2013 Utah Jazz schedule: Enes Kanter, Derrick Favors face old mentors

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

The young Utah Jazz won't have it easy in 2013-14, but their young roster will prove an interesting matchup against other NBA squads that like to play big.

In handing responsibilities over to its young players this summer, the Utah Jazz will likely be fighting an uphill battle in 2013-14. The schedule, however, isn't without a few interesting games.

Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap respectively make their returns to Salt Lake City as members of the Bobcats and Hawks. Their games against Kanter and Favors will feature physicality and a look into the Jazz's practice battles of the last few years. The Jazz also have early-season battles against a former assistant coach and player in new Suns coach Jeff Hornacek.

Five games to watch

Nov. 29 vs. Suns -- The Jazz face Hornacek as he leads the Phoenix Suns into Salt Lake City. Like Utah, Phoenix is set on building around a young core and could be in contention to earn a high lottery pick in the highly regarded 2014 NBA Draft. Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin could miss his former assistant even more if Hornacek gets the best of him.

Dec. 30 vs. Bobcats -- Jefferson returns to his old stomping grounds as a member of the Charlotte Bobcats. Jefferson left via free agency after the Jazz failed to trade him last season and then made little effort to re-sign him to a hefty new contract this summer. The matchup also offers the Jazz a chance to dictate their lottery position against a team that itself could struggle mightily in 2013-14.

March 10 vs. Hawks -- Jefferson's old frontcourt mate, Paul Millsap, also left Utah in the offseason. Favors and Kanter have moved into bigger starting roles since Jefferson and Millsap booked it for the Eastern Conference, and each should provide individual intrigue playing against their former mentors.

Jan. 17 at Detroit -- Rookie point guard Trey Burke will miss up to three months to start the year with a broken finger. By January, he should be back and the former Wolverine might have quite the following when he returns to the state of Michigan. Additionally, a matchup of two of the biggest NBA frontcourts pits Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe against Kanter and Favors.

Feb. 19 vs. Nets -- It's been a while since Deron Williams wore a Jazz uniform, but Utah likely hasn't forgotten about him. Between Williams and John Stockton, the point guard situation in Utah has rarely been a worry, but it was until the Jazz drafted Burke. The rookie will likely take a few lessons away from going up against the Nets and Williams.

Tough tests

There aren't many parts of the season for the Jazz to be cruising along. In the first 19 games of the season, the Jazz play the Warriors, Bulls, Pelicans, Rockets and Thunder twice each. They additionally have games against the Nets, Spurs, Nuggets and Raptors. The only teams of comparable talent are against the Celtics and the Suns, the latter of whom see Utah three times in the first month of the year.

The end of March seems difficult as well, with Utah taking on the Clippers, Spurs and Rockets consecutively beginning on March 14. The next four games sandwich Detroit and Orlando between two meetings with the Memphis Grizzlies.

Easiest stretches

Relatively to the rest of the schedule, January isn't so tough on the Jazz. Aside from games against the Thunder, Warriors and Spurs, the month includes games against lower-tier playoff contenders in the Nuggets, Cavs, Pistons, Lakers, Bucks, Wizards and two games against the T-Wolves. There is also a game against the Kings in that 12-game stretch.

Important schedule facts

Back-to-backs: 21

Season opener: Oct. 30 at home vs. Thunder

Longest road trip: Five games (Dec. 16-23, March 2-8)

Longest homestand: Four games (Jan. 21-31)

2013-14 schedule

OCTOBER
Oklahoma City Wednesday, October 30 2013 9:00 PM EDT coverage
NOVEMBER
@ Phoenix Friday, November 01 2013 10:00 PM EDT coverage
Houston Saturday, November 02 2013 9:00 PM EDT coverage
@ Brooklyn Tuesday, November 05 2013 7:30 PM EST coverage
@ Boston Wednesday, November 06 2013 7:30 PM EST coverage
@ Chicago Friday, November 08 2013 8:00 PM EST coverage
@ Toronto Saturday, November 09 2013 7:00 PM EST coverage
Denver Monday, November 11 2013 9:00 PM EST coverage
New Orleans Wednesday, November 13 2013 9:00 PM EST coverage
San Antonio Friday, November 15 2013 9:00 PM EST coverage
@ Golden State Saturday, November 16 2013 10:30 PM EST coverage
Golden State Monday, November 18 2013 9:00 PM EST coverage
@ New Orleans Wednesday, November 20 2013 8:00 PM EST coverage
@ Dallas Friday, November 22 2013 8:30 PM EST coverage
@ Oklahoma City Sunday, November 24 2013 7:00 PM EST coverage
Chicago Monday, November 25 2013 9:00 PM EST coverage
Phoenix Friday, November 29 2013 9:00 PM EST coverage
@ Phoenix Saturday, November 30 2013 9:00 PM EST coverage
DECEMBER
Houston Monday, December 02 2013 9:00 PM EST coverage
Indiana Wednesday, December 04 2013 9:00 PM EST coverage
@ Portland Friday, December 06 2013 10:00 PM EST coverage
Sacramento Saturday, December 07 2013 9:00 PM EST coverage
Portland Monday, December 09 2013 9:00 PM EST coverage
@ Sacramento Wednesday, December 11 2013 10:00 PM EST coverage
@ Denver Friday, December 13 2013 9:00 PM EST coverage
San Antonio Saturday, December 14 2013 9:00 PM EST coverage
@ Miami Monday, December 16 2013 7:30 PM EST coverage
@ Orlando Wednesday, December 18 2013 7:00 PM EST coverage
@ Atlanta Friday, December 20 2013 7:30 PM EST coverage
@ Charlotte Saturday, December 21 2013 7:00 PM EST coverage
@ Memphis Monday, December 23 2013 8:00 PM EST coverage
Los Angeles Lakers Friday, December 27 2013 9:00 PM EST coverage
@ Los Angeles Clippers Saturday, December 28 2013 10:30 PM EST coverage
Charlotte Monday, December 30 2013 9:00 PM EST coverage
JANUARY
Milwaukee Thursday, January 02 2014 9:00 PM EST coverage
@ Los Angeles Lakers Friday, January 03 2014 10:30 PM EST coverage
Oklahoma City Tuesday, January 07 2014 9:00 PM EST coverage
Cleveland Friday, January 10 2014 9:00 PM EST coverage
Denver Monday, January 13 2014 9:00 PM EST coverage
@ San Antonio Wednesday, January 15 2014 8:00 PM EST coverage
@ Detroit Friday, January 17 2014 7:30 PM EST coverage
@ Minnesota Saturday, January 18 2014 8:00 PM EST coverage
Minnesota Tuesday, January 21 2014 9:00 PM EST coverage
Washington Saturday, January 25 2014 9:00 PM EST coverage
Sacramento Monday, January 27 2014 9:00 PM EST coverage
Golden State Friday, January 31 2014 10:30 PM EST coverage
FEBRUARY
@ Los Angeles Clippers Saturday, February 01 2014 10:30 PM EST coverage
Toronto Monday, February 03 2014 9:00 PM EST coverage
@ Dallas Friday, February 07 2014 8:30 PM EST coverage
Miami Saturday, February 08 2014 9:00 PM EST coverage
@ Los Angeles Lakers Tuesday, February 11 2014 10:30 PM EST coverage
Philadelphia Wednesday, February 12 2014 9:00 PM EST coverage
Brooklyn Wednesday, February 19 2014 9:00 PM EST coverage
@ Portland Friday, February 21 2014 10:00 PM EST coverage
Minnesota Saturday, February 22 2014 9:00 PM EST coverage
Boston Monday, February 24 2014 9:00 PM EST coverage
Phoenix Wednesday, February 26 2014 9:00 PM EST coverage
@ Cleveland Friday, February 28 2014 7:30 PM EST coverage
MARCH
@ Indiana Sunday, March 02 2014 6:00 PM EST coverage
@ Milwaukee Monday, March 03 2014 8:00 PM EST coverage
@ Washington Wednesday, March 05 2014 7:00 PM EST coverage
@ New York Friday, March 07 2014 7:30 PM EST coverage
@ Philadelphia Saturday, March 08 2014 7:30 PM EST coverage
Atlanta Monday, March 10 2014 9:00 PM EDT coverage
Dallas Wednesday, March 12 2014 9:00 PM EDT coverage
Los Angeles Clippers Friday, March 14 2014 9:00 PM EDT coverage
@ San Antonio Sunday, March 16 2014 7:00 PM EDT coverage
@ Houston Monday, March 17 2014 8:00 PM EDT coverage
@ Memphis Wednesday, March 19 2014 8:00 PM EDT coverage
Orlando Saturday, March 22 2014 9:00 PM EDT coverage
Detroit Monday, March 24 2014 9:00 PM EDT coverage
Memphis Wednesday, March 26 2014 10:30 PM EDT coverage
@ New Orleans Friday, March 28 2014 8:00 PM EDT coverage
@ Oklahoma City Sunday, March 30 2014 3:00 PM EDT coverage
New York Monday, March 31 2014 9:00 PM EDT coverage
APRIL
New Orleans Friday, April 04 2014 9:00 PM EDT coverage
@ Golden State Sunday, April 06 2014 9:00 PM EDT coverage
Dallas Tuesday, April 08 2014 9:00 PM EDT coverage
Portland Friday, April 11 2014 9:00 PM EDT coverage
@ Denver Saturday, April 12 2014 9:00 PM EDT coverage
Los Angeles Lakers Monday, April 14 2014 9:00 PM EDT coverage
@ Minnesota Wednesday, April 16 2014 8:00 PM EDT coverage
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