When Utah takes place on Thursday night in Indiana, it will mark an anniversary.
Nearly seven months ago, the Jazz faced the Pacers in a regular game of the season.
For most mid-season games, it’s business as usual. But that night in Salt Lake City, there were more reasons to celebrate than the 8-point win.
It was announced that future first-room celebrity Dwyane Wade had purchased a minority stake in the Jazz organization, joining Ryan Smith as a co-owner.
“Partnering with Ryan and Utah Jazz is the perfect fit because we share the same vision and values,” Wade said at the time. “This corporation is not only focused on building unbeatable franchises, they are also committed to using their platform to do good and actively create a more equal, inclusive world. We share a lot of goals and are trying to reach the end in life.”
Legend, Leader, Entrepreneur.
Welcome to the Utah Jazz family pic.twitter.com/2YgPLHrTAu
– Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) April 16, 2021
Since that day with Wade – and since Smith took over ownership in December 2020 – Jazz has emerged as one of the top organizations in the league. Not only did Utah win on the field (which ended last year with the best NBA record), but the Jazz took it too, leading the charge in the fight against social and racial injustice across the country.
The organization is not afraid to speak out about social and racial issues around the country. Stars Donovan Mitchell and Joe Ingles spoke to the media this morning about the tragic death of Izzy Tichenor, a 10-year-old girl who died by suicide after being bullied at school.
“As an organization, there’s definitely people behind them (the Tichenor family.) Whatever we can do, we’ve had a really good conversation about some of the things that we can clarify. Obviously now, to try and help as much as we can,” Ingles said. “But also make sure that this doesn’t happen again in the future. And not just with kids with special needs, but just with any child, every child, every adult, everyone deserves it. deserves to go to work, to school or whatever we’re doing and going and being free and enjoying it.”
Facing the Pacers
– Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) November 11, 2021
After much talk of Utah not having an outside shot this year, the Jazz had one of their best performances Tuesday night against Atlanta.
Utah shot 39.5% (15 for 38) from outside the arc, their second-best percentage of the year. Six different players take down a three-pointer, with four of them taking down at least two.
“It gives you life,” Mitchell said after the game about the team that ended up taking down several shots.
Mitchell leads Utah in scoring with 25.9 points per game, one of five Jazz in doubles.
While the offense is currently second in the NBA with an 113.8 rating, the real story is Utah’s defense. The Jazz are eighth in defensive ratings – and their +9.7 is currently second in the league behind the Golden State Warriors.
* Rudy Gay: RA / right heel recovery
* Udoka Azubuike: OUT / G League – By Quest
* Jared Butler: OUT / G League – On Assignment
* Elijah Hughes: SN YES / no COVID-related illness
* Isaiah Jackson: RA/left knee hypertension
* Caris LeVert: OUT / low back pain
* TJ Warren: OUT/left iliac fracture
* Duane Washington Jr: OUT / G League – Two-way
* DeJon Jarreau: OUT / G League – Two-way
Time: 7pm MST
Venue: Vivint Arena / Salt Lake City, UT
TV: AT&T Sports Network
Radio: 1280 The Zone
https://www.nba.com/jazz/news/utah-ready-host-indiana-amidst-heavy-hearts Utah is ready to host Indiana amidst heavy hearts