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Quin Snyder returns to Utah as Hawks take on Jazz

Mar 8, 2024; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Atlanta Hawks head coach Quin Snyder (left) talks with Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray (5) during the first half against the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Friday’s game between the Utah Jazz and Atlanta Hawks will be a homecoming for Quin Snyder. It will be the first game in Salt Lake City for the former Jazz coach, who spent eight seasons as head coach in Utah.

Snyder holds a 1-0 record against his old team, having coached the Hawks to a 124-97 victory over the Jazz in Atlanta in late February.

“There are so many ways that time impacted me and my family,” Snyder said, reminiscing when the two teams played on Feb. 27. “It was great years.”

During his Jazz tenure, Utah went 372-264 with six playoff appearances. He compiled the second-most wins in franchise history behind Hall of Fame coach Jerry Sloan.

Snyder’s Hawks (29-36) enter this game in the final play-in spot of the Eastern Conference. Dejounte Murray led the team with 40 points in a 106-102 loss at Portland, where Atlanta kicked off a five-game, 11-day road trip.

“Obviously a tough loss, we came out in the game playing very well,” Snyder said. “You knew they were finding a groove and started making some shots, and they made a lot of them.”

Injury-ravaged Atlanta was missing Saddiq Bey after he suffered a torn ACL in his left knee in Sunday’s 116-103 loss to New Orleans. Jalen Johnson, who had 22 points and 13 rebounds in the first outing this season against Utah, missed the game against the Pelicans with a sprained right ankle, and All-Star Trae Young continues to rehab after his finger surgery.

Utah enters this matchup in 12th place in the West and six games out of a spot in the play-in tournament.

The Jazz were competitive against the Boston Celtics in their most recent loss, but their chances of an upset win were squelched by the Celtics’ 20-0 run.

Utah is trying to remain optimistic as young players continue to get critical playing time. Keyonte George helped the Jazz with a quick 14 points early in the first quarter and went on to score 26 in the 123-107 defeat at home to Boston.

“We are playing meaningful basketball at the end of the day. We’re playing for something,” George said. “So it ain’t like we just going out there and playing for nothing and just leaving the arena. We’re playing for pride.”

After the Hawks, Utah has a two-game set against Minnesota followed by a game against Oklahoma City.

The Jazz, who are on a three-game losing streak, have lost 11 of 13 games while seeing their record drop from .500 to nine games below in just over a month.

“It’s gonna be good for our young guys,” Jazz coach Will Hardy said. “You want to measure yourself against good teams; you want to know what it feels like to play against top-level teams.”

–Field Level Media

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