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How telling will Jazz’s first extended road trip of the season be?

Too early to draw any real conclusions, but Sunday’s game will provide important lessons

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Houston Rockets forward David Nwaba, left, defends Utah’s Jordan Clarkson during game Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021, in Houston.

Houston Rockets forward David Nwaba, left, defends Utah’s Jordan Clarkson during game Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021, in Houston. The Jazz prevailed, but tougher tests await this weekend with back-to-back games in Chicago and Milwaukee.

Michael Wyke, Associated Press

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The Utah Jazz are on their first extended road trip of the young 2021-22 season and the final game of that trip is a looming cloud that could end up being their first loss of the season, but it could also be an opportunity for a big win.

They started out in Houston Thursday night with an easy 122-91 win, and will play their first back-to-back set Saturday and Sunday in Chicago and Milwaukee, respectively.

The Chicago Bulls are having their best start to a season since Michael Jordan was on their roster. Undefeated through four games, the Bulls have shown toughness and an ability to score the ball at a really high rate. With Utah coming into their building, they’ll be ready to put up a fight.

All indications point to the Jazz being able to win that game, as far as talent and familiarity goes, but they’ll be tired the next night when they have to face Giannis Antetokounmpo and the reigning NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks.

This early in the season, there’s no reason to overreact to any result so there won’t be any sweeping conclusions made, but Sunday’s game against the Bucks will provide important lessons no matter what the score.

If the Jazz are able to prove their mettle against the Bucks, they can build on what they showed in that game. If they aren’t able to beat the Bucks, the game will serve as a sort of starting point on the things the Jazz need to correct and work on as the season progresses.

Either way, it’s not a game you’re going to want to miss.

New with the Jazz

Stat of the week

Through three games, Rudy Gobert leads the league in rebounds per game with 19. Gobert grabbed 21 rebounds in the Jazz’s first game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, 20 rebounds on the road against the Sacramento Kings and 16 rebounds against the Denver Nuggets.

This week on ‘Unsalvageable’

Check out “Unsalvageable: A Utah Jazz Podcast,” hosted by Deseret News Utah Jazz beat reporter Sarah Todd and lifelong Jazz fan Greg Foster (no, not that Greg Foster). This week, the crew goes over their thoughts on the Jazz’s first two games of the season — highlights, what stood out, who has surprised and who has let down.

New episodes come out every week. You can listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast and anywhere else you stream podcasts.

From the archives

This week in Jazz history

On Oct. 26, 1984, John Stockton made his debut for the Utah Jazz at Seattle. The SuperSonics won, 102-94.

Extra points

  • The Utah Jazz just made a hire from the College Football Playoff (Deseret News)
  • The intangible ways Eric Paschall and Hassan Whiteside impact the game (Deseret News)
  • The early impact of the league’s new rules on Donovan Mitchell and the NBA (KSL.com)
  • Should the Utah Jazz pick up Udoka Azubuike’s option? (Salt Lake Tribune)

Around the league

Now in retirement, JJ Redick will join ESPN as an analyst.

MRI confirms, no structural damage to Nikola Jokic’s knee after injury in game vs. Jazz.

Bob Ferry, ex-player and longtime GM of Washington Bullets, dies at 84.

Up next

Oct. 28 | 6 p.m. | Utah Jazz @ Houston Rockets | AT&T SportsNet

Oct. 30 | 6 p.m. | Utah Jazz @ Chicago Bulls | AT&T SportsNet

Oct. 31 | 5 p.m. | Utah Jazz @ Milwaukee Bucks | NBATV

Nov. 2 | 7 p.m. | Utah Jazz vs. Sacramento Kings | AT&T SportsNet

Nov. 4 | 5:30 p.m. | Utah Jazz @ Atlanta Hawks | AT&T SportsNet