Utah Jazz: Top 5 games to circle on the calendar in 2017-18

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - MARCH 10: Rudy Gobert #27 and Rodney Hood #5 of the Utah Jazz celebrate a victory against the New York Knicks on March 10, 2015 at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY, UT - MARCH 10: Rudy Gobert #27 and Rodney Hood #5 of the Utah Jazz celebrate a victory against the New York Knicks on March 10, 2015 at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Utah Jazz Gordon Hayward Boston Celtics Isaiah Thomas
NEW ORLEANS, LA – FEBRUARY 18: Gordon Hayward (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

#1. Hayward’s Return to Utah

Wednesday, March 28th – Boston Celtics at Utah Jazz

This one should come as no surprise to anybody. Although the Jazz will first see Gordon Hayward and his newly joined Boston Celtics on the road on December 15th, the true spectacle will be when the once heralded star makes his return to Vivint Smart Home Arena.

Ironically, the last time Hayward stepped off that court, it was to the sound of fans chanting his name in adoration after the series loss to Golden State. Unfortunately for him, while fans may still be chanting his name again in this game, I have a feeling that their chants will have a slightly different tone this time around.

Regardless of any Jazz fan’s opinion of how Hayward handled his free agent decision, there’s no doubting that this game is going to be a revenge match of sorts. The Jazz were very much spurned by their former All-Star just as they were starting to turn the corner and you can bet that nearly the entire roster will be out to prove that their former teammate made the wrong decision.

Especially considering that Hayward was quick to pin Celtics fans as being on another level than Jazz fans, you can bet that the Utah faithful are going to come out in droves for this contest. The arena will be rocking as the fans look to remind their former hero just what he left behind and the players look to show Hayward just what he’s missing.

Boston figures to be one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference next season, so this will undoubtedly be a tough match-up for the Jazz. Nevertheless, they’ll have plenty of motivation to arise victorious, so Jazz fans can expect this grudge match to be an exhilarating contest and likely one of the most exciting games of the year as they root for the defeat of their once beloved star.

Next: Analyzing the 2017-18 Utah Jazz schedule; Gordon Hayward returns in March

Make no mistake about it, the Jazz are in for an exhilarating 2017-18 season and I’m sure that these five games, as exciting as they’re bound to be, will only scratch the surface of all that the team has in store during this upcoming year.