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Jazz feeling excitement about season opener

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – For Mike Conley, this is season opener number 16, but the Jazz veteran point guard still feeling the juice.
“It’s going to be fun,” Conley said about Utah’s season-opener against Denver Wednesday night. “Guys are excited. We’ve been waiting for a long time. Preseason seemed like it lasted forever. You get a little tired practicing and scrimmaging against each other. So this will be a lot of fun for us.”
Lauri Markkanen is eager to play his first game for the Jazz, and he sounds actually giddy.
“We’re excited,” said Markkanen, who led the Jazz in scoring in the preseason. “No matter that this is the sixth time going through it, but you always feel like it’s the first day of school. You’re a little nervous, but in a good way.”
There are ten new players on this roster, and ten players 25 years of age or younger, so there will be some growing pains.
“It hadn’t always looked pretty through the preseason,” Conley admitted. “But we’re going to grow as the year goes on. So far the youth and the energy that’s in the building, the guys are all about trying to do what’s right. They’re all about the culture, all about trying to do the small details in order to become a winning team.”
Everybody on this team can shoot, even the centers like Markkanen and Kelly Olynyk.
“We’ve got so many good shooters on this team,” Markkanen. “We’re going to spread the floor. I’m excited to get going with this group of guys. Literally any night, anybody can go off and have a great game.”
And for new head coach Will Hardy, he wants career win #1 under his belt right away.
“It will be a special moment for him,” Conley said. “Obviously in his first game, if he gets his first win, an all these milestones will come up for him throughout the year.”
“I think Will is real excited for the opportunity that has come up before him,” said Jazz CEO Danny Ainge. “I think he’s realistic with what the team is, and anxious for the major role that he’ll play in the development of our young players.”



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