Despite a negative end result at NOLA, the Utah Jazz looked more like the team fans want to see against the Pelicans on Friday.

For the first time since the start of preseason games, the Utah Jazz lined up a team made up of all their main players on Friday. As a result, the jazz band have made great strides, playing the high octane mark that offensive ball fans want to see from the club this season.

Of course, the New Orleans Pelicans ultimately prevailed in the dying seconds of the game – escaping with a 128-127 win on a controversial goaltender call – and Zion Williamson did things to Zion Williamson, but Quin Snyder’s “mixer” and his team’s improved marksmanship and scoring prowess were all in the spotlight.

In particular, the Jazz’s ball movement was there in a way it hadn’t been against the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday; Utah had 37 assists in the contest. A big factor in that flow was the team’s new additions hitting the right notes and doing better offensive readings overall.

After combining to miss their 14 shot attempts in Milwaukee, Mike Conley and Bojan Bogdanovic played with passion, determination and precision in their second round.

Conley scored 13 points in 23 minutes, hitting three trebles along the way and registering seven assists. More importantly, he seemed much more comfortable directing traffic offensively. Bogdanovic, meanwhile, scored 15 points, hit three of his own and added eight boards and three dimes for good measure.

Bogey still looked less comfortable than Conley and committed five turnovers in the game, but his decision making in the Jazz’s plans was improved and his ball skills and shooting ability nonetheless shone. He still has time for him to sort things out (and the Jazz need him if they are to hit their cap this season).

Royce O’Neale, who started the game and spent some time in fourth place, seems to me to be the favorite for the starting striker role. He scored 16 points and had a handful of good defensive times over Williamson.

Of course, we could also designate the veteran Jeff Green as a potential four-way starter, and he actually led the Jazz in the game with 20 points. For my part, I like him as a punch and playmaker in the second unit, but I can also certainly see scenarios where matches justify Snyder giving him the green light.

Either way, his ability to move 6ft 9in and manipulate the ball puts him in rarefied air for Jazz alumni of similar stature. He might end up being more important to Jazz’s efforts this season than many would have imagined when they snatched him from a minimum contract last summer.

The game also marked the exhibition slate’s first game action for Rudy Gobert, who responded with 15 points on a perfect 5-for-5 from the field and two blocked shots.

Gobert’s return aside, the Jazz scarecrow against the Pels was obviously their defense. Sure, NOLA did most of its damage in the fourth quarter when Snyder essentially kicked the game and emptied his bench, but Williamson and Co. also got everything they wanted when they faced off against the big guys. canons of Jazz.

The defense watched a little best when the stuffy tower was in there, but the Jazz clearly still has a lot of work to do around the edges.

I’m especially concerned about the D of the team when Gobert takes a break. For several years, Derrick favors did a great job taking the court in these situations. Now he’s gone, and while Ed davis brings a lot to the table when it comes to its bounce and D position, it only offers a fragment of the rim protection brought by D-Faves.

Speaking of which, the former Jazzman will never look weird in a Pelicans uniform, and he had a quiet night against his former team here, scoring two points in just 11 minutes. Either way, Favors will be a huge asset for New Orleans this season.

The next stop for Jazz will be the Sacramento Kings on Monday. The action will begin at Vivint Smart Home Arena at 7:00 p.m. MT.