OKLAHOMA CITY — Now on to the final game of their six-game road trip, the Utah Jazz take on the Oklahoma City Thunder, Wednesday night at 6 p.m. MT. Here's what's going on with the team.
A new addition to the injury report for the Jazz: star rookie Donovan Mitchell. He is listed as questionable due to a contusion on the big toe on his right foot. That might explain why Mitchell didn't play much of the fourth quarter during Monday night's game, and partially his ineffectiveness (and likelihood to foul) earlier in the contest.
We're likely to get updates on Mitchell's status either at shootaround tomorrow morning, or at Quin Snyder's pregame press conference. Jazz fans know from George Hill's toe injury how those can be a nuisance, and they'll be cautious with their star player's future.
Derrick Favors is also listed as questionable, thanks to the concussion he suffered in the game against the Boston Celtics. Questionable is an upgrade above out, though, and a sign he's progressing in the NBA's return to play protocol after a concussion.
Rudy Gobert is still out with his PCL sprain in his left knee, Raul Neto is out with his concussion, and Dante Exum is also out due to his shoulder surgery. Nate Wolters is with the Jazz.
Meanwhile, fellow two-way contract Eric Griffin plays the Westchester Knicks (featuring former Jazz PG Trey Burke) at 5 p.m. MT Tuesday with the Salt Lake City Stars.
Carlos Boozer retires
Carlos Boozer retired from the NBA on Monday, ending a 13-year career where he averaged 16.2 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. Those are great career averages! He also made the Olympics and All-Star game twice.
I always felt Boozer was a little bit unfairly attacked by Jazz fans. Yeah, his defense left something to be desired, in part due to his stickish frame and short arms. But Boozer made the most of that frame in Utah, with his terrific midrange jumper, his ability to finish with both hands, and legitimately becoming one of the best rebounding power forwards in the league.
In particular, the man scored 35 points and had 14 rebounds in a Game 7 103-99 victory on the road against the Houston Rockets, probably the most important Jazz playoff game since John Stockton and Karl Malone retired.
Yes, he wanted to be paid. But as much as anything, I think he was a victim of being compared too frequently to Malone when we should have been comparing him to the rest of his second-round brethren. I'll remember his career fondly.
The Jazz had planned on traveling to Oklahoma City on Monday night, after the completion of their contest against the Rockets as they usually do. However, heavy fog in Houston prevented their plane from taking off, so they stayed an extra night in Houston and flew to Oklahoma City on Tuesday morning.
They didn't hold a practice on Tuesday, though we don't know if the plane delay caused the Jazz to skip a practice they may have otherwise held. They do face a back to back against the Thunder and the Spurs, so it's possible Snyder would have saved the legs of his injured core anyway.
Jersey release video
Nike is releasing four jerseys for every NBA team this season, and the fourth is the "City" jersey, which represents something special about every NBA community. But the Utah Jazz represent the whole state of Utah, not just Salt Lake City, so they wanted to give a shoutout to Utah's national parks in this fourth uniform.
So the team released a video today, explaining the jersey, though the design itself won't be released until Dec. 27.
A tribute to our fans, our community, and our state. Nike City Edition coming 12/27/17.#TakeNotepic.twitter.com/cCZWdX97IN — Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) December 19, 2017
That being said, leaks from the video game NBA2K seem to be accurate:
Though don't reveal the accompanying shorts and even a new court design that the Jazz are using for this reveal.
At the very least, it's different. I'm going to withhold judgment until the official mockups and the whole package is released.