Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) goes to the basket as New Orleans Pelicans center Jaxson Hayes (10) defends during the second half during an NBA basketball game Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Jazz will officially kick off the NBA’s restart when they face the New Orleans Pelicans (28-36) in Orlando on Thursday, July 30th. The game will be broadcast nationally on TNT starting at 4:30 p.m. Mountain Time. All Jazz games will be played at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World in Florida. The Jazz will also face the Oklahoma City Thunder (40-24), the Los Angeles Lakers (49-14), the Memphis Grizzlies (32-33), the San Antonio Spurs twice (27-36), the Denver Nuggets (43-22), and Dallas Mavericks (40-27).
It’s a favorable schedule for the Jazz as they avoid the Los Angeles Clippers, Houston Rockets and any top team from the Eastern Conference. Four of the eight teams the Jazz face currently have losing records, though the Jazz have never faced the New Orleans Pelicans with Zion Williamson. Other teams they face will have roster differences as well, including the Lakers (JR Smith in place of Avery Bradley, who is opting out of the restart), Mavericks (Willie Cauley-Stein is also opting out of the restart), and Spurs (LaMarcus Aldridge had season-ending right shoulder surgery). Of course, the Jazz will have a roster hole of their own after Bojan Bogdanovic had season-ending surgery on his right wrist in May.
Utah is currently in the 4th position in the competitive Western Conference with a record of 41-23, only one-and-a-half games behind Denver and one game ahead of both Oklahoma City and Houston. Of the eight games to be played, currently five of them are scheduled to be broadcast on national television. All games will be shown locally on AT&T SportsNet and broadcast on Utah Jazz affiliate radio stations, including 106.9 FM / 1390 AM The FAN in Logan.
After all eight games have been played, the teams that will continue to the playoffs will be determined by highest combined winning percentages across the already-played regular season plus the eight games in Orlando. There may be a play-in tournament August 15-16 to determine the final playoff spot for both the Western and Eastern conferences, but Jazz fans need not worry about Utah’s participation in it since the Jazz have already clinched a playoff spot. Once the 16 teams are set, the traditional conference playoff format will be followed (four rounds of best-of-seven series) beginning on August 17th. The NBA Finals are scheduled to begin September 30th. If the series goes seven games, the final game would be played October 13th.
Some players across the NBA voiced concerns about resuming play while important social discussions are occurring around the country surrounding Black Lives Matter. According to a release from the Utah Jazz, the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) agreed in principle that “the goal of the season restart will be to find tangible and sustainable ways to address racial inequality across the country. Leaders from the NBA and the NBPA have also discussed strategies to increase Black representation across the NBA and its teams, ensure greater inclusion of Black-owned and operated businesses across NBA business activities, and form an NBA foundation to expand educational and economic development opportunities across the Black community.”
Full schedules for all teams heading to Orlando can be found at NBA.com/schedule.
2020 Utah Jazz NBA Restart Schedule in Orlando
Date Opponent Time (MT) Location National TV
Thu, July 30 at New Orleans 4:30 p.m. HP Field House TNT
Sat, Aug. 1 at Oklahoma City 1:30 p.m. Arena ESPN
Mon, Aug. 3 L.A. LAKERS 7 p.m. Arena ESPN
Wed, Aug. 5 MEMPHIS 12:30 p.m. HP Field House —
Fri, Aug. 7 at San Antonio 11 a.m. HP Field House —
Sat, Aug. 8 at Denver 1:30 p.m. Arena TNT
Mon, Aug. 10 DALLAS 1 p.m. Arena NBATV
Thu, Aug. 13 SAN ANTONIO TBD TBD TBD
*games in CAPS denote the Jazz will be designated as the Home Team