkson. This Jazz team is loaded with talent and will compete for the best team in the west again.
2021-22 Odds and Lines
Total Wins Over/Under: 52.5 Northwest Division: -227 Western Conference: +750 NBA Title: +1600
* All odds provided by Action247 Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
**All views expressed are my own. My picks are my own and are not a guarantee, bet at your own risk.