Every year for several seasons now the Utah Jazz have treated fans to a free glimpse of familiar faces as well the new ones. Once again, the Jazz will hold a free scrimmage for fans at the EnergySolutions Arena.
Utah Jazz fans will have their first opportunity to see the 2013-14 squad when the team holds its annual intrasquad scrimmage at EnergySolutions Arena on Saturday, October 5 at 4 p.m. MT. The free event is open to the public (no tickets required). Doors will open at 3:15 p.m. Jazz radio broadcaster David Locke will hold a brief Q&A on the court with each individual Jazz player so that fans can “meet the team.” The scrimmage will begin immediately after the interview session.
The open scrimmage concludes training camp and the team will begin the preseason schedule on October 8 vs. Golden State at EnergySolutions Arena. In total, the Jazz will play eight preseason games (three home, five road/neutral site). The regular season tips off on October 30 when the Jazz hosts Northwest Division rival Oklahoma City Thunder.
We attend as a family every year and it’s always an amazing time. Here are five reasons you should go to these tremendous events:
• It wasn’t the first rookie dance-off, but Deron Williams ensured this would be a continuing tradition. And it has been.
• The young guns are now in charge of the floor as the veteran leaders, relatively speaking. Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter and Alec Burks will be hungry to showcase all of the talents that had previously largely been buried behind the established vets who garnered the bulk of the playing time.
Derrick Favors will be fully unleashed with his formidable physical talent fully on display, while we get to watch and see if Gordon Hayward is capable of wrestling control of the leadership role that’s been in limbo since the departure of Deron Williams.
Rather than a starting five that’s all expiring contracts, as last season, there’s a high likelihood that the Jazz could this season feature an all starting five that are still on rookie contracts and starving to prove their worth in the premiere basketball league in the world. How’s that for change?
The Jazz brass and coaching staff were bold and aggressive in moving up in last June’s draft. For their efforts they were rewarded with rookie Trey Burke, a player that could ultimately pan out to be the best point guard from the 2013 NBA draft.
Radio voice of the Utah Jazz, David Locke, notes that with Burke at the helm of the offense “the Jazz floor spacing is better than it has been in years past,” meaning that even if they’re yet inexperienced, the current crop of Jazz players will have room to showcase their young legs and athletic talent to it’s fullest leaving lots of room for crowd-pumping highlights aplenty.
Don’t worry so much about the win total this season; this team will be exciting to watch by any measure. Sorry, Adi Joseph and Sean Highkin. Your loss, fellas.
• The ESA will no longer be the only professional sports arena still using Lite-Brites for it’s jumbotron.
• Enes Kanter somehow managed to finagle his way out of having to participate in the 2011-12 rookie dance-off, a problem rectified by Big Al Jefferson last season. Kanter made up for it by doing the worm — not a Kosta Koufos level of worminess, but who knows, he may find the next break dancing star on the Jazz and drop another mic in the process while he’s at it.
• It’s FREE. Duh.