Utah Jazz: Preseason slate contains possible Finals preview

Utah Jazz (Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports)
Utah Jazz (Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports) /

The NBA preseason schedule should give the Utah Jazz some high-level tests.

True, no Utah Jazz team has reached the NBA Finals since the franchise’s only two appearances in 1997 and 1998, ending in losses to the Chicago Bulls.

And the latest squad in Salt Lake City did little to quiet the skeptics by turning the league’s outright best record into yet another playoff catastrophe. This time, of course, the disaster was a blown 2-0 advantage in the Western Conference Semifinals via four straight losses to the No. 4 seed Los Angeles Clippers.

Still, depending on where you choose to look for 2022 Finals forecasts, the Jazz and reigning champ Milwaukee Bucks are either the favorites or among the favorites to square off for the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy next year.

If nothing else, though, we now know for sure that Utah’s closing preseason battle in October will pit the franchise that finished No. 1 in the 2020-21 NBA standings against the franchise that took home all the marbles in the end.

A solid mix of foes awaiting the Utah Jazz in four-game preseason play

The Utah Jazz preseason schedule, which the NBA revealed on Tuesday afternoon, begins with two road contests. Both outings are against fellow West teams: the San Antonio Spurs (33-39 last regular season) at 6:30 p.m. MT on Oct. 4 and then the Dallas Mavericks (42-30) at 6 p.m. MT on Oct. 6.

After that quick road trip, Utah will host Zion Williamson — fingers crossed — and his New Orleans Pelicans (31-41 last season) at 7 p.m. MT on Oct. 11 inside Vivint Arena. Finally, the Jazz will wrap up their season preparations at home versus the Bucks (46-26) at 7 p.m. MT on Oct. 13.

dark. Next. Predicting next season's Jazz rotation

The 2021-22 NBA regular season tips off on Oct. 19, but there’s no way to know yet if the Jazz will be in action that day.