Utah Jazz: Top three things to be excited about for preseason

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - APRIL 27: Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz celebrates the Jazz win at the end of Game Six of Round One of the 2018 NBA Playoffs against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Vivint Smart Home Arena on April 27, 2018 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Jazz beat the Thunder 96-91 to advance to the second round of the NBA Playoffs. 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. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY, UT - APRIL 27: Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz celebrates the Jazz win at the end of Game Six of Round One of the 2018 NBA Playoffs against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Vivint Smart Home Arena on April 27, 2018 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Jazz beat the Thunder 96-91 to advance to the second round of the NBA Playoffs. 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. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images) /
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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – AUGUST 27: Damian Martin of the Perth Wildcats poses during the NBL First Ever Apparel Uniform Launch athe the Ultimo Community Centre on August 27, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – AUGUST 27: Damian Martin of the Perth Wildcats poses during the NBL First Ever Apparel Uniform Launch athe the Ultimo Community Centre on August 27, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images) /

International talent on display

Not only will the Utah Jazz play each of their first three preseason games within the friendly confines of Vivint Smart Home Arena, but two of those contests will be against international squads, both out of Australia. First Utah will host the Perth Wildcats, then they’ll take on the Adelaide 36ers.

Last season, the Jazz hosted an international team during the preseason for the first time ever as the Sydney Kings came to town. It was also historic because it was the first time that teams out of Australia’s NBL had traveled to the U.S. to take on NBA teams.

The fact that both those things will occur for the second straight season is great not just for the Jazz, but for the sport of basketball. It continues to grow in popularity worldwide, and seeing the Jazz be a part of it by taking on international squads is pretty sweet.

Not only that, but it’s kind of cool to see the players on these squads outside of the NBA for a lone time during the season. Sure, they’re not the greatest competition – the Jazz should win easily – and they’re not loaded with recognizable stars, but it’s still a unique experience that should be cherished by Jazz fans as they gear up for the season.

Last year, the Sydney Kings gave the Jazz a nice trial run before true NBA competition came into play, and I suspect Perth and Adelaide will be a similar warm-up this time around.

Next. Utah Jazz to hold ‘Meet the Team’ event prior to pre-season opener. dark

So while the preseason most certainly doesn’t carry the weight or intrigue of the regular season, it still provides plenty of excitement and is a nice precursor to the season. As we get our first look at the 2018-19 Utah Jazz, a visit from Kawhi Leonard and his brand new Raptors team, and host a pair of NBL teams, this preseason should be one to remember.