SALT LAKE CITY — Well, the cat is out the bag.
The Utah Jazz’s complete 2018-19 regular season schedule was revealed on Friday afternoon.
Unlike the beginning of last season, the Jazz are now in the spotlight with 17 nationally televised games on ESPN, TNT and NBA TV.
Back-to-back games will also be at an all-time low league-wide (13.3) as no team will play four games in five days for the second straight season. With the season opener quickly approaching, these are seven things to look out for as Rookie of the Year runner-up Donovan Mitchell, Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert and Coach of the Year finalist Quin Snyder look to lead the Jazz back to the postseason. Take note of these dates.
Game One: The Jazz will kick off the season on the road against the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday, Oct. 17 at 8 p.m. MT from Golden 1 Center. Former Duke teammates Marvin Bagley III of the Kings will be facing his college buddy Grayson Allen, drafted 21st overall by the Jazz. Bagley was selected second overall in this year’s draft.
Home opener: The back-to-back defending champion Golden State Warriors will be in town for the Jazz’s first home game at Vivint Arena on Friday, Oct. 19 live on ESPN. Tip-off is set for 8:30 p.m. MT. Last season, the Jazz went 3-1 against the Dubs. This matchup will mark the third time in franchise history that the Jazz have hosted the Warriors in a home opener and the first since 2002-03 when the Jazz won 101-92 behind Karl Malone’s 26 points.
Welcome back: The chances of former Jazz star Gordon Hayward receiving a standing ovation in his return to Utah is as unlikely as Michael Jordan returning to the NBA. Don’t bet on it. But Hayward and the Celtics are set to visit Vivint Arena on Friday, Nov. 9 at 7:30 p.m. MT on ESPN. Hayward suffered a season-ending left ankle injury in his first year with the Celtics so he never made the trip to Salt Lake City, but did pop up for the game in Boston.
Showtime: LeBron James took his talents to Hollywood this offseason, signing with the Los Angeles Lakers. James and former University of Utah star Kyle Kuzma will welcome the Jazz to the Lake Show for an NBA TV showdown on Friday, Nov. 23 at 8:30 p.m. MT. As a rookie, Donovan Mitchell won the slam dunk title on that same Staples Center floor during All-Star Weekend.
Internationally known: For the first time in franchise history, Jazz players will be playing a regular season game in Mexico City. Utah will face the Orlando Magic on Saturday, Dec. 15 at 3 p.m. MT in the second of the NBA Mexico City Games 2018. ESPN and NBA League Pass International will broadcast the contest from the Arena Ciudad de Mexico in Mexico City. The 1990-91 season was the last time the Jazz played a regular season game overseas. They split a pair of international games in Tokyo, Japan against the Phoenix Suns.7 comments on this story
Merry Christmas: He's making a list, he’s checking it twice; He’s gonna find out who’s naughty or nice. Santa Clause is coming to town. But no seriously, on Christmas Day, former Weber State star Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers will be in town as the Jazz are slated to host their Western Conference foes. That Tuesday, Dec. 25 contest is the first time the Jazz have played on Christmas since 1997 and the seventh time in franchise history. Both ESPN and AT&T SportsNet will broadcast the game at 8:30 p.m. MT.
No longer rookies: The Donovan Mitchell-Ben Simmons beef was primetime news last season. But the rookie rivals now enter the next stage of their young careers as second-year guards. Simmons, the NBA Rookie of the Year, and the Philadelphia 76ers will visit Mitchell, last season’s runner-up, during Week 11 at Vivint Arena on Thursday, Dec 27 at 8:30 p.m. on TNT. That should be a fun one.