Northwest Preview: Utah Jazz

Everyday until the regular season, we’re going to preview teams in the Northwest Division.

2010-11 result: 39-43 overall, 4th in the Northwest Division

Key Departures: Ronnie Price,  Andre Kirilenko

Key Acquisitions: Josh Howard, Enes Kanter, Alec Burks, Jamaal Tinsley, Scottie Reynolds

Outlook: With the resignation of Coach Jerry Sloan back in February, Tyrone Corbin will now enter his first full season as coach of the Utah Jazz. Corbin will truly be the measuring stick for how far this team can go. After winning only eight of his 28 games as interim coach last year, Corbin has his work cut out for him.

Luckily for Coach Corbin, he has a solid roster to win with. With players like Devin Harris, Al Jefferson, and Enes Kanter, it’s clear that the Jazz have talent – it’s just a matter of whether or not this team can “click.” The additions of Josh Howard and Jamaal Tinsley will also add veteran experience and depth to a relatively young team. Also, the additions of rookies Enes Kanter and Alex Burks should have Jazz fans excited for the future as both players could be poised to make an impact on this team right away.

If the Jazz have any chance at making a push for the playoffs, they must depend on their home crowd to fire them up. Playing on the road at Utah can often times be one of the more difficult venues to play at in the NBA, but the Jazz finished with an average record of 21-20 when playing at home last season. Two seasons ago, the Jazz finished the 2009-10 season with a record of 32-9 at home in the regular season. That same season, they finished as the fifth seed in the Western Conference after finishing 53-29 overall. Those numbers speak directly to the importance of the Jazz playing well at home this season, and the Jazz fans should be ready to cheer loudly for what could be the most unpredictable team in the Western Conference.

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