The Utah Jazz have the early makings of a special team heading into the 2015-16 NBA season. After trading away big man Enes Kanter and giving young center Rudy Gobert a larger role, the team saw a positive change in their defensive numbers last season, and ended up being one of the toughest outs over the course of the second half of the year. Utah still only finished 38-44 on the season, but the writing could be on the wall that this young squad is finally ready to get the Jazz back into the playoffs.
While the excitement surrounding the likes of Gobert and Gordon Hayward is very real, the Jazz will still have a tough road to even secure the eighth seed in the brutal Western Conference. Fortunately, the Jazz won’t be traveling at a ridiculous rate for the 2015-16 NBA season, as they find themselves smack dab in the middle of the league (45,270 miles) in expected travel for the upcoming season, per NBAsavant.com. Utah wasn’t in the middle when it came to strength of schedule last year, however, as they ranked second in the league in terms of the difficulty of their matchups on a regular basis.
Utah’s finish around the .500 mark is all the more impressive due to their challenging schedule from a season ago, but playing in the Western Conference isn’t about to ease things up on them going into the new year. That being said, Utah fans are set up to get a solid return on Jazz tickets, with the average price on the year coming in at roughly $143.78. Let’s take a closer look at Utah’s home opener and their game the day after Christmas to see how good Jazz fans have it this season, with information from TiqIQ.com:
11/4/2015 VS. Portland Trail Blazers at EnergySolutions Arena | Avg: $77.02 | Get-in: $23
Utah’s true season opener (vs. Detroit Pistons, $98.34 on average) is even more expensive than this one, despite this being the Jazz’s home opener. Damian Lillard and the Blazers will try to make life difficult on Utah, but that may not be easy with LaMarcus Aldridge no longer around. Lillard is a one-man wrecking crew and certainly provides some nice star power, but this is a matchup that very much favors Utah overall. The Jazz have the edge down low with Derrick Favors and Gobert dominating the glass and protecting the rim, while Hayward and Rodney Hood should have little trouble scoring on Portland’s now shaky perimeter defense. It should be a terrific value buy for fans to get the season rolling, and is somehow just half the price of Utah’s season average.
Out-of-town Jazz fans looking to see the emerging franchise in their home opener can do so by using Hipmunk.com as their one-stop travel source. They have a Salt Lake City flight guide available from most major airline carriers, and in addition, Hipmunk has the perfect hotel in Salt Lake City, with rooms starting from just $50, for fans who want to turn it into a basketball getaway.
12/26/2015 VS. Los Angeles Clippers at EnergySolutions Arena | Avg: $102.05 | Get-in: $33
Jazz fans get a sweet deal the day after Christmas, so consider it a slightly late holiday gift. Jazz tickets drop by $41 for this killer home game, which has a deadly trio of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan coming to town. Utah will surely have their hands full with the Clippers’ top three players, while Paul Pierce, J.J. Redick and Lance Stephenson round out a dangerous Los Angeles team that could compete to be the best team in the entire league. Win or lose, Jazz fans are getting a heck of a show on the cheap, while anyone can get in for just $33.