Tomorrow (Tuesday, September 20) marks a week after the official start of training camp. From there, three weeks will pass in a blur before we enter the regular season. Where did the time go?
This has been one of the most intense and intense offseasons the Utah Jazz has ever had. Trading two All-Stars, racking up picks, and bringing plenty of intriguing players to the roster gives the organization LOTS to say about the start of the season.
With hope restored for the future and an exciting present, stepping out in the arena will be an underrated good time this coming season.
Utah finalized a multi-year rebrand with new jerseys and a matching field. While the outlook on the jerseys has been polarized at best, the arena and field are excellent and offer promising aesthetics.
In the spirit of everything that has changed with the team, we are renewing for a second consecutive year our selections of games that you will want to attend this season.
Last year we suggested 6 games, including thrilling finishes against the Milwaukee Bucks and Houston Rockets, blowouts against the Golden State Warriors and Dallas Mavericks, and entertaining matchups against the Charlotte Hornets and Toronto Raptors.
Last year we focused on the games with the most entertainment potential for the money. This year, we’re looking for the best value so fans can get out into the arena often and create amazing memories with our new team.
Before we dive into our list, a quick disclaimer:
Ticket prices listed are based on 9/18 submissions via Ticketmaster. SLC Dunk cannot guarantee ticket prices. The assessment of value is the opinion of the author.
LA Clippers, November 22 | January 18
If you’re the type to seek out star games and see the best in the league, you’ll be hard pressed to find better value than the Clippers who travel to Utah twice this season.
Kawhi Leonard returns to action after a season out with an ACL injury and Paul George is healthy again. LA has assembled arguably their deepest and most versatile roster ever and plans to be a Western Conference juggernaut.
With all stars, especially Leonard and George, there is a risk of “load management” that keeps stars on the bench. After all, the two trips are the second consecutive nights.
However, out of the 12 B2Bs in the 2020-21 season, Kawhi has played both games 6 times and adapted for a single game 4 times. For a game in mid-January at this value, I’m willing to bet on Leonard getting dressed and putting on a show.
In November, the Clippers will complete a 2-game road trip while in January, they will begin a 4-game road trip against the Jazz.
Tickets start at just $16 in the upper bowl and $69 in the lower bowl. If you’re looking for Upper Bowl tickets, the best value is January 18, while November 22 is the best for a Lower Bowl experience. Don’t spend the nausea inducing money for the Lakers when you can see similar stars on a far superior team with big savings.
Detroit Piston’s, November 23
If you’re the type who wants to play a lot of games, this is a great game to keep you going while still putting on a great show.
These aren’t the Pistons you remember from a few seasons ago. They’ve stockpiled a handful of exciting young players in Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey (#5 rookie), Jalen Duren (#13 rookie) and Saddiq Bey.
You’ll see a lot of speed, athleticism and passing in this one which is likely to be an attacking spectacle. The 2022-23 Utah Jazz will likely reflect a similar style with less flashy names. This is a foolproof entertaining game for pennies.
Detroit will be on a back-to-back while Utah will have a single day off. The Pistons will also play the 5th of a 6-game road trip.
Tickets start at $9 in the upper bowl and $47 in the lower bowl. It’s also one of the best games to get premium seats in the top bowl (side view, rows 1-3 starting at $31). It’s my favorite choice for a cheap game to see a fast-paced game full of rising stars, and maybe walk out of the arena with a “W”.
Last season, the Memphis Grizzlies were a staple on television. Between Desmond Bane as a rising star and Jaren Jackson Jr.’s perfect No. 3 hitting his inside-out DPOY, the Grizz were a league darling.
Oh, and not to mention the superhuman highlights of a certain Ja Morant:
JJJ is recovering from injury and although he is progressing well, he is unlikely to be suitable for this game (hence the big deal). But you’re still looking for a strong team with internal expectations to compete in the West.
They were, after all, the No. 2 team in the West that fielded a breakout MVP candidate. You’ll be hard pressed to see an opponent this year with that kind of resume for those awards.
Memphis and Utah will both be 1 day off while Memphis will be Game 3 of a 4 stop road trip.
Tickets can be purchased from $11 in the upper bowl and $54 in the lower bowl…for last year’s second seed in the West. As long as you can bear to watch Desmond Bane, knowing full well that he should be a jazz man, that’s one of the best values for one of the best teams.
Games against the Pelicans practically sell out at this point. Multiple All-Stars in Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram, capable veterans in CJ McCollum and Jonas Valanciunas, showcase worthy defenders in Herb Jones and Jose Alvarado; it doesn’t get any better than that.
How did Zion Williamson prepare for Year 4?
He’s built a rigid 8-week plan with strength and conditioning coach Jasper Bibbs that Bibbs says will make Zion look as good as ever.
“He’s a better athlete now than he ever was.”https://t.co/sXdghj6sRw
— Will Guillory (@WillGuillory) September 19, 2022
Zion is pretty box office with what it can do. After missing last season, everything indicates that he is ready to resume his dominance in the paint. He’s all-in with a contract extension and in terrific form, by all reports.
Last we saw Zion he was putting 27.0 pts, 7.2 rbs, 3.7 ast on 65% TS. That’s… jaw dropping for a sophomore. What does its 3rd season have in store for us? We could consider an MVP campaign.
The Pelicans will be on 1 day off at Jazz 2 and the first night of a 3-game road trip.
Tickets start at $12 in the upper bowl and $60 in the lower bowl. Few teams feature the combination of stars, highlight reels and young players like New Orleans. You could very well see a crew burst onto the scene as a Western threat to what you spend on the movies.
Another fantastic game featuring rising stars and young talent takes place against the Magic in mid-January. The game will feature No. 1 pick Paolo Banchero and last season’s No. 5 and No. 7 picks Jalen Suggs and German national team standout Franz Wagner.
Paolo is the archetype of the prototypical franchise player and is projected as an immediate contributor. Currently boasting the highest ratings, you can witness a rookie of the year season in person.
The Orlando Magic are also a fascinating comparison team with Utah when they traded Nikola Vucevic and Aaron Gordon two trade deadlines ago to kick off a rebuild. The future looks bright now with a mini-rebuild giving hope for the franchise.
The Magic and Jazz will be on 2 days off, but Orlando will be on Game 4 of a 5-game road trip.
Tickets start at $18 in the upper bowl and $59 in the lower bowl. Be especially diligent in finding the correct tickets as this game has unusual price discrepancies. But if you score them at these prices, you’ll find yourself watching stars in the making, and you’ll have a competitive feel throughout.
Visiting the arena to cheer on the Jazz is special, and doing so knowing you’ve snagged seats at an incredible price is all the more enjoyable.
I know I will be playing some of the games mentioned above and hope to see you at Viv. Drop a comment below or tag @slcdunk on Twitter tell us which match you hope to attend this season!