SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz released their 2021-22 NBA schedule on Friday, with the league returning to a full 82-game roster for the first time since the 2018-19 season.
The Jazz season opens October 20 against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Salt Lake City. The league will also play its all-star game on Sunday, February 20 in Cleveland, Ohio.
With the schedule released, these are the five must-see matches for Jazz fans this season.
Christmas Day vs. Dallas Mavericks
Don’t get into a Christmas coma as the Jazz take on the Dallas Mavericks in a nationwide 8:30 p.m. TV show to cap the annual NBA holiday showcase.
Jazz haven’t played Christmas since 2018 when they blew up the Portland Trail Blazers and will be looking for more holiday cheer against Luka Doncic and the Mavs at the start of the season.
New Years Day vs. Golden State Warriors
After last season’s debacle at Golden State amid a brilliant 24-point fourth quarter from Jordan Clarkson, NBA officials missed a foul on the three-point attempt by the sixth man of the year who would have given the Jazz a five-point lead. with only 30 seconds to play.
Instead, the Warriors escaped with a 119-116 win to stay in the playoff hunt.
Jazz fans will also be treated to the return of Klay Thompson who missed the last two seasons with ACL and Achilles tendon injuries.
January 26 vs. Phoenix Suns
The Jazz were swept away by the Phoenix Suns who nearly won the NBA title, ultimately losing 4-2 to the Milwaukee Bucks.
Donovan Mitchell only appeared in two of the Jazz’s four losses, but put in a formidable 41-point performance in Phoenix in a narrow overtime loss. The Jazz will seek revenge on the defending Western Conference champions at their earliest opportunity.
These games will be part of a house and house set.
March 14 vs. Milwaukee Bucks
The Jazz swept the eventual Champion Bucks last season with two of their best performances of the regular season at home and on the road.
Giannis Antetokounmpo seems to have a good grasp of the “best player in the league” claim and jazz fans should be sure to empty their schedules to allow time for the Greek Freak.
March 31 against the Los Angeles Lakers on TNT
The Los Angeles Lakers arrive at Vivint Arena on March 31 with a revamped roster now including jazz nemesis Russell Westbrook. The All-Star goalie beat the Jazz twice last season, scoring victories playing for the modest Washington Wizards.
In addition, LeBron James and Anthony Davis should regain all their strength for the Lakers who are considered the favorites to win the West in 2022.
Plus one: December 15 vs. Los Angeles Clippers
It wouldn’t be fair to put together a list of the best games on the Jazz calendar without mentioning the Los Angeles Clippers who knocked them out in the Western Conference semifinals last season.
However, this game may be more of an afterthought than some hoped, as Kawhi Leonard will likely miss most if not all of the 2021-22 season with an ACL injury suffered against the Jazz.
Had both teams been in perfect health, these two teams could be seen as contenders in the West, but without Leonard the Clippers face a tough climb.