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Utah Jazz 2016-2017 regular-season schedule unveiled

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Utah Jazz forward Joe Ingles (2) and Utah Jazz forward Derrick Favors (15) celebrate as Ingles makes a four point play as the Utah Jazz play the Atlanta Hawks in NBA basketball action Tuesday, March 8, 2016, in Salt Lake City.

Utah Jazz forward Joe Ingles (2) and Utah Jazz forward Derrick Favors (15) celebrate as Ingles makes a four point play as the Utah Jazz play the Atlanta Hawks in NBA basketball action Tuesday, March 8, 2016, in Salt Lake City.

Tom Smart,

SALT LAKE CITY — With the offseason additions of George Hill, Joe Johnson and Boris Diaw, many NBA pundits are pegging the Utah Jazz as a surefire playoff team next spring.

First, they'll have to work through an 82-game regular season, the schedule of which was released Thursday.

Quin Snyder's club will open by playing the Portland Trail Blazers on the road Tuesday, Oct. 25, a starting date that is nearly a week earlier than in campaigns past. That will be the third time in 22 days the Jazz will face the Trail Blazers, as they'll meet twice in the preseason.

Utah's home opener is Oct. 28 against the Los Angeles Lakers, who will be without Kobe Bryant for the first time since 1996. Eight of the Jazz's first 11 games will be away from Vivint Arena.

In December, they'll face the Golden State Warriors twice. The defending Western Conference champions will come to Salt Lake City Dec. 8, and Utah will play in Oakland Dec. 20. The teams will square off again April 10 at Golden State, the Jazz's second-to-last game of the regular season.

Utah will see LeBron James and the defending NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers Jan. 10 at home and Mar. 16 on the road. The team will be off from Feb. 16-23 for the NBA All-Star break.

Coming down the stretch, the Jazz will play six games in April, three at home and three on the road. Five of the six will be against Western Conference foes that made the playoffs in 2016, with the up-and-coming Minnesota Timberwolves being the other.

Utah will close the regular season April 12 at home against the San Antonio Spurs.

In all, the Jazz will appear 17 times on national television, with three games to be on TNT, four on ESPN and nine on NBA TV, with an April 2 matchup at San Antonio on ABC. Their longest homestand will be five games from Dec. 6-16, and they'll have two five-game road trips, one in November and one in January.

Utah will play 17 back-to-back sets.

The Jazz finished the 2015-16 campaign with a 40-42 record, a game out of the eighth seed in the West, but many are predicting they could end up with homecourt advantage in 2017.

Ryan McDonald is a sports reporter at DeseretNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @ryanwmcdonald.