Seven months after knocking out the Utah Jazz in the first round of the NBA playoffs at Vivint Arena, the Dallas Mavericks return to Salt Lake City for their preseason finale. This time, though, the Jazz look much different.

As the clock was winding down in Game 6 of the Dallas Mavericks’ first-round playoff series against the Utah Jazz in May, Dallas held a 98-96 lead as then-Jazz forward Bojan Bogdanovic pump-faked Spencer Dinwiddie to attempt a wide-open 3-pointer that could’ve forced a Game 7.

Clank…

Somehow, Bogdanovic missed the shot, and the Mavs advanced past the first round for the first time since the magical 2011 championship run. Luka Doncic and the rest of his crew went on to upset the 64-win Phoenix Suns in the second round before falling to the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals. Seven months later, the Mavs are making their return to Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, but this time, it will be against a Jazz team that looks nothing like the team that was already spitting at the seams in the postseason.

Over the offseason, Utah saw coach Quin Snyder step down, which was the first domino of the blowup. Then, the Jazz traded Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves, Donovan Mitchell to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Bogdanovic to the Detroit Pistons and Royce O’Neale to the Brooklyn Nets. Given the complete makeover the Jazz just went though, paired with the fact that the Suns’ team vibes appear to be in the toilet this preseason, one has to wonder if Doncic is mostly to blame for it.

As we watch the Mavs take on the Jazz tonight in what will be a dress rehearsal for the regular season, which begins next week, it will be interesting to see if Doncic still has Utah’s number despite having so many new faces like Collin Sexton, Malik Beasley and Lauri Markkanen.

WHAT TO WATCH: Coach Jason Kidd surprised everyone in the Mavs’ last game by starting rookie Jaden Hardy next to Doncic while bringing Dinwiddie off the bench to run the second unit. Will Hardy, who has, by all accounts, had a fantastic training camp, continue to start at the two-guard spot, or will Kidd continue to tweak lineups like a mad chemist? Tune in from the start to find out.

PRESEASON RECORDS: Mavs (1-1), Jazz (1-2)

WHEN: Friday, Oct. 14, 2022 at 8 p.m. CT

INJURY REPORT (DALLAS): The Mavs have no players listed on their injury report. LOCATION: Vivint Arena (Salt Lake City, UT)

TV/RADIO: Bally Sports Southwest, NBA League Pass, 97.1 The Eagle (KEGL)

ODDS: TBD – click here for real-time betting odds updates

NEXT UP: The real deal…

The next time the Mavs take the court, it will be at Footprint Center in Phoenix for their regular-season opener against the Suns. The last time the two teams met, Doncic and Dinwiddie combined for 65 points as Dallas beat Phoenix by 33 points in Game 7 of their second-round series. It will be one you won’t want to miss!

LAST WORD: “I still feel like we got a great energy around the team. We got a lot of players that can put the ball on the floor and score. We can shoot the ball at a high clip,” said Reggie Bullock. “I think our locker-room presence and our rim protection is going to be huge for us bringing in a guy like (Christian) Wood. He can shoot threes, defend around the board, rebound.

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