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Utah Jazz can expect more back-to-back-to-back games

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 30 2011 9:37 p.m. MST

SALT LAKE CITY — The NBA has yet to release what could be referred to as its irregular season schedule.

But a couple of interesting tidbits came out Wednesday, including some preseason info.

Of most importance, the Utah Jazz can expect to find their scheduled loaded with more back-to-back-to-back games than most NBA teams, Jazz president Randy Rigby announced on his weekly segment with the team's radio station.

Because of the squeezed-schedule situation — 66 games in four months — the NBA has revealed that all 30 teams will play three-games-in-three-nights. Teams will do the taxing trio at least once but no more than three times.

The Jazz, Randy said, put in their usual request to the NBA to avoid scheduling home games on Sunday. The team is cognizant that many of its fans don't attend sporting events on the Sabbath Day due to religious beliefs.

Though extra back-to-back-to-backs could take a toll on Jazz players, Rigby said the fan-friendly tradeoff is worth it.

"We feel that's important to this community to continue to have their support," he told KFAN co-host Scott Garrard, "and we're glad to do that."

While fans and teams alike wait for the schedule's release — Rigby said he hasn't even seen it — the Jazz do have a preseason dancing partner.

Unfortunately for BYU fans, it is not Jimmer Fredette and the rookie-to-be's Sacramento Kings.

The Jazz will play their pair of exhibition contests against the Portland Trail Blazers.

Portland will host Utah on Dec. 19 — two days after the Jazz open up EnergySolutions Arena for a free scrimmage, KSL reported.

Utah and Portland will then head to Salt Lake City for a Dec. 21 matchup, according to a tweet by Jazz radio voice David Locke.

Ticket information has not been made public.

The NBA's season is set to begin on Dec. 25, though it's believed the Jazz will start the following day. The original schedule had Utah hosting Denver on Monday, Dec. 26.

Wednesdsay also marked the first day teams and agents were allowed to begin discussing player movement. Nothing formal can be agreed upon until Dec. 9, pending ratification of the new collective bargaining agreement. Rigby said Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor had expected to be on the phone, beginning at 7 a.m. (O'Connor could not be reached by the Deseret News.)

Though the new CBA has not been ratified, players are now welcome, beginning today, to use team facilities, something that's been off limits since owners locked them out on July 1.

Because a lot needs to happen between now and Dec. 9, when camps and the player-movement period open, Rigby also said players can begin getting required physicals by their teams today as well.

That, Rigby said, should help "streamline and expedite" players getting into camp to prepare for the Dec. 25 opening.

Added the Jazz president: "Christmas Day's going to be here before we know it."

Email: jody@desnews.com

Twitter: DJJazzyJody

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