SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – The Utah Jazz tip off the 2022-23 season Wednesday night at home against the Denver Nuggets, and newly acquired swingman Malik Beasley said he will be ready to go.
Beasley missed the last two preseason games with an ankle injury, but says he is feeling strong and will be available for the season opener.
“I’m way better,” Beasley said Monday. “I feel good. I had a full practice today, so I’m ready to go. I’m in great shape. I thought I was going to be tired today and I wasn’t, so I feel great.”
Beasley was one of the biggest pieces the Jazz acquired from Minnesota in the Rudy Gobert trade this past summer. the 7-year NBA veteran has twice averaged 20 points per game in a season and is a proven scorer. So will he start against the team that originally drafted him, the Nuggets? Beasley says that’s head coach Will Hardy’s decision.
“He hasn’t talked to me about that,” said Beasley, who had 12 points in two preseason games on 4 of 16 shooting from the field before getting injured. “I’m not worried about that. I’m worried about winning and being there for my team.
Speaking of the team, Beasley is one of ten new players on the Jazz roster, so he knows it’s going to take some time to bond.
“It’s going to take some chemistry,” Beasley said. “I learned a lot about the guys. I learned how to talk to different players. Just watching them, I learned a little about each person’s game. We’ve got a fun team.”
Even though they don’t have a true superstar, Beasley really likes the depth of the Jazz, that they can easily go ten deep.
“We’ve got a lot of dogs,” he said. “I think that helps us a lot, because if you make a mistake, you’ve got somebody behind who make a play and scramble. I think that’s the biggest thing about us, that we’ve got versatility.
And after seven years of playing against the Jazz, Beasley is looking forward to being on the home side of Vivint Arena.
“I’ve played here many times, and every time I come here, it’s one of the loudest stadiums,” Beasley said. “So, I’m expecting that. No matter what the expectations are, we’re ready to play and ready to have fun. Hopefully the crowd will be there live and lit.”
The Jazz and Denver Nuggets tip off at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday at Vivint Arena.